NEW YORK CITY — As a onetime average high-school student, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has long held the former university — where he developed his passion for politics and leadership skills — in high regard, according to press accounts.
On Sunday, with a gift of $350 million to Johns Hopkins University, he reached a new threshold of giving, the New York Times reported: Over four decades he funneled $1.1 billion to the school, transforming the Baltimore, MD institution that he credited with transforming his life and future, the paper wrote.
Furthermore, it makes Bloomberg — who served as the president of his fraternity, his senior class and the council overseeing Greek life — the "most generous living donor" in any U.S. educational institution to date, the paper reported.
"Johns Hopkins University has been an important part of my life since I first set foot on campus more than five decades ago," Bloomberg said, in a release by the university.
"Giving is only meaningful if the money will make a difference in people’s lives, and I know of no other institution that can make a bigger difference in lives around the world through its groundbreaking research — especially in the field of public health," said Bloomberg.
Mayor Bloomberg, who was in the class of 1964, made his first large donation of $1 million in 1984, the school said, though he sent in his very first donation of $5 the year after he graduated, the Times reported.
"Michael Bloomberg is a visionary philanthropist, a force for social good on the order of Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Leland Stanford and our own founder, Johns Hopkins," said Ronald J. Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University, in the prepared statement, which came out Saturday.
Bloomberg, who is now 70, has committed to giving away all of his $25 billion fortune before he dies.