Historic $250 million gift to Yale from alumnus is largest ever

$250 million gift to Yale from Charles B. Johnson ’54
(Illustration by Patrick Lynch)

Yale President Peter Salovey today announced a $250 million gift commitment to the university by Charles B. Johnson, a 1954 graduate of Yale College, who retired last year as chairman of the board of Franklin Resources. This is the largest gift in Yale history.  The gift brings the university’s goal to expand Yale College within reach.

From the Yale Daily News

Mr. Johnson is somebody who loves Yale and, as with so many alumni of Yale College, felt the experience changed his life, and knows that we’re now at the point where 30,000 applicants are hoping to have a chance for that kind of an experience, too,” [Yale President Peter] Salovey told the News. “A gift like this puts that goal of offering a Yale College education to a few more students every year within reach.”

When the new colleges are finally completed in their location behind Grove Street Cemetery, Yale’s enrollment will increase by approximately 15 percent, or 800 students. Applications to Yale have quadrupled over the past 50 years while enrollment has remained constant, a fact that played a major role in the Yale Corporation’s initial consideration of the new colleges. Once completed, the colleges will significantly expand Yale’s physical footprint, placing far more undergraduates in housing close to Science Hill.

Even with the new gift, the timeline and total cost for building the colleges remain in flux. According to Salovey, the last total estimate of the cost — which includes site preparation, infrastructure and actual construction — still holds steady at approximately $500 million.

Slideshow: Yale’s residential college system

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Media Contact

Tom Conroy: tom.conroy@yale.edu, 203-432-1345