has announced a $150 million gift from alumnus Stephen A. Schwarzman ('69) to create a campus center dedicated to cultural programming and student life.
The gift to establish the Schwarzman Center will transform the university's historic commons and three floors of the adjacent Memorial Hall — both built for the university's bicentennial in 1901 — into an 88,300-square-foot complex that includes versatile performance, exhibition, meeting, dining, and gathering spaces with the capacity to accommodate thousands of individuals simultaneously. The center also will present performances and cultural events in Woolsey Hall, another of the Carrere and Hastings-designed buildings built to mark Yale's bicentennial.
The renovations will preserve and enhance the architectural integrity of the complex and Memorial Hall, where the names of Yale graduates who lost their lives in military conflicts from the Revolutionary War to Vietnam are inscribed. Michael Kaiser, longtime president of the in Washington, D.C., which Schwarzman served as chairman, has been retained to advise Yale on the renovation, programming, and staffing of the center.
"My hope is that the Schwarzman Center will serve as the crossroads for the campus, but also place Yale at the crossroads of the world," said Schwarzman, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of the Blackstone private equity firm. "The education I received at Yale changed the course of my life. It is now a pleasure to give back by creating something on campus that will be transformational for all members of the Yale community. Future generations will utilize the Schwarzman Center in innumerable new ways and, in so doing, keep the Yale experience at the cutting edge."