Ken Griffin Donates $150 million to Harvard to Support Financial Aid Program for Undergrads


Kenneth C. Griffin, the billionaire hedge fund manager, will make a gift of $150 million to Harvard College to support financial aid program for undergraduate students. The biggest single gift in the history of the College will be formally announced Thursday.

Out of the $150 million, about $140 million will be dedicated to create 200 Griffin scholars and 600 scholarships under a new program. The remaining $10 million will be used to endow a new professorship at the Harvard Business School.

Griffin said that the gift will make sure that the country's intelligent and brightest students get access to this outstanding institution.

"It is extremely important that students of all backgrounds have the opportunity to challenge themselves, learn to solve complex problems, and ultimately better our world," Griffin said in a statement.

Griffin, the founder and chief executive of the hedge fund Citadel, graduated from Harvard with a degree in economics in 1989.

"Ken's gift will help us sustain our revolutionary financial aid program and ensure that once a student is admitted to Harvard College, cost of attendance is never a barrier. It will impact the lives of students and their families, now and for generations to come," Michael D. Smith, FAS dean and John H. Finley Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, said.

Recognizing Griffin's generosity and dedication to Harvard's financial aid program, the officials decided to rename the Harvard College Office of Financial Aid as the Griffin Financial Aid Office, and the chief of the office will be known as the Griffin Director of Financial Aid.

The $150 million is not the first major contribution by the alumnus to his alma mater. In 1999, Griffin established Wayne R. Gratz scholarship, named after his grandfather, and served on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) Financial Aid Task Force that focused on raising support from alumni among others.

Besides Harvard, Griffin is an active supporter of Chicago Public Education Fund, the Economic Club of Chicago, and the Art Institute of Chicago among others.

Other larger individual donations include: Michael R. Bloomberg gift of $350 million to Johns Hopkins University and John W. Kluge, a former television tycoon, donated $400 million to Columbia University's financial aid program.

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