John Kluge, CC ’37, Passes Away

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John W. Kluge, CC ’37 and a major donor to the University, passed away today. Kluge came to Columbia on scholarship after leaving Germany for America at the age of 16. He went on to become a billionaire primarily in the telecom and media industries. Over his lifetime he made several gifts to Columbia acknowledging his scholarship, most notably a $400 million gift in 2007, which was the largest ever to a University to be devoted solely to financial aid. He also is the namesake of the Kluge Scholars program, and his death is a heartfelt loss to the university community.

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  1. Anonymous

    Note that the $400 million gift was a pledge, to be disbursed by his estate when he passes away. So it looks like us students (both grad and undergrad) will be finding out if our grants will get a bump-up next year!

    • Alum

      Columbia increased its financial aid a couple of years ago in anticipation of Mr. Kluge's bequest. The adjustment you're hoping for has already happened. Then again, the pledge was for *at least* $400 million; it could turn out to be more. If that happens, you may get a bump after all.

  2. Class of 2010

    My grant was bumped the year after he donated the money to fin aid removing all student loans from my bills. He made life of a lot of students at Columbia a lot easier.

    Thank you John Kluge, may you rest in peace!

  3. Anonymous

    Convenient for him to die in a year where there's no estate tax.
    Now, how much of that $400 million was in stock?

  4. RIP  

    Thanks for the financial aid.

  5. even though

    i certainly have my gripes with the scholars program, Mr. Kluge's help and support meant a lot to me, especially as a freshman. Rest in peace.

  6. anonymous  

    You help make it possible for students to come to this school kluge

  7. Hm  

    Kluge was a cool dude

  8. Kluge2008

    RIP John Kluge. I can't thank you enough.

  9. 2011  

    I would not have applied early decision without your generous donation: thank you, Mr. Kluge, for letting me make the best decision of my life.

  10. C/O 2014  

    Mr. Kluge, I wouldn't be here if it weren't for your generous donation. Neither would many bright and intelligent individuals I've met so far at this fine institution. Thank you.

  11. Thank you

    Mr. Kluge for everything you did for this school. Without you I would not have been able to come to New York, an experience that changed my life and made it possible for me to dream bigger than I could have otherwise imagined. You will be sorely missed and always remembered.

  12. after reading

    short bios and articles about him, you can tell he was one extra-ordinary dude, perhaps a good model for us students to follow: doing well to do good, what a guy and a what a profound impact his contributions have made.

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