Yesterday, it was announced that the billionaire Wall Street financier Stephen A. Schwarzman will give a $150 million dollar donation to his alma mater Yale, transforming their 114-year-old limestone building Commons into a performing arts center and cultural hub, according to The New York Times.
The plan will be drawn up in part by Michael M. Kaiser, the former president of the Kennedy Center (which the new cultural hub is somewhat modeled after), and incorporate existing performance spaces around the Commons. The complex is to be named the Schwarzman Center. It is scheduled to open in 2020.
In 2008, Schwarzman gave a $100 million dollar gift to the New York Public Library, in turn renaming the institution’s Fifth Avenue flagship branch The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. He also helms a Rhodes-styled scholarship program called Schwarzman Scholars, for which he has contributed $100 million. Schwarzman said that the Commons building had a “big emotional impact” on him as a Freshman at Yale.
“I did not know one person when I went and I was very lonely. I’ve always been interested in that building and what goes on there,” Schwarzman told The Times.