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$15 million gift from Robert and Arlene Kogod to American U. business school
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$15 million gift from Robert and Arlene Kogod to American U. business school

American University’s business school has received the largest single donation in its history, and it’s from the school’s namesake.

Robert Kogod and his wife Arlene have gifted $15 million to the Kogod School of Business. Kogod, a D.C. real estate developer, is a 1962 American University graduate. The university’s business school was named after him in 1979 after an original endowment donation.

They are signatories to the Giving Pledge.

AU will use the funds to endow three departmental chairs, two at the Kogod School of Business and a third as a joint appointment at Kogod and the American University School of Public Affairs. The new Arlene R. and Robert P. Kogod Eminent Scholar Chairs will focus on finance, marketing and sustainability.

Valentina Bruno and Sonya Grier and current Kogod faculty members will be appointed Kogod Eminent Scholar Chairs, with a third identified at a later date, American University said.

“The Kogod name is associated with excellence and impact throughout D.C., and their generous support will enhance academic and experiential opportunities for our students, support our expert faculty members in their changemaking scholarship, and continue AU’s momentum in our community and beyond,” AU President Sylvia Burwell said in a news release.

The $15 million donation by the Kogods to the business school is also the second largest individual donation to American University’s current fundraising campaign, called Change Can’t Wait, which has raised $433 million toward its $500 million goal.

American University’s business school was established in 1955. Today, its graduate program is more than 50% international students.

In their Giving Pledge letter the Kogods stated: “We recognize that we are privileged to have been born in the twentieth century in the United States of America under circumstances that allowed us to earn and accumulate wealth — and that with that privilege comes responsibility.”

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