Rich Lister Terry Snow has just dug deep to make an $8 million donation to his former school, highlighting the latest philanthropic hot spot – the classroom.
It’s commonplace for the wealthy in the United States to donate to schools and universities, but it is only recently that Australia’s Rich Lister’s have started digging deep for education.
Snow made his fortune as the owner of Canberra Airport and his donation will be used to construct a 12-classroom “Asian Century” studies centre at Canberra Grammar School.
Snow recently completed a $250 million development of the airport as well as the Brindabella Business Park and already donates about $3.5 million each year to mainly local charities through the Snow Foundation.
The Canberra Times reports once Snow was told about the idea for the study centre, “I decided to turbocharge things with an $8 million donation”.
”All my life I have believed if you want to make it happen, you just go and do it,” Snow told the newspaper.
Snow is following in the footsteps of five Australian Rich Listers who have all recently turned their philanthropic focus to education.
1. Harold Mitchell: $12.5 million to university think tank
Ad man Harold Mitchell is giving $12.5?million to Melbourne’s Victoria University to fund an apolitical think tank for health and education policy.
The Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy will have former Labor finance minister Lindsay Tanner as its chairman and aims to address health and education disadvantage.
“Health and education are big ticket items for the future of Australia. I am backing the Mitchell Institute to make a significant impact on public policy that will directly affect people’s lives for the better,” Mitchell said in a statement.
2. John Grill: $20 million for project management centre
University of Sydney alumni, John Grill, is also the former chief of WorleyParsons, which has a market capitalisation of about $6.1 billion. Grill’s share allocation is worth about $97 million, but he’s pumping some of those funds into the University of Sydney after announcing a donation of $20 million last year to set up a project management centre.
3. Sean Howard: $10 million to university medical research
Sean Howard made his money as the co-founder of OzEmail, but he has started giving it away after his sight was saved last year by Sydney University’s medical school. Howard pledged $10?million to the university for eye research.
4. Allan Myers: $10 million for university scholarships
University of Melbourne alumni and Australia’s richest barrister, Allan Myers, pledged $10?million to the University of Melbourne this year and will lead a campaign which aims to raise half a billion dollars for the institution by 2017.
The renowned silk built his fortune at the bar table and through diverse interests, including the critically acclaimed Royal Mail Hotel in his home town of Dunkeld and lucrative shares in Polish breweries.
Myers’ donation kick-starts a fund-raising campaign to fund scholarships, research and facilities at the University of Melbourne.
5. Tuckwell: $50 million for university scholarships
The biggest single donation to an Australian university in history comes from Graham Tuckwell.
In February this year, he gave a whopping $50?million to the Australian National University to help fund scholarships for undergraduate students which will run for 20 years.
The self-made multimillionaire built his fortune by founding ETF Securities.