The Yale School of Management is one step closer to reaching its fundraising goal for its new campus.
Wilbur L. Ross ’59, an investor known for restructuring failed companies and chairman and CEO of WL Ross & Co. LLC, donated $10 million to the SOM last Wednesday. The money will go towards the library in the new building, which will be built on Whitney Avenue and Sachem Street.
“I am personally delighted with Mr. Ross’s gift,” SOM Dean Sharon Oster said in an e-mail to the News. “Wilbur Ross is an icon in the area of restructuring and value investing, a man who is known for carefully evaluating organizations before he invests in them.”
Oster said in Sept. that the school had raised about $90 million for what would eventually be a $189 million project, but added that the University was willing to borrow up to $65 million to keep planning and construction on-schedule so that the building can open in the fall of 2013.
Joel Getz, associate dean for development and alumni relations at the SOM, said he hopes Ross’ gift will inspire others to support the financing of the new campus.
“[Mr. Ross’ gift] gives us a tremendous boost, pushing us over the $100 million mark for the new campus and bringing us that much closer to the completion of the building fundraising drive,” he said.
Designed by architect Lord Norman Foster ARC ’62, the building should allow the SOM to accommodate more students and encourage collaborative teaching among professors, Oster said in September.
Ross said he donated to the SOM because he believes the school deserves a new campus. Citing the fact that a business school did not exist when he was undergraduate at Yale, Ross said he was forced to attend Harvard Business School instead. Now, as a member of the SOM board, he said he has enjoyed watching the institution grow over the past few years.
“I always felt that Yale should have a proper business school as part of its overall offering to students,” Ross said. “Now SOM is a world-class enterprise truly worthy of Yale, and certainly worthy of the brilliant new campus Norman Foster has designed for it.”
Ross added that while he was an undergraduate at Yale, his father died, and he relied on loans and bursary jobs from Yale to sustain himself economically. Now that his economic circumstances are “quite different,” he said, he felt it appropriate to give back to the Yale community.
New Haven’s Board of Aldermen approved plans for the new campus last May.