The Beach Boys recorded a song about being true to your school in 1963, but George R. Roberts, a founding partner of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., is taking the sentiment to new heights with a $50 million unrestricted gift — his third donation this year — to his alma mater, Claremont McKenna College, the college announced last week.
Mr. Roberts, a trustee who earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1966 from the Claremont, Calif.-based institution, donated about $2.7 million in February in what was called the Roberts' challenge, a matching gift program that resulted in 27 faculty chairs. He also donated $50,000 in March for the college's fund for excellence.
Mr. Roberts also supported the construction of two academic buildings: Roberts Hall North and Roberts Hall South. He also helped found the Roberts Environmental Center, which sponsors an undergraduate degree in a combined program on the environment, economics and politics.
In honor of Mr. Roberts' extraordinary gift, the board of trustees will designate a new fitness and athletic facility as The Roberts Pavilion.
And Mr. Roberts is not the only KKR founder represented on campus. During the 2011-2012 academic year, The Kravis Center opened for business. The center is a 162,000-square-foot academic and administrative facility that serves as the western gateway to the campus named for trustee Henry R. Kravis.
When asked why Mr. Roberts has been so very generous to Claremont McKenna College, KKR spokeswoman Kristi Huller said simply: “It's his alma mater.”
This article originally appeared in the December 10, 2012 print issue as, "KKR's Roberts antes up — again".