Friday, 4 September 2015
Last updated 6 hours ago
Sep 19 2013 | 12:31am ET
Silver Lake Partners chief Glenn Hutchins is helping his friend Henry Louis Gates Jr. ensure that Harvard University remains the preeminent African-American studies center in the world.
Hutchins this week announced a $15 million gift that will unite Harvard's decentralized African and African-American studies centers, the culmination of a decade-long friendship with arguably the field's most well-known and distinguished scholar. At Gates' insistence, the unified entity will be called the Hutchins Center for African and African-American Research.
"It creates an infrastructure for the department and a solid foundation on which they can thrive," Hutchins, who is white, told The New York Times.
Hutchins and Gates met 10 years ago at a symposium featuring the latter on Martha's Vineyard. Hutchins, a Harvard alum, sought Gates out at the event, and then made his first donation—$1 million—to his alma mater.
The gift to Gates' department is part of a previously-announced $30 million donation to the university. It is believed to be the largest-ever to the field of African-American studies.
"We both love ideas," Gates said. "We both love to build things," including the new home of the department on Harvard Square, with a façade designed by Ghanian-British architect David Adjaye.
"As long as there's a Harvard, the study of people of African descent will have a place. This is a perpetual part of Harvard. We have created something that has permanence."
The new Hutchins Center will debut next month with a ceremony honoring four people—director Steven Spielberg, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Rep. John Lewis and National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern—for their contributions to the field of African and African-American studies.
May 27 2015 | 2:15pm ET
Support Hedge Funds Care, also known as Help For Children (HFC), by participating in this year's raffle. All proceeds go to support HFC's mission of preventing and treating child abuse. Read more…