Sunday, January 27, 2013

How Much Would You Give to Your College or University -- Mayor Bloomberg of NYC Has Given Over $1 Billion to His

I am a big fan of NYC and also of its long-serving mayor, Michael Bloomberg, under whose leadership such changes to NYC (now permanent) as the closure of Broadway from 42nd Street to 47th Street to traffic and conversion to pedestrian plazas, have taken place. This was a subject of my interview for the  America Revealed video with Yul Kwon.

On the front page of today's New York Times, there is a terrific article on Bloomberg's love for his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, to which, with his latest promised gift, he will have donated $1.1 billion dollars, with his first gift, upon his graduation in 1964, being a donation of $5.

Coincidentally, my doctoral dissertation advisor at Brown University, Stella Dafermos (as well as her husband), had matriculated at Johns Hopkins University for their PhDs in 1964.

The article is a great read and I was informed that Bloomberg was an engineering major (actually electrical engineering) and had gone to Medford High in Massachusetts, where he was very bored. I located an earlier article on Bloomberg and Medford which stated that he had been President of the Medford High School slide rule club (all the engineers of a certain age out there will appreciate this).

Bloomberg attributes some of his leadership skills to his alma mater, where he was President of his fraternity and President of his senior class. 

The Times article also speaks to Bloomberg's love of his alma mater, and what his incredible financial contributions have built -- he has bankrolled and molded the handsome brick-and-marble walkways, lamps and benches that dot the campus; has constructed a physics building, a school of public health, a children’s hospital, a stem-cell research institute, a malaria institute and a library wing; has commissioned giant art installations by Kendall Buster, Mark Dion and Robert Israel; and has financed 20 percent of all need-based financial aid grants to undergraduates over the past few years.

 I very much appreciate his appreciation of and emphasis on art and on aesthetics. The children's hospital at Hopkins is named for Bloomberg's mother, Charlotte,  and the exterior was inspired by Monet's paintings. Since I was in NYC earlier this month and went to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), I managed to snap the photos below.

I wonder how much Bloomberg has given to Harvard, where he received his MBA?

The residential college experience can be life-transforming as Bloomberg's experiences at Johns Hopkins University clearly show.

I wonder what percentage of college graduates give back financially to their institutions?