BALTIMORE (AP) — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is giving $350 million to alma mater Johns Hopkins University, pushing his lifetime giving to the private Baltimore university past $1 billion, the university said Saturday.
University officials believe Bloomberg, who earned his fortune creating the global financial services firm Bloomberg LP, is now the first person to give more than $1 billion to a single US university.
Most of the latest gift, $250 million, will go toward a variety of cross-disciplinary subjects, including research on water resources, health care, global health, the science of learning and urban revitalization.
The remaining $100 million will go to need-based financial aid for undergraduate students, awarding 2,600 Bloomberg scholarships in the next 10 years.
“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 a statement released by the university. “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.”
The mayor has stayed closely involved with the university from which he graduated in 1964, including stints on its board of trustees from 1996 to 2002 and as chairman of the Johns Hopkins Initiative fundraising campaign. Among his past gifts was $120 million toward the construction of a children’s section at The John Hopkins Hospital in honor of his late mother.
“This latest initiative allows us to greatly accelerate our investment in talented people and bring them together in a highly creative and dynamic atmosphere,” university president Ronald J. Daniels said in a statement. “It illustrates Mike’s passion for fixing big problems quickly and efficiently.”
In 2011, Bloomberg, who is Jewish, visited Israel for the dedication of a new station of the Magen David Adom rescue service in Jerusalem. Bloomberg, who is worth $22 billion according to Forbes, reportedly donated $10 million to upgrade the building.
He is a signatory of the Giving Pledge, in which philanthropists pledge to give away most of their wealth during their lifetimes.
The Times of Israel contributed to this report