If you had $100 billion to give away, how would you spend it?

Stern would give everyone at the Yale school of architecture financial aid.
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TRANSCRIPT

Question: If you had $100 billion to give away, how would you spend it?

Stern: I would give it to the Yale School of Architecture. Starting there so that I would put all the students who need to be on financial aid, which is a huge problem. And it sounds trivial and parochial, but it is a monstrous problem. And I would spend some more money on training architects. And then I would sit back and think about what would be the next thing to do. I don’t know. The thought had not exactly crossed my mind. But a smaller amount of money would . . . We’re working for a $100 million right now, and it would solve our financial aid problem at Yale. And you know in terms of the narrow focus of education, which I do spend a lot of time on, that is the big problem. We have these wonderful, prestigious universities. They are the best in the world – the Ivies and their equivalents. And we’re charging students much too much tuition in terms of what they can be expected to realize in their professional lives. And that’s . . . And we burden them and we send them out into the world with not the . . . not the high ideal . . . with the high ideals we’ve imbued in them and the skills, but with this kind of two ton gorilla on their back called debt.

Recorded on: 12/5/07