• Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

Billionaire Henry Kravis Gives $100 Million to His Former Prep School

Billionaire Henry Kravis Gives $100 Million to His Former Prep School


Man in robe stands in front of green trees
Henry Kravis speaking at the 2015 commencement ceremony for Loomis Chaffee. Courtesy Loomis Chaffee.

Private equity billionaire Henry Kravis is giving back to the preparatory school he attended in the 1960s, and the $100 million donation to the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut, from Kravis and his wife Marie-Josée is the largest gift in the institution’s 150-year history. It is also one of the most significant ever made to an independent school.

“I’m a strong believer in the positive impact a world-class education can have on a person, especially during the formative high school years,” said Kravis in a statement. “Loomis Chaffee taught me how to appreciate different perspectives, and it ultimately made me a lifelong student of the world.”

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The gift from Kravis, the co-founder and co-executive chairman of investment firm KKR, and Marie-Josée, an economist, will go toward three different funds. Half of the total donation will benefit the Henry R. Kravis ’63 Opportunity Initiative Scholars Fund, which supports students with financial need and provides financing for school supplies. Another $20 million will be dispersed towards employee compensation via the Sheila A. Culbert Fund for Faculty and Staff Support, while an additional $30 million will benefit educational initiatives via the school’s Henry Kravis ’63 Fund for Institutional Priorities.

Aerial view of picturesque building located among green treesAerial view of picturesque building located among green trees
The donation is the largest in Loomis Chaffee’s 150-year history. Courtesy Loomis Chaffee

“This amazing gift reflects their dedication to fostering a culture of academic distinction and supports our Founders’ original commitment to access and opportunity,” said Sheila Culbert, head of Loomis Chaffee, in a statement. Annual tuition at Loomis Chaffee, which currently has more than 700 students, ranges from $54,000 for day school and $70,000 for boarding school.

The donation is one of the largest of its kind

Past major gifts to independent schools include a $128.5 million donation given to the George School in Newtown, Pennsylvania, by Barbara Dodd Anderson. The 2007 donation was enabled by a Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) investment made by Anderson’s father, who once taught the investing conglomerate’s chairman Warren Buffett while acting as a professor at Columbia Business School.

The Webb Schools in Claremont, California received $100 million from an anonymous donor in 2021, while billionaire businessman Walter Annenberg gave $100 million to the Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey, in 1993. And in 2013, Deborah Simon—the daughter of Simon Property Group co-founder Melvin Simonpledged the same amount to Pennsylvania’s Mercersburg Academy.

Kravis, who has an estimated net worth of $11.7 billion, will also provide Loomis Chaffee with an additional $5 million annually over the next five years to support the Kravis Scholars Program, an initiative originally established in 1989 to enroll students from underrepresented backgrounds. The investor’s gifts to the school over the years have supported the building of a dormitory, established a center for excellence in teaching and helped create an economics instructorship in honor of Kravis’ favorite former economics teacher James “Grim” Wilson.

The private equity pioneer has also been a generous patron of his alma mater Columbia Business School, from which he graduated in 1969. Kravis and Marie-Josée gave $100 million to the school in 2010—its largest-ever donation—to support its move to two new buildings. The couple’s other major donations also include two separate $100 million contributions to New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer in 2022 and 2014 to respectively fund a cancer research project and create a center for molecular oncology.

Billionaire Investor Henry Kravis Pledges $100M to His Former Prep School





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