Kravis pledges $100 million for B-school’s move to Manhattanville

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Henry R. Kravis announces his $100 million pledge on October 5. / Photo: Michael Divito

Columbia has received the largest gift ever for its business school: a $100 million pledge from Henry R. Kravis ’69BUS for two new buildings in the Manhattanville section of West Harlem, just north of the University’s Morningside Campus.

Columbia Business School will eventually make its home between 130th and 131st Street, west of Broadway. The move is years away and additional money must be raised to develop the site: Kravis’s $100 million gift represents roughly one-quarter of the total funds that the business school aims to raise for the two buildings. One of the buildings will be named for Kravis, a pioneer in the private equity industry who has served on the school’s Board of Overseers for 20 years. The search for an architect is under way.

“Henry Kravis clearly understands that Columbia’s long-term vitality depends fundamentally on both the financial resources and the physical space needed to support talented students and faculty,” says President Lee C. Bollinger.

The business school, in making the move, will nearly double its physical space to 450,000 square feet. The school will also bring together its faculty, staff, and students for the first time in decades. Currently, its facilities are spread across five locations — Uris Hall, Warren Hall, and Armstrong Hall on the Morningside Campus and two office spaces in Midtown. According to business dean Glenn Hubbard, this hardly befits a school that is consistently ranked in the top 10 graduate business schools in the world: “We have the people and programs of a first-rate institution, yet facilities that are second-rate,” he says. “The disparity between the two has never been greater.”

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