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

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The two new buildings, to be separated by a lawn and a plaza, will have spacious interiors to promote interaction among faculty and students. “The design of these new facilities will reflect the fast-paced, high-tech, and highly social character of business practice in the 21st century,” Hubbard says. “Business culture has been evolving away from the hierarchies that dominated organizations in the past. Instead, organizations are moving toward more horizontal, collaborative models, which underscores the importance of such social intelligence-based skills as leadership, management, teamwork, and negotiation.”

The school’s presence in Manhattanville will also benefit the local business community, according to Hubbard. He says the school will expand its numerous service programs, which provide guidance and support to entrepreneurs in Upper Manhattan. “These new facilities will enable us to deepen the two-way ties between the school’s intellectual capital and business practitioners,” he says. “We will be able to connect local entrepreneurs with cutting-edge knowledge and skills, and, in turn, deepen our students’ ability to apply what they are learning in the classroom to the real world.”

Kravis, a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, attended Columbia Business School in the late 1960s. He says the experience “opened a new world” to him. He landed a job on Wall Street while studying at Columbia and subsequently cofounded Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), a leading investment firm where today he’s co-CEO and cochairman.

Previously, Kravis donated more than $24 million to the business school for such initiatives as Columbia CaseWorks, an effort to collect case studies of real-world business challenges that are based on Columbia research and that B-school students can analyze; the Meyer Feldberg Distinguished Fellowship Program; and several endowed professorships.

Regarding his $100 million pledge, Kravis says: “We’re not just constructing a building — we’re creating a community of entrepreneurs. What matters to me is what happens in and around that building and the impact it has on our students, this community, our nation, and the world.”

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