September 24, 2014;WorldCrunch
Consider this newswire an anthropological observation.
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Brothers Gerald and Ronnie Chan, both Hong Kong–based developers, recently made a $350 million dollar gift to Harvard University—the largest in Harvard’s history—from their Morningside Foundation. But that is only part of this story. Some of the comments made by Ronnie Chan in interviews pursuant to the gift are revealing of other factors in play. Unsurprisingly, Gerald Chan is an alumnus of the Harvard public health school, where he took both his master’s and doctorate degrees. Additionally, the gift will result in the renaming of the School of Public Health after the brothers’ father, T.H. Chan.
But with all of that family love, Ronnie Chan says that his family does not hand down inheritances. As readers may remember, NPQ has covered similar stories about three other billionaire philanthropists.
For a peek into one philanthropic family’s culture regarding inherited wealth, by the way, I highly recommend Abusing Donor Intent by Doug White. It is a great read!—Ruth McCambridge