$100 Million For Columbia Business School

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Columbia Business School alumnus Henry R. Kravis '69, co-founder, co-chairman and co-CEO of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), a leading global investment firm has pledged  $100 million to the Business School.

The gift is the largest in the School's history.

The gift will be used to 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 Mr. Kravis's generosity.

"Through his longtime engagement with Columbia Business School, Henry Kravis has a deep appreciation for the future opportunities made possible for our students and faculty at a new home in Manhattanville," said Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger. "The new facility will achieve the expansion of physical space that's needed to support the growing breadth and complexity of scholarship at the School, reflecting the degree to which decisions about business and finance affect virtually
every facet of modern life.  Henry's exceptional generosity moves us much closer to the goal of linking advances in knowledge at the Business School to other disciplines across the university, as well as to the wider circle of entrepreneurs in our local community and global companies that make New York City a capital of our economy."

Columbia Business School's expansion in Manhattanville will provide the School with an opportunity to build a facility that reflects the fast-paced, high-tech, and highly social character of business in the 21st century and elevates the School's role as a source for global business innovation and effective economic policy, the school said.

Further, 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. 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. Idealism, energy and knowledge are fertile ground for social entrepreneurship. Innovation and entrepreneurship at the business school will encourage and support innovation and entrepreneurship in the community," Kravis said.

Kravis, a pioneer of the private equity industry, co-founded KKR in 1976. For over 30 years, Kravis, along with KKR co-founder
George Roberts, has led the firm in its growth into a leading global investment firm. Kravis serves on the board of the Council of Foreign Relations, is a Vice Chair for Rockefeller University's Board of Trustees and Co-chair of Columbia Business School's Board of Overseers, amongst other civic responsibilities beyond his work for the New York City Investment Fund. Kravis has previously given substantial financial support to various Columbia Business School initiatives, including Columbia CaseWorks, the Meyer Feldberg Distinguished Fellowship Program, and multiple endowed professorships.

"The manner in which business schools have generated ideas and talent has changed considerably across generations," said Dean Glenn Hubbard of Columbia Business School.  "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 fast-paced, high-tech, and highly social character of business in the 21st century. Further, it allows student, alumni and neighboring communities to collaborate and develop new ideas that not only transform business practice, but also reinforce the potential for the application of business principles to solve multifaceted problems and improve the world in which we live."

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. 

The Business School will join the university's interdisciplinary Mind Brain Behavior Initiative, to be housed in the Jerome L. Greene Science Center, among the first residents of the open, environmentally sustainable campus in the onetime industrial
area.  The campus will include public green space, easy access from the neighborhood to the Harlem Piers waterfront park, and new retail, dining and cultural spaces that will attract and support small business and pedestrian traffic in the area. Future
planned residents in the campus project include Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs and School of the Arts.


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