Lifestyle & Belief

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg donates more than $1B to Johns Hopkins University


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the 67th annual Columbus Day Parade in New York City on Oct.10, 2011.


Spencer Platt

New York City Michael Bloomberg has become the first person to donate more than $1 billion to a single US university, the Associated Press reported.

The gift that put him over the top is a new $350 million donation to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the AP reported. Some $250 million of the donation is for expanding interdisciplinary research on a variety of issues, including individualized health care delivery, sustainability of water resources and the science of learning.

"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," Bloomberg said in a statement released by the university on Saturday, according to the AP.

The remaining $100 million will be spent on funding 2,600 need-based scholarships for undergraduate students over the next 10 years, according to the AP.

At Hopkins, Bloomberg transformed himself from a mediocre high-school student to a campus star, becoming the president of his fraternity, his senior class and the council overseeing Greek life, the New York Times reported.

“It’s the first time that I ever headed something,” he told the New York Times. “The first time I got a chance to pull people together.”

Bloomberg first started donating to his college in 1965, a year after he graduated with a bachelor's degree in engineering, the AP reported. His first gift was $5, but over a lifetime of giving, his donations have added up to just more than $1.11 billion.

"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 in the statement. "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."

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