Columbia Business School Announces Permanent Perelman Scholarship Fund

The groundbreaking endowed fund will provide full tuition awards to underrepresented business school students at Columbia.

April 27, 2021

Columbia Business School announced today the creation of the Perelman Scholarship Fund, a permanently endowed source of financial aid made possible by significant gifts from Ronald O. Perelman, Chairman and CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes Incorporated.  

Mr. Perelman’s gifts, combined with additional funds to be provided by Columbia Business School, will offer full tuition awards for students from underrepresented racial, ethnic, and socio-economic groups, with the aim of expanding a more diverse generation of business leaders. Columbia Business School will welcome its first class of Perelman Scholars in September 2022, following the opening of the school’s new Manhattanville campus in January.

“The responsibility of charting Columbia Business School’s future in Manhattanville requires us to think deeply about the future of graduate business education in a rapidly changing world,” said Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger. “No consideration is more important than creating a school dedicated to training leaders from the broadest possible range of backgrounds, to take on the many challenges we face as a global community. Ronald Perelman has done Columbia and the business community a great service by addressing this critical need.” 

“I have spent a lifetime building businesses and I recognize that the success of those businesses is inextricably linked to their people,” said Mr. Perelman. “In order for businesses and industries to thrive, it is imperative that we address and encourage diversity and inclusion. The Perelman Scholarship Fund is a purposeful contribution to that end. By helping Columbia’s Business School to attract the most talented students, the school, as well as the larger business community, will benefit. I am grateful and excited to be partnering with the School as we invest in the next generation of business leaders.”

Mr. Perelman became a major benefactor of Columbia Business School in 2013, when the Manhattanville campus was announced. Over the past year, as the inequities in our country have been starkly laid bare, Mr. Perelman worked with the leadership of the Business School to redirect his financial commitment to permanent tuition assistance, in lieu of supporting the School’s new facilities as he originally intended nearly a decade ago.

As an endowed resource dedicated to educating a more inclusive business leadership community, the Perelman Scholarship Fund is the first of its kind to use purely endowed funds to provide full tuition awards each year to multiple underrepresented students at Columbia Business School. The new fund coincides with a University-wide initiative to expand financial aid and confront the inequality of opportunity that holds back too many talented students. 

“The business landscape is evolving rapidly, accelerating toward a digital future where technology, as an enabler and driver of change, is upending every discipline and sector. But one area of business clearly has failed to keep pace: the inclusion of diverse voices and viewpoints in leadership positions,” said Costis Maglaras, Dean of Columbia Business School.  “Thanks to Ronald’s generosity, we will be able to create opportunities and to set an example that will pave the way for more inclusive and diverse business leadership across the globe.”

In addition to annually covering the tuition of MBA students who meet the scholarship’s requirements, the Perelman Scholarship Fund will contribute to underwriting activities of an ever-growing association of Perelman Scholarship alumni. A goal of the program is to create, over time, a group of executive leaders bound together by a shared opportunity and commitment to bringing a distinctive set of values to global business practices.

The launch of the Perelman Scholarship Fund coincides with the opening of Columbia Business School’s new home in Manhattanville, as a cornerstone of the 17-acre campus between Broadway and the Hudson River that represents the University’s largest expansion in over 100 years. The new location underscores the leadership role of Columbia Business School in reimagining the future of business education, with the Perelman Scholarship Fund integral to this overarching effort. Further information related to the new Columbia Business School facility will be forthcoming.

The Perelman Scholarship Fund will also support the recently announced Columbia Student Support Initiative