Established in 2013 with a $100 million gift from Stephen A. Schwarzman, the program makes it possible for exemplary undergraduate and graduate students from around the world to study public policy, economics and business, or international studies for a year at the newly constructed Schwarzman College on the Tsinghua campus. Selected from a pool of more than three thousand applicants, the inaugural Schwarzman Scholars hail from thirty-two countries and seventy-five universities — 44 percent from the United States, 21 percent from China, and 35 percent from the rest of the world.
"We have mobilized the global academic community to build a highly specialized and intellectually stimulating curriculum to prepare the next generation of leaders for the unique challenges of the twenty-first century," said Schwarzman Scholars dean David Daokui Li. "We are thrilled by the caliber and breadth of skills, accomplishments, and potential represented by these individuals, and look forward to providing the framework for them to gain a deeper understanding of China, create a network of global mutual understanding, and prepare them with the skills necessary to tackle the unique challenges of the future."
To date, $375 million has been raised for the program, which covers expenses for all participants, including travel costs and a personal stipend. New donors since April 2015 include the PepsiCo, Econet, and Varkey foundations; Volkswagen; Johnson & Johnson; and Lenovo.
"Each scholar has demonstrated tremendous leadership potential at a young age and differentiated themselves through a myriad of academic and non-academic pursuits," said Schwarzman, founder and chair of private equity firm Blackstone. "It is my intention that the Schwarzman Scholars will return home and provide leadership in a changing, complex, and dynamic world. I have every confidence that this class will be such leaders."