In an unusual bit of pre-Harvard Campaign publicity, Glenn H. Hutchins ’77, J.D.-M.B.A. ’83, and Fletcher University Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American studies (and PBS program host and founder of The Root, the online news service now owned by The Washington Post), announced through The New York Times this morning that Hutchins would endow the Du Bois center and related activities to the tune of $15 million. The resulting entity will be named the Hutchins Center for African and African-American research, according to the Times’s DealBook blog post.
Hutchins—a co-chair of The Harvard Campaign, which is to be unveiled this Saturday during events in Cambridge, and co-chair of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) campaign to be unveiled later this fall—announced a gift of $30 million in October 2012: $15 million to jump-start undergraduate House renewal, one of FAS’s principal fundraising priorities, and the rest to support undisclosed academic initiatives. Today’s announcement apparently explains the use of the remaining funds. It has been somewhat of an open secret:
- Hutchins chairs the Du Bois center’s national advisory board;
- his family foundation helped to underwrite the portrait of Gates, painted by Yuqi Wang, donated to the National Portrait Gallery, in Washington;
- Hutchins received the “Breaking Barriers Award” from the National Action Network, conferred by Gates, this past January; and
- Gates’s annual summer conference on Martha’s Vineyard recently transmogrified into the Hutchins Forum.
According to the Times, the Hutchins Center will envelop the Du Bois Institute (a scholarly fellowship program, among other activities), the hiphop institute, an art gallery, and other enterprises.
Updated 11:20 a.m. Read the University announcement about the gift, just released.