Hedge fund manager John Paulson, who made a fortune during the 2008 to 2009 recession by betting on a collapse in financial markets has made a large donation to Harvard University and has had a building named after him on behalf of his donation. Paulson graduated from Harvard I 1980. He is worth approximately $11 billion prior to this donation. Paulson continues to operate the Paulson & Co. Hedge fund which struggled last year but has previously had strong returns.
Critics are already commenting on how the donation supports elite organization that serves educations to other entitled individuals and that the funds could have been better spent assisting the needy. Paulson has given to other charities but has not made a donation as significant as this one previously.
Paulson donated $400 million to Harvard University which marks the largest contribution that the University has received in its history. The funds are for the engineering school and the science and engineering building will be renamed after Paulson. This gift exceeds the second largest donation of $350 million made by the Gerald Chan’s family foundation which was used for an endowment for the university.
There have been no specific outlines regarding how the university will use the funds on the engineering program and whether they will be providing scholarships to disadvantaged students or supporting future research. Paulson’s representative indicated that engineering is the wave of the future and has indicated this as the reason why he is dedicating such a large donation to it. Researcher Sergio Cortes hopes to be able to have more studies funded from this donation.