Updated: February 25, 2021
Former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, on Sunday, announced that he’s donating $1.8 billion to his alma mater Johns Hopkins University to provide financial aid to students from low and middle income families. It is the largest private gift to a single academic institution.
But can wealthy African businessmen and women as well as rich politicians emulate him, and revive Africa’s battered universities?
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Millions of talented African students are unable to go to college or complete their studies because of lack of money. But many rich Africans with billions in their bank accounts or in assets, rarely make any donations to help.
Bloomberg in an opinion article for the New York Times said the donation will enable the private university in Baltimore to make its admission process “forever need-blind; finances will never again factor into decisions. The school will be able to offer more generous levels of financial aid, replacing loans for many students with scholarship grants.”
Axios quoted the May 2018 report by Congressional Research Service as saying that Johns Hopkins’ endowment was $3.8 billion.
Michael R. Bloomberg is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who served three terms as Mayor of the City of New York.
He was born in Boston on February 14, 1942, and raised in a middle class home in Medford, Massachusetts.
Bloomberg attended Johns Hopkins University, where he paid his tuition by taking out loans and working as a parking lot attendant.
After college, he attended Harvard Business School and in 1966 was hired by a Wall Street firm, Salomon Brothers, for an entry-level job.
According to Bloomberg.org, he quickly rose through the ranks at Salomon, overseeing equity trading and sales before heading up the firm’s information systems.
When Salomon was acquired in 1981, he was let go from the firm. With a vision of an information technology company that would bring transparency and efficiency to the buying and selling of financial securities, he launched a small startup in a one-room office. Today, Bloomberg LP is a global company that has over 19,000 employees and 176 locations around the world.