Columbia's B-school gets $100 million gift

Revlon's Ronald Perelman is joining a growing list of the ultrarich who become big givers.

By Jonathan Berr May 2, 2013 2:13PM
File photo of Ronald O. Perelman on April 24, 2008 (© Kathy Willens/AP Photo)
Billionaire Ronald Perelman is donating $100 million to Columbia Business School, which the Ivy League school will use to build two new buildings near its campus in New York City, one of which will be named after him.

The  facilities will offer what the school calls "multifunctional spaces that foster a sense of community" to encourage the exchange of ideas. The 70-year-old Perelman has been a member of Columbia's Board of Overseers since 1994. He controls the Revlon (REV) cosmetics company.

As the stock market rebounds, it seems that some billionaires may be feeling more charitable.  Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg donated stock in his ubiquitous social network worth about $500 million last year to the Sillicon Valley Community Foundation, which ranked him second on the Chronicle of Philanthropy's list of the 50 largest charitable givers.

Topping the list was Warren Buffett, the Berskhire Hathaway (BRK.A) head who donated $3.1 billion to the foundation run by his friend and fellow billionaire Bill Gates, the co-founder of  Microsoft (MSFT). (Microsoft owns and publishes moneyNOW, an MSN Money site).

Google (GOOG) co-founder Sergey Brin gave away $229 million, and financier Carl Icahn announced plans to donate $200 million to the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, which was renamed itself after the financier and activist shareholder.

As for Perleman, he'll be among his peers at Columbia. The university's Ronald O. Perelman Center for Business Innovation will be located across from the Henry R. Kravis Building, named after the co-founder of the private equity firm Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts (KKR), who donated $100 million to the school in 2010.

Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.

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