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John Kluge, CC ’37, Passes Away

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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  • Calling Col. Mustard says:

    @Calling Col. Mustard

    Guess we’ll find out soon enough!

  • Anonymous says:

    @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!

    1. Alum says:

      @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.

  • Class of 2010 says:

    @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!

  • Anonymous says:

    @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?

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous sooo true.

      we joked about that loophole all the time in the congressional office I worked at.

  • RIP says:

    @RIP Thanks for the financial aid.

  • even though says:

    @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.

  • anonymous says:

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

  • Hm says:

    @Hm Kluge was a cool dude

  • Kluge2008 says:

    @Kluge2008 RIP John Kluge. I can’t thank you enough.

  • 2011 says:

    @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.

  • C/O 2014 says:

    @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.

  • Thank you says:

    @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.

  • after reading says:

    @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.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous RIP Mr. Kluge.

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