Weekly News Recap: April 22, 2016

Peter and Olive Huvenaars, both 83, at their wedding last year. They met on a bus from Alberta heading to Idaho. Olive says she made the first move. (photo credit: Elaine Jamison)



  • WHY GIVE? RECOVERING CHARITY FROM PHILANTHROPY This is such an interesting and important topic. Somewhat related to the Op-Ed piece elsewhere in our recap, the gap between charity and philanthropy has been growing. The question is: what should we be doing about it? (4/21/16)

Philanthropic personalities

  • Billions: After an Historic Gift, Where is Cohen Philanthropy Going? Wall Street billionaire Steve Cohen and his wife Alexandra have been making significant gifts recently via their family foundation. The couple's philanthropy includes supporting children's hospitals in the Northeast, but they're also engaged in the education reform space and work with the Robin Hood Foundation. Art is another interest. And they're concerned about veterans in a big way. They have recently made a $275 million pledge to support military veterans and their families by opening up free mental health clinics around the country. (4/20/16)

Philanthropic controversy

Life and career hacks

Studies and stats

Large gifts

  • University of Sydney receives record donation of $35 million The donation is from Susan and Isaac Wakil who are owners of many of Sydney's derelict buildings. Their gift will allow the university to bring nursing, midwifery, medicine, pharmacy and dentistry all together under the one roof. Mr. and Mrs. Wakil emigrated to Australia from the former Soviet Union and Iraq. Thy are now aged in their 80s and they have no children. (4/21/16)
  • Chinese Internet mogul pledges US$2 billion donation The founder of China's Internet giant Tencent will donate US$2 billion in shares to charity, one of the largest gifts ever given in a country whose new super-rich have no tradition of philanthropy. Pony Ma, Tencent's chief executive, will give the shares to a new foundation for mainland projects in health, education and environmental conservation, among other issues. (4/21/16)
  • V&A museum project boosted by billionaire's donation The Victoria and Alberta Museum received a gift of £5m from Len Blavatnik. Mr. Blavatnik is a Ukrainian born U.S. citizen who is also reputed to be the the richest man in Britain. There has been some recent controversy about Mr. Blavatnik related to the Panama Papers. The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design (4/21/16)
  • Valley First's Feed the Valley Donation Totals Smash $1 Million Milestone Kelowna's food bank surpasses its goals, four years early. Nice work!CANADIAN STORY (4/19/16)
  • New $1-million donation goes to Saint Mary's University scholarship fund for Chinese students This donation from David Wang will establish a fund for Chinese students coming to Saint Mary’s University. The fund will provide eight scholarships per year of $20,000 for students coming from a Canadian curriculum high school in China.CANADIAN STORY (4/19/16)
  • UK biomedical engineering department will get new name after $7 million donation from alum Halcomb University of Kentucky alumnus F. Joseph Halcomb and his wife Joani Halcomb made this gift to support one endowed chair and two endowed fellowships. Additionally, the Halcomb Family Graduate Fellowships in Biomedical Engineering will add fully-funded graduate fellowships to attract top graduate students and support their research to rename and transform the Department of Biomedical Engineering. (4/19/16)
  • Couple’s $5 million donation helps train students for workforce Jack and Carolyn Ferguson's donations will help to purchase training equipment for students enrolled in Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s allied health programs. The College is locate in Asheville, North Carolina. (4/16/16)
  • UVM receives record $19.7M donation Alumnus Dr. Robert Larner and his wife, Helen, made this donation to support medical education at the university. The gift includes $18.7 million in California commercial property and $1 million in cash. Over their lifetimes, the Larners have donated more than $33 million to the university. The University of Vermont is in Burlington, Vermont. (4/16/16)
  • Lebanon Valley College receiving record donation Edward and Jeanne Arnold are donating $10 million, as a challenge gift as part of its 150th anniversary celebration. The College is located in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. (4/16/16)