Analysis of the year's biggest philanthropists.
Jan. 22 2001 9:30 PM

Introduction

The Slate 60 Goes to Business School

 

If the economy craters this year, it won't be for lack of funding at the nation's business schools. Seven philanthropists on this year's "Slate 60" contributed directly to a B-school, and as it just so happens, five of the seven gave to schools that are named after them.

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Leading the way in business school charity was Frank Batten Sr.'s $60 million gift to the University of Virginia's graduate school of business. That gift made Batten the 11th biggest donor in 2000. Another big biz school donor was Charles T. (Ted) Bauer, who gave $40 million to the University of Houston's college of business. But Bauer nudged into ninth place overall on The Slate 60 with a $25 million gift to Harvard University, giving him a total of $65 million in donations for the year. The rest of the B-school list includes: Thomas F. and Kathy Mendoza (No. 24) for their $35 million gift to Notre Dame's college of business; Charles F. and Helen Dolan (No. 33) for their $25 million gift to Fairfield University's B-school; Dennis J. Keller (No. 33) for his $25 million contribution to the University of Chicago's graduate school of business; and Dennis and Stacey Barsema (No. 47) for their $20 million gift to Northern Illinois' college of business.

And let's not forget the runner-up in the B-school donation contest, Red McCombs' (No. 15) $50 million contribution to the University of Texas at Austin's business school. This means that UT's B-school will be named for a student who attended but never graduated from the university. McCombs owns the NFL's Minnesota Vikings. The only other NFL owner to make The Slate 60 was Detroit Lions owner William Clay Ford (No. 33), for his $25 million contribution to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Mich. Is it impolite to point out that Ford is the chairman emeritus of the museum, and that it's named after his grandfather? An NFL owner emeritus also made the list. Former Seattle Seahawks owner Kenneth E. Behring placed seventh, mostly for his $80 million gift to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. For his generosity they named a Smithsonian building on the Mall after him.

All in all, giving was up in a big way in 2000, even if the markets were down. That's thanks to Bill and Melinda Gates, who lapped the field with their $5 billion contribution to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. That's more than all the gifts on the 1999 Slate 60  combined, including Bill and Melinda's chart-topping '99 total of $2.4 billion.

This year's rankings were put together by Laura Hruby and the staff of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, a biweekly newspaper that serves as the No. 1 news source for charity leaders, fund-raisers, grant makers, and other people involved in philanthropy. Previous Slate 60s were compiled by the devoted and capable Ann Castle, who died last year shortly after completing the 1999 Slate 60. It is a testimony to Ann that we had to replace her with an entire newspaper.

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