Sunday, September 7, 2014

GIFTS: Chan to Harvard, Record $350 Million

Gerald Chan, Alumnus of Harvard
School of Public Health - Now Named
After His Father
Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust must work hard–either very late on Sunday night or very early on Monday morning because I and probably 250,000 of her very close friends just got an email from her, time-stamped about 1 a.m.

She announced the largest-ever gift to Harvard, $350 million. It is from the Morningside Foundation, established by the family of Mr. T. H. Chan.

 The Foundation has pledged the money to support the Harvard School of Public Health and its campaign to address four global threats: old and new pandemics, harmful physical and social environments, poverty and humanitarian crises, and failing health systems.

In honor of the gift, the School will be renamed the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The formal announcement will be made at 12:30 p.m. and can be watched here.


The Chans are a wealthy Hong Kong family, one member of which, Gerald Chan, earned a doctorate in radiation biology from Harvard after studying engineering at UCLA. Recently the Harvard Crimson drew attention to Chan's purchasing of real estate in the Harvard Square area.

The foundation is headed by Ronnie and Gerald Chan, sons of T. H. Chan, who founded their first business, the Hang Lung Group, to develop real estate in Hong Kong. Another business, The Morningside Group, is a private equity and venture capital firm created by the two sons in 1986.

Only six larger donations have been made to an American institution of higher education. One was for $400 million, given by Eli and Edythe Broad to the Broad Institute, which is jointly run by Harvard and MIT. The Chans’ gift is the largest ever to Harvard alone.

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