Bloomberg Businessweek

The $100 Million Gift That Went Sour

Wealthy donors to universities can be picky about what schools do with the cash

In 2015 a gift to the University of Chicago merited a rock star’s welcome. “What kind of world do you want?” sang Five for Fighting’s John Ondrasik, his voice echoing across the century-old campus theater before a crowd of 1,100. The event feted the Pearson family, whose foundation—created by Tom Pearson, an Oklahoma coal magnate—was giving $100 million for a global center for peacemaking.

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