- Allison Goldsberry
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire philanthropist, has committed to donating $350 million to Johns Hopkins University, his alma mater.
The latest donation will bring his total gifts to the school to over $1 billion, which makes him the most prolific living donor to any educational institution in the country, according to The New York Times.
“Michael Bloomberg is a visionary philanthropist, a force for social good on the order of Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Leland Stanford and our own founder, Johns Hopkins,” said Ronald J. Daniels, president of The Johns Hopkins University.
According to Bloomberg’s website, $100 million of the gift will go toward student financial aid. The bulk of the money, $250 million, will go toward new faculty and to raise more money to fund a larger effort to promote cross-disciplinary work that will bring people and resources together to tackle “global challenges.”
Bloomberg, a Medford native, remarked on his time spent as an average student at Medford High School who became an active student leader at Johns Hopkins.
“Let’s be serious — they took a chance on me,” Bloomberg told The New York Times.
“I just thought I’d died and gone to heaven,” he continued, “…because it’s the first time I really was walking among people who were world leaders, who were creating, inventing.”
Bloomberg, who has pledged to give away most of his fortune, has had strong ties to Johns Hopkins since he graduated from the school in 1964. According to information from Johns Hopkins, his first gift to the school was $5 in 1965. His donations have bolstered capital improvements, infrastructure, research, and financial aid. Bloomberg has funded twenty percent of undergraduate financial aid and the School of Public Health bears his name. After his mother, Charlotte, died in 2011, Bloomberg made a $120 million donation in her memory toward construction of the new Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center.
Bloomberg tweeted on Saturday that his donation will support 2,600 scholarships over the next ten years.
“Johns Hopkins University has been an important part of my life since I first set foot on campus more than five decades ago,” Bloomberg said. “Each dollar I have given has been well-spent improving the institution and, just as importantly, making its education available to students who might otherwise not be able to afford it. Giving is only meaningful if the money will make a difference in people’s lives, and I know of no other institution that can make a bigger difference in lives around the world through its groundbreaking research—especially in the field of public health.”