The Schwarzman Scholars program is a US$300 million scholarship program inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship, an international graduate program created in 1902 by British statesman Cecil J. Rhodes to send international students to study at the University of Oxford.
Similarly, the Schwarzman Scholars program will be housed at Tsinghua University in Beijing, and will support 200 mostly American students annually for a one-year Master’s program at Tsinghua.
“China’s economy is growing at three times the rate of the West, and if that growth continues, China will become the largest economy in the world within the next couple of decades,"Stephen A. Schwarzman says in a statement. "It is crucial that both countries and others around the world work hard…to develop a real and full understanding of each other’s cultures among the next generations of business and political leaders."
The first class of students is slated for 2016, upon the completion of Schwarzman College, a residential building designed specifically for the program. The admissions season will open in 2015.
The program’s advisory board is filled with former heads of state and prominent American political and financial figures, including Nicolas Sarkozy, Tony Blair, Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Henry Paulson.
The Schwarzman Scholars program has already raised US$200 million (RMB1.2 billion), including Schwarzman’s personal gift of US$100 million (RMB600 million). The other US$100 million is donated by large international corporations, such as BP, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the Boeing Company, China Resources (Holdings) Company, and GE.
Schwarzman co-founded the US$210 billion-under-management private equity giant Blackstone Group in 1985. He has made numerous large donations in the past, including a US$100 million gift to the New York Public Library in 2007, and an endowment to sponsor 200 children a year in perpetuity to attend Catholic schools in New York City.