Harvard Business School Gets $40 Million Gift From Chao Family

Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Harvard is the oldest and richest U.S. university, with an endowment of $30.7 billion. Close

Harvard is the oldest and richest U.S. university, with an endowment of $30.7 billion.

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Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

Harvard is the oldest and richest U.S. university, with an endowment of $30.7 billion.

Harvard Business School received $40 million from the James S.C. Chao and Family Foundation for scholarships and an executive education building.

About $35 million of the donation will go to constructing the education center that will be named for the late Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, the business school said today in a statement. The remaining $5 million will go to scholarships for students of Chinese heritage, according to the statement.

Four of James and Ruth Chao’s daughters attended the school, located in Boston, across the Charles River from Harvard University’s main campus, the statement said. They include Elaine Chao, U.S. Labor Secretary from 2001 through 2009 under former President George W. Bush.

Ruth Chao “was a positive, optimistic person who believed in the transformational power of education regardless of gender in developing leaders for the world,” Elaine Chao said in today’s statement.

Ruth Chao died in 2007 and was memorialized by Elaine Chao in a tribute before the U.S. Senate. James Chao is founder of New York-based shipping company Foremost Group.

Harvard is the oldest and richest U.S. university, with an endowment of $30.7 billion.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Lauerman in Boston at jlauerman@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at lwolfson@bloomberg.net;

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