Steve Ballmer Makes Huge Donation to Harvard for Computer Science

Steve Ballmer thinks Harvard needs a few more nerds. The former Microsoft CEO is making a huge donation to his alma mater that will fund 12 computer science professorships — increasing the size of Harvard’s computer science faculty by 50 percent. The exact amount of the gift wasn’t specified, but The Harvard Crimson notes professorships at the Ivy League university cost about $5 million to endow. That suggests Ballmer's total gift is worth around $60 million. In a post Thursday on business news site Quartz headlined “Steve Ballmer explains why Harvard needs more nerds,” the retired Microsoft executive wrote that he wanted to “support the very best talent at a place where talent can be fully realized.” He added: “There is, in my mind, no place better positioned to catch the next wave in computer science than greater Boston." Ballmer and his wife Connie are also donating $50 million to the University of Oregon as part of the school's capital campaign. Connie Ballmer is a 1984 graduate of the university. While $60 million and $50 million are nothing to sneeze at, it's pocket change for Ballmer, whose net worth is pegged at more than $23 billion.

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— James Eng