Billionaire Kenneth Griffin Donates $300 Million To Harvard

Kenneth Griffin, founder of hedge fund Citadel, has now donated more than $500 million to his alma mater.
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  • Kenneth C. Griffin donated $300 million to Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
  • Griffin graduated from Harvard in 1989 and is the founder of Citadel and Citadel Securities
  • Griffin has donated over $500 million to Harvard, including a $150 million donation in 2014 to expand undergraduate financial aid.

Billionaire Kenneth Griffin is making a massive donation to his alma mater.

Harvard University announced yesterday that Griffin, who is founder of hedge fund Citadel and Citadel Securities, donated $300 million to its Faculty of Arts and Sciences, home to the university’s undergraduate program as well as all of its Ph.D. programs plus athletics, museums and libraries. The school will be renamed the Harvard Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Griffin's generosity will enable excellence and opportunity at Harvard, President Larry Bacow said.

“His choice to support FAS underscores the power of education to transform lives and to expand the reach of our research in every field imaginable,” Bacow said.

This gift by Griffin builds on previous donations totaling more than $200 million, including a $150 million donation to expand undergraduate financial aid in 2014, the largest single gift to undergraduate financial aid and to Harvard College. That endowed gift currently supports 228 undergraduates — and has supported more than 600 undergraduates to date, according to the university.

According to The Harvard Crimson, the Kenneth C. Griffin Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is the third Harvard school named after a donor since 1638, when the university took John Harvard’s name.

Harvard renamed its School of Public Health in 2014 after T.H. Chan, the father of private equity investor and donor Gerald L. Chan, according to The Harvard Crimson. The university also renamed its School of Engineering and Applied Sciences after a $400 million donation in 2015 from hedge fund magnate John A. Paulson.

Griffin studied economics at Harvard and began his investing career in his sophomore-year dorm, according to the university. He graduated in 1989 and founded Citadel in 1990.

Last year, Citadel earned a record $16 billion in profits, the largest annual gain ever made by a hedge fund manager, Reuters reported.