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Hedge Fund Manager Gives $150 Million to Harvard

<p>The gift from billionaire investor Kenneth Griffin, who started his hedge fund in his dorm room, is the school's largest single gift.</p>
/ Source: Reuters

Billionaire investor Kenneth Griffin, who started his hedge fund in his dormitory room at Harvard University, is donating $150 million to his alma mater in what will be the largest single gift ever made to the Ivy League school.

Griffin, who graduated from Harvard 25 years ago, said the gift will mainly support the university's financial aid program, benefiting as many as 800 undergraduate students every year.

The donation should be "an investment in the next generation of leaders as we continue to break down barriers to an outstanding education," Griffin said in a statement.

After beginning to bet on convertible bonds while living at Cabot House, Griffin went on to found Chicago-based Citadel LLC, one of the world's biggest and most successful hedge funds. Last year, Griffin's net worth was estimated at $4.4 billion, according to Forbes.

The cost of one year at Harvard can be as much as $65,150, and currently 60 percent of undergraduates receive financial aid, the school said in the statement. The university allows qualified students whose families earn less than $65,000 a year to attend for free.

The money will establish 200 Griffin scholars and provide matching funds for a new program designed to create 600 more scholarships.