New York — Businessman John W. Kluge, considered one of the richest men in the world, has given $25 million to Columbia University for financial aid to minorities. It is the largest donation ever to the school. The gift will establish the John W. Kluge Presidential Scholars, a program that will allow 60 to 75 needy minority students to attend the school each year.
The gift coincided with the 50th anniversary of Kluge's graduation from Columbia in 1937. Kluge, chairman of Metromedia Co., earned his bachelor's degree in economics on a merit scholarship.
``Those of us who have had the benefit of a quality education have the responsibility of making opportunities available,'' he said.
Under the program, Columbia's provost will annually recommend students to the president for appointment as Kluge scholars for one academic year. They will be eligible for subsequent reappointment.
Columbia faces black students' allegations of racism on campus. Fifty-three people were arrested last week in a protest sparked by a fight between black and white students.