September 30, 2013 / 8:56 PM / 6 years ago

Yale receives $250 million donation, largest in its 312-year history

Students walk on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, October 7, 2009. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

BOSTON (Reuters) - An alumnus of Yale University, who in June retired from a large U.S. money manager, has given the elite university $250 million, the largest donation in the school’s 312-year history.

Yale said the donation from former Franklin Resources Inc chairman Charles Johnson leaves it just $80 million short of the funding it will need to begin work on two new residential colleges, where its undergraduate students live and eat.

Adding those two new buildings would allow Yale to boost its undergraduate population by about 15 percent to more than 6,000 students, the New Haven, Connecticut-based school said in a statement.

“This is an extraordinary commitment from one of Yale’s most loyal alumni,” said university President Peter Salovey said. “It builds on Charlie’s long history of generosity to Yale.”

Johnson, a 1954 Yale graduate, retired from the asset manager that as of the end of August oversaw some $817.3 billion in investments.

The news of the donation, which Yale disclosed late Sunday, comes as its rival Harvard University, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, launched a fundraising drive that aims to bring in $6.5 billion in donations to fund new initiatives.

Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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