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Borders’ LeBow Gives $45 Million to Drexel University

Bennett LeBow, chairman and chief executive officer of bookseller Borders Group Inc., donated $45 million to Drexel University, the largest gift in its history.

LeBow’s contribution will fund construction of a $92 million building for the LeBow College of Business, which was named after him in 1999, the Philadelphia-based university said today in an e-mailed statement. LeBow, who graduated from Drexel in 1960 with a degree in electrical engineering, has given the university a total of $60 million.

LeBow is chairman of Vector Group Ltd., a Miami-based holding company for cigarette maker Liggett Group LLC. In May, LeBow invested $25 million in Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Borders to become its largest shareholder. The new business school building will replace a facility built in 1965, according to the Drexel statement.

“A new and beautiful building will help us better connect with the Philadelphia business communities and allow our students to learn in a setting that is less like a classroom and more like the corporate environment,” said George Tsetsekos, dean of the business college.

Drexel was founded in 1891 by Philadelphia financier Anthony Drexel.

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