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Robert Kraft Donating $24M to HBS

Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, is donating $24 million for a fellowship at Harvard Business School.

Kraft and his son, Jonathan Kraft, both graduated from the business school in 1965 and ’90, respectively. Both men credit the school with a fair slice of their success in life, and together they made the Robert K. Kraft Family Fellowship Fund. According to a statement from Harvard, it’s the school’s largest endowed fellowship.

“Being part of HBS changed my life, and I am deeply grateful for the chance to help others benefit from the transformational [sic] power of this experience,” Robert Kraft said in a statement published Tuesday in The Harvard Crimson. “Our family is proud of the extraordinary difference that our fellowship recipients make in the world.”

Robert Kraft made his fortune as the CEO of the Kraft Group, a diversified holding company that owns a little bite of many industries, from packaging manufacturing to real estate to a sports team. He bought the New England Patriots in 1994 for $172 million. At the time, it was the most ever paid for an NFL team. These days, that would barely buy you four players.

The Robert Kraft Family Fellowship Fund is meant to provide a path to business education for those with “great potential but limited funds,” according to university officials. It is meant for students who are first generation students or from other underserved student backgrounds.

“As HBS strives to ensure business is a force for good in society, it is increasingly important to educate leaders who anticipate the impact of their decisions on employees, customers, and their communities,” HBS dean Srikat Datar said in the statement. “Having the voices of fellow students from a range of cultures, industries, and socioeconomic backgrounds in the classroom broadens everyone’s perspectives on the real-world challenges they will face as business leaders.”

Kraft is worth an estimated $8.2 billion, and is currently #272 on Forbes’ list of the richest people in the world.

Photo: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

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