Columbia Business School has received the largest gift in the school’s history following yesterday’s announcement that alumnus Henry R. Kravis (’69), co-founder of the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), has pledged $100 million to the school.
Kravis’s gift will support the construction of the business school’s new facilities, which are part of Columbia’s long-term campus plan on several blocks of the old Manhattanville manufacturing zone. One of the business school’s two new buildings will be named The Henry R. Kravis Building in recognition of Kravis’ generosity.
The new campus will help broaden Columbia Business School’s various community engagement programs, such as Columbia Community Business Program, which provides guidance and support to entrepreneurs in West Harlem, as well as several student-run programs that focus on community outreach, the school says.
These initiatives complement Kravis’ work in founding and heading the New York City Investment Fund, which is designed to create jobs and help sustain small inner-city businesses in New York.
“We’re not just constructing a building; we are building a community of entrepreneurs. I hope the new facilities will be a place that fuels the most innovative thinking and a place where the entrepreneurial spirit thrives,” says Kravis.
The business school’s new buildings will encompass approximately 450,000 square feet, replacing 280,000 square feet of outdated facilities and resulting in a net additional 170,000 square feet. The search for an architect is currently in progress.
Remarking on the generous gift and its potential to transform business practice, Dean Glenn Hubbard says “Business leaders are faced with more challenging and complex decisions than ever before, and given less time and less complete information to make them. Our new home in Manhattanville will reflect the way business is conducted in the 21st century.”