Stephen Schwarzman, co-founder of the Blackstone private equityinvestment company, has focused his philanthropic giving on learning, including long-time support of Catholic schools in New York City and a $100 million donation to the New York Public Library. In 2014 he announced his most speculative foray yet into education philanthropy: the Schwarzman Scholars, a program modeled on the Rhodes scholarship. Every year it will unite 200 top young college graduates from the U.S., China, and other nations to 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 promised to raise another $200 million in private matching funds toward the project, which he accomplished by July 2014. The study program is scheduled to launch in 2016.
- Interview with Stephen Schwarzman in Philanthropy, philanthropyroundtable.org/topic/donor_intent/endowing_a_new_chinese_rhodes