BALTIMORE, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is giving Johns Hopkins University $350 million for student financial aid and research, the school said Saturday.
The gift -- one of the largest ever given to a university -- brings Bloomberg's total contribution to his alma mater more than $1.1 billion -- dating back to 1965, he began donating $5 annually after he earned a bachelor's degree in engineering at Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun reported.
The latest gift includes $100 million for financial aid for an estimated 2,600 undergraduate students to be spread out over 10 years, and $250 million -- in $50 million increments over five years -- to hire 50 faculty members for teaching and research into "complex global challenges," the newspaper said.
Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels said the gift was "transformative" for the university.
"Words can simply not capture the incredible debt of gratitude that we owe to Mike and the amazing sense of fortune that we have in being able to claim him not merely as a graduate but as a graduate who so clearly understands us and has given so much of his time, his passion and his philanthropy," Daniels told The Sun.
Bloomberg -- who began building his business empire when he established Bloomberg LP in Baltimore in 1981, and whose net worth has grown to an estimated $22 billion -- gave his first $1 million gift to Hopkins in 1984. Since then, his donations have helped fund Hopkins' school of public health, a children's hospital and a physics and astronomy center, The Sun said.
"Each dollar I have given has been well-spent improving the institution and, just as importantly, making its education available to students who might otherwise not be able to afford it," Bloomberg said in a statement issued through the university. "Giving is only meaningful if the money will make a difference in people's lives, and I know of no other institution that can make a bigger difference in lives around the world through its groundbreaking research -- especially in the field of public health."