Blackstone Founder Raises $260M, Breaks Ground on Schwarzman College in Beijing

Blackstone founder Stephen Schwarzman has helped raise $260 million for Schwarzman Scholars, which will be utilized for Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of the first academic buildings constructed in China that will target LEED Gold and China Green Building Label certification.
Courtesy of World Economic Forum

Stephen Schwarzman Courtesy of World Economic Forum

Blackstone founder Stephen Schwarzman has helped raise $260 million for Schwarzman Scholars, an elite international scholarship program in China, which will be utilized for Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

The construction of Schwarzman College, designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, L.L.P., will be complete in the spring of 2016, though admissions open in the fall of 2015. It will be one of the first academic buildings constructed in China that will target LEED Gold and China Green Building Label certification.

The eight-story building will feature an auditorium, library, sunken garden, dining hall, fitness area, faculty apartments and a floor area of more than 250,000 square feet. It will include a forum modeled on a similar structure at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, designed to accommodate lively interactions with distinguished visitors.

Additionally, 200 student residences will be organized in groups of eight private rooms around a shared common lounge on the model of the executive education residences at Harvard Business School.

“The first-class facilities will provide a unique environment for deep study and connection among students of varied backgrounds and interests, brought together by their shared drive and curiosity,” Schwarzman said in a prepared statement.

Inspired by the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, Schwarzman Scholars is designed to help future world leaders develop a deeper understanding of China.

“My vision for Schwarzman Scholars is to help educate a future class of leaders who will advance relationships of mutual respect between the West and China, reducing tensions and leading to a new era of mutual prosperity,” Schwarzman said. “Looking to the future, it is crucial that countries and other institutions around the world work hard to build on a foundation of interdependence, to foster stronger and deeper relationships, and to develop, among the next generations of business, political and other leaders, a real understanding of the cultures of their international peers.”

Schwarzman is still looking to raise $40 million to reach his $300 million goal, which is being used for start- up expenses, construction costs and to endow the program.

“Breaking ground on Schwarzman College and surpassing our fundraising expectations is an important milestone and speaks volumes about the positive international response to the program,” Schwarzman added. “The steps we have taken over the past six months have set Schwarzman Scholars on sound footing figuratively, financially, and programmatically.”

Donors have included Delta Air Lines, Glencore, Far East Organization, Lenovo, Howard S. Marks, Dr. Richard Merkin, Pershing Square Foundation, Schneider Electric, Urs Schwarzenbach, Whirlpool Corporation and Viktor F. Vekselberg.