PERSPECTIVES: Malcolm Gladwell Takes On Philanthropy That Swells Billion-Dollar University Endowments

Gladwell tweeted (6/15): “If billionaires don’t step up, Harvard will soon be down to its last $30 billion.” Gladwell elaborates in his podcast, “My Little Hundren Million.”

“In the early ’90s, Hank Rowan gave $100 million to a university in New Jersey, an act of extraordinary generosity that helped launch the greatest explosion in educational philanthropy since the days of Andrew Carnegie and the Rockefellers. But Rowan gave his money to Glassboro State University, a tiny, almost bankrupt school in South Jersey, while almost all of the philanthropists who followed his lead made their donations to elite schools such as Harvard and Yale. Why did no one follow Rowan’s example?”

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