Stephen Schwarzman, co-founder of the Blackstone investment company, has focused his giving on learning. In the U.S. he is a long-time supporter of Catholic schools in New York City, and gave a $100 million donation to rejuvenate the New York Public Library. In 2014 he announced a major overseas foray into education philanthropy: the Schwarzman Scholars, a program modeled on the Rhodes scholarship, with an even bigger endowment.
Every year, the program will unite 200 top young college graduates from leading countries around the world. They will study together at Tsinghua University in Beijing, the alma mater for many of China’s elites. The large role that China will inevitably play in future global developments demands deeper personal ties and more mutual understanding among the next generation of Chinese and Western leaders, argues Schwarzman.
To supplement his $100 million gift, Schwarzman raised another $200 million in private matching funds toward the project. The first students enroll in 2016.
- Interview with Stephen Schwarzman in Philanthropy, philanthropyroundtable.org/topic/donor_intent/endowing_a_new_chinese_rhodes