Soros Pledges $500 Million to Bard College in New York, One of Founders of His University Arm

IBL News | New York

Billionaire investor George Soros pledged last week a $500 million endowment to Bard College, a private liberal arts college in New York.

The financier explained that “Bard has had an outsized impact, setting the standard in liberal arts education in prisons, in high school age students, and in the arts and in its international work.” 

Bard College is one of two founding partners of the new Open Society University Network, a global network created with the Central European University in partnership with George Soros’s Open Society Foundations. Soros previously pledged $1 billion to help establish the Open Society University Network. Last summer, he committed $100 million to Bard his Open Society Foundation.

“This grant to Bard — among the largest ever made to higher education in the United States – facilitates and strengthens Bard’s exemplary educational and social initiatives,” said the school.

In response to Soros’ donation, Bard announced it has raised an additional $250 million from trustees, alumni, and supporters, and will raise another $250 million over the next five years.

“This is the most historic moment since the college’s founding in 1860,” said Bard College President Leon Botstein. “When this endowment drive is complete, Bard will have a $1 billion endowment, which will ensure its pioneering mission and its academic excellence for the future.”

Bard College enrolls 2,200 students at its main campus in New York’s Hudson Valley and the Catskill Mountains. Its tuition costs are roughly $55,000 for a first-year student without room and board.