Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have stepped foot on the campus of Johns Hopkins University as a shy, C-student from Medford, Massachusetts, but he left four years later with an A average and a lust for leadership. During his senior year, Bloomberg served as the president of his fraternity, his senior class and the council overseeing Greek life and self-admittedly became “an all-around big man on campus.”
To show his appreciation, Bloomberg recently made a $350 million gift to his alma mater — by far the largest in the institution’s history. But that’s just the tip of the Mayor’s generosity. Over the past four decades, Bloomberg has donated $1.1 billion, making him the most generous living donor to any education institution in the United States, reports the New York Times.
The Mayor told the paper that it was at Johns Hopkins where he escaped the crushing boredom of his high school and discovered an urban campus of stately Georgian buildings brimming with new people and ideas. “I just thought I’d died and gone to heaven,” he explained. “If I had been the son of academics maybe I would have been on campuses and would never have been as impressed as I was when I was here, because it’s the first time I really was walking among people who were world leaders, who were creating, inventing.”