The most generous higher-ed donor ever?

Is Michael Bloomberg the most generous giver in higher education history? Officials at Johns Hopkins University totaled the New York mayor’s giving to mark Thursday’s opening of a new children’s hospital center, the fruit of his latest $120 million contribution, the Washington Post reports. The total surpasses $800 million, starting with a 1965 gift of $5. Has anyone ever given more to a college? The Chronicle of Philanthropy tracks such things and concluded as follows:

“Because many donors give anonymously, it’s impossible to say . . . but according to Chronicle figures, he would certainly be near the top.”

The philanthropy journal couldn’t find anyone else who had given even half as much. John Kluge, the late television mogul, gave more than $400 million to Columbia University, his alma mater, the Chronicle said. Financier Sanford Weill and his wife have given a like amount to Cornell. T. Boone Pickens has given at least $345 million to Oklahoma State…

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