Arthur Samberg and Mario Gabelli Pledge $40 Million to Columbia Business School’s New Campus
August 2, 2013 Leave a comment
Two Columbia Business School alumni, Arthur Samberg and Mario Gabelli, pledged a combined $40 million towards the construction of the West Harlem campus.
Both men graduated in 1967 and are on the school’s Board of Overseers. Samberg personally pledged $25 million. He is the chairman of JetSuit and the former chief executive of the hedge fund Pequot Capital Management. Gabelli pledged $15 million, and is the chairman and CEO of GAMCO Investors.
These are not the only massive donations that have been pledged towards the new school. Three months earlier, Ron Perelman, owner of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc. pledged $100 million.
“I think you can teach disruption,” said Perelman. “I think you can give a student the tools for which to be disruptive, to think disruptive innovation. Some things are gut instinct. Entrepreneurship is one of those things. Fashion sense is. Music is one of those. You either have it or you don’t—not that it’s so great to have it.”
Before even Perelman stepped in, there was a pledge of $100 million from Henry Kravis. Kravis is also an Columbia MBA alumni and is known for co-founding KKR alongside George R Roberts and Jerome Kohlberg. The new gifts bring the total donations to almost $500 million, which is about $100 short of the school’s goal.
The new business school campus is expected to open in 2018. It includes two buildings named after Perelman and Kravis, and will be about 450,000 square feet. These buildings are part of the expansion of the Columbia campus on 17 acres in the Manhattanville neighborhood of West Harlem, which is about a mile from the main campus.