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John Paulson gives Harvard record $400 million donation

The Donation is the largest gift in 379 years old school history and among the biggest ever to a U.S. university, the school said Wednesday,

John A. Paulson (from right) with Harvard President Drew Faust and Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria meet in front of Massachusetts Hall. Rose LincolnHarvard Staff Photographer
Alumnus John Paulson is donating $400 million to Harvard University, the largest gift in the 379 year old school’s history and among the biggest ever to a U.S. university, the school said Wednesday.

The money will be used to endow Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, which will be renamed after Mr. Paulson.

This “extraordinary gift will enable the growth and ensure the strength of engineering and applied sciences at Harvard for the benefit of generations to come, ” said Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust.

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The Founder and president of Paulson & Co., graduated from Harvard’s Business School in 1980 and founded his firm in 1994.

Paulson’s fortune was made in 2007 when he collected $15 billion on bets that the housing market would collapse. He personally earned almost $4 billion.

In 2011, Paulson earned $4.9 billion according to Business Insider. As of March 2014, Forbes estimates his net worth at $13.5 billion.

In a statement released today, Mr. Paulson said that the money will provide “a solid endowment for faculty development, research, scholarships and financial aid.”

The last largest gift in the history of Harvard came from alumni hedge-fund manager Ken Griffin, an endowment of $36 billion. In 2014, he donated $150 million.

A few months later Gerald Chan donated $350 million to its school of public health.

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