Or, better stated, how much is it worth to hang your name on a school?
I work at a business school, and last year I had a discussion with colleagues at Chicago GBS and Columbia Business School about how large a gift would be necessary for any of the unnamed top tier schools (Harvard, Chicago, Stanford, Columbia) to change their names. They guessed somewhere between $250m and $500m. Turns out they were right.
Meet the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Price: $300m.
Five years ago, Stephen Ross paid $100m to Michigan.
In retrospect, John Anderson (UCLA, $15m), J.B. Fuqua (Duke, $10m), and John Kellogg (Northwestern, $10m) got into the game at bargain prices.