Updated, 2:45 a.m.
Business School alumnus Leon Cooperman will donate $25 million toward the construction of the Business School’s new facilities in Manhattanville.
The school announced the gift on Monday. Cooperman, Business ’67, is the chairman and chief executive officer of the investment firm Omega Advisors and a member of the Business School’s Board of Overseers.
“The educational needs of leaders and entrepreneurs have evolved, and the new Manhattanville facilities will support Columbia Business School’s commitment to preparing the business leaders of tomorrow,” Cooperman said in a statement.
In 2007, Cooperman funded a scholarship program at the Business School, and he and his wife, Toby, have committed to give half of their fortune to charity. Forbes valued his net worth at $2 billion in March and his lifetime charitable gifts at more than $200 million.
“Leon Cooperman’s generosity toward the Business School has given students the key to a door that would otherwise have been closed to them,” Business School Dean R. Glenn Hubbard said in a statement.
Administrators said last spring that the Business School had a $400 million fundraising goal for two buildings in Manhattanville. Henry Kravis, Business ’69, gave $100 million for the project in October 2010, the biggest donation in the Business School’s history.
Based on public gifts, then, Cooperman’s pledge brings the school one-third of the way toward its ultimate fundraising target.
“The Business School is very ambitious on its fundraising goals for Manhattanville, but it’s important to be thinking that you have to put it in the context of what’s available,” University President Lee Bollinger said in a February interview.
The two buildings, which are being designed by the firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, will be located west of Broadway between 130th and 131st streets.
Executive Vice President of Facilities Joe Ienuso said in a March interview that the Business School buildings were in the process of “schematic design,” which “will provide conceptual renderings first to make sure that program elements are satisfied.” Diller’s architectural designs would be released in April, he said.
One construction worker was killed and two were injured on the future site of the school when a building slated for demolition collapsed in March.