Monday, Jun 27, 2016
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Education

$110 million donation largest in UM history

DETROIT — An investor and philanthropist is giving a $110 million gift of stock to the University of Michigan — the largest donation in its history — for a graduate student residence hall expected to provide a strong selling point as the school competes for top students seeking advanced degrees, university officials announced Thursday.

The Board of Regents approved the gift from Charles Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., on Thursday.

Mr. Munger is billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s right-hand man and Mr. Buffett consults him on every major move.

The building is expected to open in fall, 2015. It is intended to promote interaction and to break down academic barriers, university officials said.

The gift from Mr. Munger includes $10 million for fellowships to be offered to students of the Ann Arbor-based university’s 19 schools and colleges.

The fellows would be among the 600 residents of the eight-story building, which is to be centrally located on the campus.

Mr. Munger said that he recognizes spending a huge sum for a new residence hall isn’t the highest priority of most universities or an obvious avenue for philanthropy.

But the 89-year-old Michigan alumnus said it builds on other ideas, including a large graduate student housing complex he funded at Stanford University.

Mr. Munger said his desire to get graduate students working together and exchanging ideas goes back to his law school days at Harvard University, where he saw little interactions among students in different fields.

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