Investor Wilbur Ross Makes Major Gift to Support New Yale SOM Campus
Wilbur L. Ross YC ‘59, the CEO and chairman of WL Ross & Co. LLC, has pledged $10 million to support the construction of the new Yale SOM campus. Ross’s gift, among the largest by an individual backing the new campus, is directed toward the library in the new building, which will be a state-of-the-art facility supporting teaching and research.
The new Yale SOM campus has been designed by Foster + Partners, the architectural firm chaired by Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Lord Norman Foster ARCH ’62. The plans for the new campus received approval from the City of New Haven Board of Aldermen in March, and site preparation has begun. The library will be located in the front of the building and in proximity to classrooms, giving it a pivotal place in the new Yale SOM campus. In addition to some of the familiar trappings of a library—quiet study space, publications collections, and a facility for librarian support—the new SOM library will make use of the latest information technology.
Yale SOM Dean Sharon Oster said, “Wilbur Ross is an icon in the world of restructuring and value investing. We are delighted that he has expressed his support for Yale SOM and his excitement about our spectacular Norman Foster-designed building with this generous gift. Mr. Ross’s support of the library—a cutting edge facility that will support the research of faculty and students alike—is especially appropriate given his own focus on the value of research in his deal work.”
“When I was an undergraduate at Yale, my father died, and Yale was a beacon that provided financial support,” said Ross. “This is a good opportunity to give something back. Since there was no business school at Yale at the time, I went to HBS. Since joining the Yale SOM board, I have become convinced that the quality of both faculty and students is world class and that they deserve a campus of equal quality. I also am honored to be able to support Norman Foster's brilliant design for the new facilities.”
Mr. Ross is an acknowledged industry leader in bankruptcy, restructuring, and privatization services, having assisted in restructuring more than $200 billion of corporate liabilities. Ross has worked on a variety of complex bankruptcy proceedings in a broad range of industries. He was executive managing director of Rothschild Inc. for 24 years before acquiring that firm's private equity partnerships in 2000 and subsequently founding WL Ross & Co. Ross graduated from Yale College in 1959 and holds an MBA with distinction from Harvard University. He is a former member of the Yale University Council and a former board member of the Yale University Art Gallery. He has served on the Yale School of Management Board of Advisors since 2004.
An illustration of a proposed design for library space in the new Yale SOM campus.