Charles Munger donates $110 million to Michigan

Submitted by Leaders And Best on April 18th, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Charles Munger, vice chariman of Berkshire Hathaway, donated $110 million to Michigan today to fund a new graduate residence and fellowships. This is the largest single donation in the university's history. The new residence is supposed to a be a community to foster interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and collaboration. It will be located on Central Campus on E. Madison between South Division and Thompson--Blimpy Burger.



April 18th, 2013 at 5:05 PM ^

He did the same thing for Stanford a while ago, they have a grad residence named after him.


I was visiting last weekend. It's pretty swanky.

Michael Scarn

April 18th, 2013 at 5:09 PM ^

Has donated over $23 million to the Law School in the past as well.  One thing to have graduates that go on to be incredibly successful, another for them to give such big donations back to their alma mater.  Big deal.  


April 18th, 2013 at 6:02 PM ^

With regards to the site's soon-to-be former occupant, there was an article (HERE) a few weeks ago which indicates that they are quite hopeful about finding a new location before the lease expires in August. 

"Asked if Blimpy Burger could close permanently, Magner said that’s not an option."

That being said, thank you, Mr. Munger. The proposed structure really does sound awesome. 


April 18th, 2013 at 7:17 PM ^

Sounds a lot like a Grad version of the residential college. Cool and thank you and I'm doubtless about the place looking just...prolific.

BUT almost every apartment has 6-7 bedrooms? That's weird. Excluding those international students who come without much in the way of apartment expectations (and may love that idea), I can't imagine many others will be as excited to give up the basic charm of "getting away from it all" off-campus at the end of each day. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the concept, but Munger's palace sounds like a place where precious alone time will be hard to come by.

Grad school is flush with introverts and eccentrics and, unlike undergrad, is sparce on students able to identify 6 friends to live with every day. Is this more compatible with them than I'm thinking?

[Ed: BTW, I understand how complainy this sounds and am not lacking for self-loathing about that. The gift is unconscionable in its grandness. Just wow. Not inconsistent with that wowness but as a supplement to it, this post is about constructive criticism: I'm surprised the facility is going to be used the way I interpret it to be used.]


April 18th, 2013 at 7:31 PM ^

and it doesn't even pay for the whole building. I'd be bummed. "Thanks Charlie! This pays for about 70% of 1 building."

Maybe it's just a better indication of how much money goes into building a world class university like Michigan

Durham Blue

April 18th, 2013 at 7:46 PM ^

And when the students get a little hungry after their exchange of ideas they can shoot over to Blimpy Burger for a bite to eat.  And then shoot over to the toilet.  And then shoot into the toilet.  Gotta love Blimpy Burger.


April 18th, 2013 at 7:51 PM ^

I don't understand why rich guys like this donate so much money to big universities. There are so many WAY more worthy charities to give too. I know, he probably gives a lot to charities too. But there is one thing Michigan, Harvard, Stanford et. al. are not really hurting for, and that is money. The have billions in endowments, have more administrators now than professors, and pay lots of those administrators six figure salaries to boot.  


April 18th, 2013 at 7:58 PM ^

And I am sure he has given a lot to many causes... But people have a tendency to give to places that define them, and for many a place like a college or a university is just that. I am sure he holds Michigan as a special place in his heart... and when you have the success he has had, you get to donate your time, resources, and money, in any manner you deem fit.


April 18th, 2013 at 8:28 PM ^

I feel like some of these guys view it as another way to improve the world they live in. They probably feel like a huge investment in graduate students at a school like Michigan could ultimately help yield some huge breakthrough like a cure for cancer. $110MM could feed a lot of hungry people for a long time but I imagine some of these huge donors see it as a 100 yr investment in something more long term

I'm sure there are guys who give that much because they flippin love that school, but there are definitely some societal benefits to improving a major university like this