Forbes recently published an article about the largest reported gifts made by the Forbes 400 (their list of the 400 richest people in America) in 2010 and 2011. Those gifts went to groups ranging from the Boys Scouts, to Teach for America, to a slew of universities, including Penn State!
The sixth-largest gift on their list is the $88 million donation by Terry Pegula, which will be used by Penn State to fund a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose arena and help to establish an NCAA Division I men’s hockey program. The gift was announced about a year ago, and was the largest private gift in the university’s history.
Terry Pegula earned a bachelor of science degree in petroleum and natural gas engineering from Penn State in 1973, and is the founder and former president, CEO and principal shareholder of East Resources Inc., a privately held independent exploration and development company based in Warrendale, Pa., which he founded in 1983, and built into one of the largest privately held companies in the United States. The company was acquired in July 2010 by Royal Dutch Shell.
Some of the names on the rest of the list are more famous than others: Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg shows up at #4 with a $100 million gift to improve the Neward, NJ public school system, while Warren Buffet shows up at No. 1 (unsurprisingly) with a gift of $3.27 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Forbes points out that this gift is roughly equivalent to the market capitalization of Dunkin Donuts. Here’s the rest of the list:
- Warren Buffett – $3.27 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for global health and education
- Stephen Mandel – $134 million to his Zoom Foundation for ending poverty through education
- Len Blavatnik – $117 million to Oxford University to establish a school of government
- Mark Zuckerberg– $100 million to Startup: Education to rehabilitate the Newark, NJ public school system
- George Kaiser– $96.5 million to his George Kaiser Family Foundation for ending poverty through education, health care, and social services
- Terrence Pegula – $88 million to Pennsylvania State University for the construction of a new sports arena and to establish a Division I hockey program
- Marc Benioff – $65 million to the University of California, San Francisco for a new UCSF children’s hospital
- Larry Ellison – $50 million to his Ellison Medical Foundation for research on aging and age-related diseases
- John Malone – $30 million to Johns Hopkins Whitings School of Engineering for a new building
- Jim Justice – $25 million to Boy Scouts of America for the creation a 10,600-acre Scouts preserve in his home state of West Virginia
- Jack Taylor – $25 million to Washington University in St. Louis for undergraduate scholarships
- Stephen Mandel – $25 million to Teach for America to establish an endowment
- Tom Steyer – $25 million to Yale University to establish the Yale Energy Sciences Institute to take on the world’s energy issues
- Trevor Rees-Jones– $25 million to the Circle Ten Council of the Boy Scouts of America to support the ScoutReach Endowment Program for at-risk youth
- Richard DeVos– $21 million to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to endow its Institute of Arts Management
- Harold Hamm – $20 million to the University of Oklahoma to support research at the Oklahoma Diabetes Center
- Ray Dolby – $20 million to the University of California, San Francisco for the construction of a stem-cell research center
- Trevor Rees-Jones – $20 million to the Dallas Museum of Nature and Science for the construction of a Dynamic Earth Hall
- David Rubenstein – $13.5 million to the Foundation of the National Archives for a new exhibition gallery and visitor center
- Jeff Bezos – $10 million to the Museum of History & Industry in Seattle to construct a Center for Innovation