A fair bit of Mike Bloomberg’s third and final term has been devoted to improving New York City’s educational offerings in the practical hard sciences. Besides the creation of Cornell Tech, he also helped broker city support for beefed-up programs at NYU and Columbia.
But there’s one science-focused school that has clearly has the mayor’s heart, and it’s in Baltimore, of all places: His alma mater, Johns Hopkins, where he got his engineering degree. He’s showered the university with cash for years, and the New York Times reports that his latest gift (a cool $350 million, the largest individual gift in the school’s history) brings the total to $1.1 billion.
In a piece about his latest donation, Mayor Bloomberg complained to the Times, “In our society, we are defunding education.” But not the man whose Scrooge McDuck-scale fortune have been shaping the school for years:
“The modern story of Hopkins is inextricably linked to him,” said Ronald J. Daniels, the university’s president, as he walked around the campus recently. “When you look at these great investments that have transformed American higher education, it’s Rockefeller, it’s Carnegie, it’s Mellon, it’s Stanford — and it’s Bloomberg.”
That cash has bought everything from a new physics building to 20 percent of the need-based scholarships the school grants annually. You’d almost think he wanted to disrupt the liberal arts!
Of course, as Quartz points out, former C student Mayor Bloomberg probably wouldn’t get into Johns Hopkins today. His odds for admission to Cornell look iffy, too, and forget about the “elite” program here in the city. Maybe he can do a little something for the late bloomers with the billions he plans to give away?