By Yining Su
Stephen A. Schwarzman at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, in 2008. Image credit: World Economic Forum
A new $300 million scholarship program, which will fund 200 students a year for graduate study at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, has been announced by American financier Stephen Schwarzman, the New York Times reports.
The fund will be the largest foreign philanthropic gift in Chinese history, according to the South China Morning Post.
Schwarzman is the CEO and founder of Blackstone, a private equity firm. Apart from Schwarzman, who is donating $100 million of his own $6.5 billion fortune, donors to the fund include BP, Boeing, Caterpillar, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, and other similarly eminent (read: rich) companies.
The scholarship program will begin in 2016. Schwarzman scholars will study public policy, international relations, economics, business, and engineering at a new institution at Tsinghua, Schwarzman College, whose construction will begin next year.
The Schwarzman scholarship fund will rival in size the famous Rhodes scholarship, which funds studies at Oxford University. The Rhodes endowment is $203 million, and it funds 83 students a year.
In 1969, while a student at Yale, Schwarzman was turned down for the Rhodes Scholarship, and jokes now that perhaps that the sting of that rejection was one of the motives for setting up his own scholarship.
That, and “to promote understanding between China and the rest of the world.” Of course.