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Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charles Munger, a frequent South Coast visitor whose grandson studied at UC Santa Barbara has donated $20.7 million in stock to the university.
Bloomberg News reported the billionaire’s gift on Oct. 22, citing a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The donation was 100 Class A shares in Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway.
Munger is 90 years old and he recently surfaced in public at the annual shareholders meeting of the Daily Journal Co., a Los Angeles-based publisher of business periodicals. He has made gifts to other educational intitutions including Harvard-Westlake, a Los Angeles-area preparatory school, and the University of Michigan.
“I think America made a huge mistake when they let the public schools just go to hell, and I think the Asian cultures are less likely to do that,” he was quoted as saying at Berkshire’s annual shareholders’ meeting when asked about how the U.S. could better compete against China. “I wish we were more like them.”
Munger studied mathematics at Michigan in the 1940s and last year pledged $110 million of securities to the university, setting a record for the school, according to Bloomberg. He gave what is viewed as an influential speech on economics at UCSB last October. His grandson, Charles, studied at UCSB.
At $20.7 million, the gift from Munger would not be the largest in the university’s history. Jeff Henley, now vice chairman of Oracle, along with his wife Judy, gave a $50 million gift to advance UCSB’s engineering, materials science and other programs.