Blackstone’s Gray Gives University of Pennsylvania $25 Million

Jonathan Gray, head of global real estate at Blackstone Group LP (BX), gave $25 million to the University of Pennsylvania to start a center studying cancer treatment and prevention.

The gift, made along with Gray’s wife Mindy, will name the building the Basser Research Center after Mindy’s sister Faith Basser, who died of ovarian cancer at 44, the university said. The center will focus on cancers associated with inherited genes.

“We hope that the Basser Research Center will eliminate BRCA-related cancers and, in doing so, provide a road map for curing other genetic diseases,” the Grays said in a statement, referring to so-called BRCA genes that, if mutated, can lead to breast, ovarian and other forms of cancer.

“Jon and Mindy have set the stage for scientific breakthroughs that will transform the lives of women and their families for decades to come,” said Amy Gutmann, the school’s president.

Gray joined Blackstone in 1992 after graduating from the university and became a senior managing director eight years later. His business accounted for 71 percent of Blackstone’s profit last year, and in February he was named to the board of directors. His wife is also a 1992 alumna of the school.

Gray, 42, received $36.5 million in 2011, including $350,000 in salary, a $21.4 million bonus based upon the performance of the real estate business, $2.6 million in his share of investment profits and $12.2 million in cash dividends, Blackstone said in a February regulatory filing.

The University of Pennsylvania, based in Philadelphia, is one of eight schools in the northeast that make up the Ivy League.

To contact the reporter on this story: Devin Banerjee in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at

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