George Washington University to name public health school after Milken

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Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 12:00 am

WASHINGTON — George Washington University will name its public health school for Michael Milken, a philanthropist and advocate for medical research, after three record-setting gifts totaling $80 million for the school.

The gifts announced Tuesday are notable, in part, because Milken was known as the king of Wall Street "junk" bonds in the 1980s and spent 22 months in prison.

The gifts include $40 million from the Milken Institute to support research and scholarships and $30 million from the Sumner M. Redstone Charitable Foundation to expand wellness and disease prevention. A $10 million gift from the Milken Family Foundation will support a new scholarship program and dean's endowment.

The gifts connected to Redstone, board chairman of Viacom and CBS, and Milken, a prostate cancer survivor, will create the Milken Institute School of Public Health and the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness.

George Washington University President Steven Knapp and School of Public Health Dean Lynn Goldman said they were not worried about any backlash in renaming the school for someone with a criminal past.

"We're talking about somebody who over a number of decades has made a difference that's incalculable to the lives of people in this nation and around the world through what he has done, particularly in the fields of medicine and health," Knapp said. "I think he has certainly earned his recognition as the foremost philanthropist focused on addressing the challenges of national and global health."

Goldman said the gift would be transformative for the school as it moves into a new $75 million building next to the university's hospital.

Milken, 67, was a cutting-edge financier who came to symbolize the excesses and greed of Wall Street run amok. In business, Milken pioneered the use of junk bonds to finance corporate takeover battles.

Since his release from prison, Milken has focused full time on philanthropy and a bid to restore his reputation. — AP

Inspections turn up problems in Bangladesh factories

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Inspections of Bangladesh garment factories under a new safety initiative have found cracked support beams, extra floors apparently built without permits and exposed electrical cables chewed by rats.

Overly heavy structures on roofs, substandard building materials and even an unauthorized helicopter pad were other problems revealed in the first round of inspection reports released Tuesday.

The inspections are being funded by a group of mostly European fashion brands in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza factory collapse that killed more than 1,100 people in April last year. They plan to check 1,500 garment factories in Bangladesh this year. The country's garment industry, its biggest export earner, has more than 5,000 factories overall. — AP

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