The University of California, Berkeley has announced a gift totaling up to $25 million from alumnus Kevin Chou and his wife, Dr. Connie Chen, in support of a new student building for its Haas School of Business.
To be dedicated entirely to student learning and interaction, the $60 million, 80,000-square-foot building will increase the school's space by a third and will feature state-of-the-art classrooms and study spaces. The gift — the largest ever made to the business school by an alumnus under the age of 40 — includes an initial pledge of $15 million, with two potential step-ups of $5 million over five years. In recognition of the gift, the new building will be named Connie & Kevin Chou Hall.
After earning his bachelor's degree from Berkeley-Haas in 2002, Chou co-founded San Francisco-based mobile game company Kabam in 2006 with two fellow Berkeley alumni. Late last year, he sold a majority stake in the company to South Korean concern Netmarble Games Corp. for $800 million. In 2013, Kabam gave $18 million to UC Berkeley in support of what became Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium. Chou is one of a hundred and seventy-six Berkeley entrepreneurs who have signed the Berkeley Founders' Pledge, a non-binding commitment to donate a portion of the value of their business ventures in support of the university’s schools and programs.
"What makes this gift so special is that these are two people in their thirties — an extraordinary time in life to be making a commitment to an institution that Kevin says has had so much of an impact on his life," said Berkeley-Hass dean Rich Lyons. "Their donation is going to have a catalytic effect on generations of donors to come."