Office of the President, Lee C. Bollinger

John Kluge, CC'37, Pledges $400 Million for Financial Aid

April 11, 2007

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community,

Today will bring a milestone in the long history of Columbia University and, indeed, in the history of higher education in the United States. You may already have seen early news reports that at noon we will officially announce a spectacular gift from our alumnus and friend John Kluge – a pledge of $400 million, all for scholarships and fellowships at Columbia.

This extraordinary gift will go a long way toward helping us fulfill Columbia’s commitment to making the education we offer available to everyone, regardless of an individual’s financial circumstances. It is also, of course, an enormous boost for our collective efforts to enhance the University’s general resources through the Columbia Campaign. Just to give a sense of the magnitude of John’s generosity, this represents the largest gift in Columbia’s history, the largest gift in higher education devoted exclusively to financial aid, and the fourth largest single donation to a college or university in the United States.

The gift will come from John’s estate. John and I will continue to discuss many of the specifics of the pledge; but at this point we can say that $200 million will be dedicated to supporting and expanding existing financial aid programs in Columbia College, and the remaining $200 million will be allocated toward scholarships and fellowships in other areas of the University.

There are many people who over time have helped sustain John’s relationship to Columbia, and they deserve our thanks. On this historic occasion, we are grateful for John’s abiding love for the University and for helping young people improve their lives through education.


Lee C. Bollinger