This morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that Hong Kong based businessman and investor, Gerald L Chan was to donate $350 million to his alma mater, Harvard University. The gift is record-breaking – the largest single donation the University has ever received.
Chan, a director at Hong Kong based Hang Lung Group, is 17th on Forbes’ list of Hong Kong’s 50 most wealthy individuals. He attended Harvard in the 1970s and pursued graduate work in radiological physics and radiobiology. His gift has been directed specifically towards the School of Public Health because he was inspired by one of his teacher’s there and wants to help the school to conduct cutting-edge medical research.
Alumni donations are something every school looks for, but large donations such as this often seem to occur when there are relationships to help solidify the connection between an alumnus and their alma mater. We ran a quick connections report in Prospect Visual to see if this proved to be the case with Chan and Harvard and were unsurprised to find that there were several strong board-level connections shows.
Harvard is also ensuring that their relationship with Chan will only strengthen in future by re-naming the school of public health into the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health after Gerald Chan’s father.