Longtime benefactor and alumnus David Rockefeller has pledged $100 million to Harvard University to increase learning opportunities for Harvard undergraduates through international experiences and participation in the arts.
Approximately $70 million of the gift — the largest from an alumnus in the university's history — will be used to help hundreds of undergraduates learn about other cultures through experiences abroad such as study for credit, internships, service, work, research, and travel. The gift also will enable the offices of international programs and career services to serve both faculty and students, and will establish the President's Innovation Fund for International Experience to provide funding at the president's discretion for undergraduate programming suggested by Harvard's international centers and professional schools.
A 1936 graduate of Harvard College, Rockefeller has stipulated that $30 million be used to support hands-on learning opportunities in the arts. In part, the arts component of the gift will support construction of three study centers that will give students direct access to a variety of works in the university's three main collections — the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Sackler museums.
"Harvard opened my eyes and my mind to the world," said Rockefeller. "It was because of Harvard's language requirement that I spent the summer of 1933 in Germany and saw firsthand the ominous rise of fascism. And it was at Harvard that I first studied art history. Harvard provided me with an intellectual framework to understand what I was seeing and experiencing that has stayed with me for my entire life....I hope my gift will help enable future Harvard undergraduates to experience similar opportunities to learn about the world in which they live."