KyaemonJanuary 12, 201010min1371

Chinese graduate donates US$8,888,888 to Yale

The 8,888,888 US dollar donation is the largest amount the University has received. It’s enough to buy every Yale MBA student a Ford Focus. Eight is an auspicious number in Chinese culture. Zhang Lei, says the education he received at Yale changed the course of his life. That’s why he christened the name of his investment firm after one of the roads at Yale.

The School of Management, says it will use the donation to build a new campus, and provide scholarships as well as fund China-related activities.

Lei Zhang’s Donation To Yale Univ

Donation to Yale sparks debate

BEIJING, Jan. 11 — Student grateful to US university, wants to change one-way help.

A Chinese graduate’s record-setting $8,888,888 donation to his school at Yale University has stirred wide debate at home. While some say it’s up to Zhang Lei to do as he likes, others question why he didn’t donate to his alma mater in Beijing.

Yale President Richard Levin and School of Management (SOM) Dean Sharon M. Oster were in Beijing last week with Zhang when he announced his donation. They were taking part in a panel discussion called “Investing in the Middle Kingdom”.

Levin said: “This truly extraordinary and auspicious gift reflects the deep commitment to Yale that Lei Zhang shares with so many fellow graduates of the School of Management. Lei’s generosity also represents a significant step toward the realization of the SOM’s new campus.”

The donation will primarily help build the new SOM campus, while a portion will provide scholarship support for the International Relations Program at Yale’s new Jackson Institute of Global Affairs, as well as fund a variety of China-related activities at the university.

China businessman under fire for Yale donation

BEIJING (AFP) – A Chinese businessman’s huge donation to his Yale University graduate school has sparked a nationalist-tinged Web backlash, with some calling him a “traitor” for not giving the cash to a school in China.

However, many other Web postings and Chinese media commentaries have come to the defence of Zhang Lei over his 8,888,888-dollar donation, saying universities in China were not worthy of such largesse.

Zhang, who previously attended Renmin University in Beijing before his graduate business studies at Yale, said he donated the money because the Ivy League school had changed his life, according to the Global Times newspaper.

The paper’s website first reported the gift on Friday. Zhang chose the sum because eight is an auspicious number in China.