Billionaire businessman Ron Perelman has had his name removed from a new student housing facility at the Ivy League University Princeton. The reason given is that Revlon owner apparently failed to follow through on a pledge to donate $65 million to Princeton.
According to the School’s newspaper, The Daily Princetonian, Ron Perelman and his daughter, Revlon CEO, Debra Perelman, pledged to donate the money for new campus housing back in 2018. So, at that time Princeton announced that the school’s seventh residential college would be named Perelman College. Debra Perelman graduated from Princeton in 1996. The donation was to be made through the Perelman Family Foundation.
Ron Perelman is the CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Inc. Forbes estimates his wealth at $3.5 billion.
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The residential college is currently being called simply Residential College 7. It is being constructed south of Poe Field and east of Elm Drive, next to Residential College 8. Residential Colleges 7 and 8 were announced as part of the University’s 2017 campus expansion plan that will expand the undergraduate student body by 125 students per class, thus increasing the undergraduate population by ten percent.
Princeton’s Deputy University Spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss told The Daily Princetonian, “The University has terminated the gift agreement with the Perelman Family Foundation, Inc. to name a residential college because the Foundation has not made payments due under that agreement.”
“However, we remain grateful for the Perelman family’s long-standing support of the University, including its support of the Ronald O. Perelman Institute for Judaic Studies,” he added.
The reason for reneging on the pledged donation has been attributed to the well publicized losses that Ron Perelman has suffered in the last 18 months due to the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic. Perelman told Bloomberg, “Like most American businesses, MacAndrews and Forbes and its portfolio businesses were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. As a consequence, we quickly took significant steps to react to the unprecedented economic environment that we were facing.”
Just a few months ago, Perelman was forced to put his New York Mansion up for sale. The Neo-Georgian, limestone-and-red-brick mansion located at 36 East 63rd Street can be yours for just $60 million. But Perelman actually paid $65 million for the property.