Posted on September 28, 2006
New York, NY— Maurice R. (“Hank”) Greenberg, through his family foundation, and The Starr Foundation are each donating $25 million to Yale to create the Maurice R. Greenberg Yale-China Initiative, advancing the University’s collaborations with China in critical areas, President Richard C. Levin announced today.
“We are pleased that the strong connections Yale has forged with China have given Hank Greenberg and The Starr Foundation confidence that the University will be a continuing force for positive intellectual, social, and economic change in China and around the world,” Levin said. “Hank Greenberg’s own involvement as a business pioneer in China exemplifies the value of actively engaging that nation’s people and institutions.”
Maurice R. Greenberg, the retired Chairman and CEO of American International Group, Inc., is now the Chairman and CEO of C.V. Starr & Company. Greenberg built AIG into the largest insurance company in the world. Greenberg is the former Chairman of the Asia Society and is Honorary Vice Chairman and Director of the Council on Foreign Relations. The Greenberg Foundation focuses on education, medical research and human needs.
As Chairman of The Starr Foundation, Greenberg oversees the Foundation’s financial support of educational, medical, cultural, social welfare and public policy institutions.
The Starr Foundation was established in 1955 by Cornelius Vander Starr. Mr. Starr, a pioneer of globalization, set up his first insurance venture in Shanghai in 1919. He died in 1968 at the age of 76, leaving his estate to the Foundation.
The Starr Foundation, with assets today of approximately $3.5 billion, has donated in excess of $2 billion—more than $1 billion in New York City alone—making it one of the largest private foundations in the United States. In keeping with Mr. Starr’s wishes, the Foundation supports education, cultural institutions, medicine and healthcare, human needs, public policy, and the environment.
The Maurice R. Greenberg Yale-China Initiative will support three major aspects of Yale’s international outreach in China and around the world.
Yale has long opened its doors to international students and scholars, both to have a role in educating the leaders of other nations and to give U.S. students the opportunity to develop ties and understanding across a range of national cultures. Yale is also committed to sending its students abroad as an important complement to their academic studies on campus. As its relations with China have deepened, the University has been able to offer many of its students the opportunity to study, work, serve internships, or conduct research in China and has invited students from China to pursue their undergraduate studies here. Many Chinese students at Yale and Yale students in China will now be supported as Greenberg Scholars, allowing Yale to meet their financial needs fully. The flow of students across borders will create greater mutual understanding and deeper appreciation for distinctive elements of Chinese and Western cultures.
The World Fellows Program
Now in its fourth year, Yale’s World Fellows Program brings 16 to 18 emerging leaders from diverse cultures and countries, including China, to Yale each year for a concentrated 13-week program of seminars, individualized research and study projects, and leadership training. Thanks in large part to the previous generosity of The Starr Foundation, the World Fellows Program has begun to fulfill some of its most crucial long-term goals: contributing to the professional development of rising leaders and creating a network of them. Graduates of the program’s earlier classes include a presidential candidate in Uganda, the Chief of Staff to the President of Germany, a Member of Parliament in South Africa, and a Member of the Privy Council in Canada. The new support from Mr. Greenberg and The Starr Foundation will further strengthen the World Fellows Program.
The Greenberg International Conference Center at Yale
In recent years Yale has expanded its educational mission to include numerous programs for established and emerging leaders from China and elsewhere. Among these are programs for senior government officials, university presidents and their teams, and the leaders of state-owned enterprises. The Maurice R. Greenberg Yale-China Initiative will support the construction of a new conference center for the further expansion of international executive education. The Maurice R. Greenberg International Conference Center will enhance Yale’s efforts to collaborate with leading Chinese universities and institutions.