Billionaire Ronald Perelman made headlines last week for his record donation of $100 million to Columbia Business School—matching Henry Kravis of KKR for the highest donation ever. Perelman is the chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes and a member of the FORBES 400 list. The money will go toward building a facility and program that supports emerging entrepreneurs and business leaders.


Ronald Perelman

Ronald Perelman

“I think you can teach disruption,” said Perelman. “I think you can give a student the tools for which to be disruptive, to think disruptive innovation. Some things are gut instinct. Entrepreneurship is one of those things. Fashion sense is. Music is one of those. You either have it or you don’t—not that it’s so great to have it.”

The new facility will be called the Ronald O. Perelman Center for Business Innovation and will open in 2017. It will be built opposite the facility being built with Henry Kravis’ previous donation. In both cases, the money will go toward construction of the school’s new facilities in Manhattanville. The school has now raised about $460 million of the projected $600 million total cost.

Columbia University is listed by Forbes as the #8 university in the country, #7 among private colleges, and #6 in research universities. Just sixteen percent of applicants are admitted, and there are currently just over 1,200 full-time MBA students enrolled. While Kravis is a graduate of Columbia, Perelman is not—but he does sit on its Board of Overseers.

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