College mega donations rebound

Tim Goral's picture

The number of so-called mega donations to U.S. colleges is rebounding just as Harvard University begins a $6.5 billion capital campaign, the largest in the history of higher education.

There have been 16 gifts this year of at least $50 million, twice as many as for all of last year as donors gain confidence amid improving economic conditions, according to data compiled by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Developer Stephen Ross gave $200 million to the University of Michigan while Qualcomm Inc. co-founder Irwin Jacobs and his wife donated $133 million to Cornell University. Last week, former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt gave $100 million to Georgetown University.

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