Perelman Pledges $100 Million to Columbia Business School

Billionaire investor Ronald Perelman pledged $100 million to Columbia Business School to develop a new facility aimed at strengthening innovations and programs for future business leaders.

In recognition, the business school will name one of its two buildings on the new campus after Perelman, the New York-based university said today in a statement.

“The business landscape is changing rapidly and dramatically, and as such the principles that define strong business leadership -- such as an entrepreneurial mindset and solving complex challenges -- are more important now than ever before,” Perelman, who holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from University of Pennsylvania, said in the statement.

The Ronald O. Perelman Center for Business Innovation will be situated opposite the Henry R. Kravis Building, which is named in recognition of a 2010 gift of $100 million made by alumnus Henry R. Kravis, the billionaire co-founder of private-equity firm KKR & Co. The new buildings are part of Columbia University’s expansion into the Manhattanville section of New York.

Perelman, 70, who ranks 65th on the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index with a net worth of $13.7 billion, controls cosmetics company Revlon Inc. and is chief executive officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., which invests in industries including consumer products, entertainment and financial services. He’s been a member of Columbia’s Board of Overseers since 1994.

In February, Perelman donated $25 million to Penn to create a new home for the political science and economics departments. His parents gave $225 million to Penn’s medical school in 2011, the largest single gift in the school’s history.

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