After the recent report that Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein '75 was copied on an e-mail suggesting Goldman knew that Harvard would lose in a $500 million credit default swap, his loyalty to Harvard may have come into question. But it is worth noting that Blankfein has donated millions to Harvard, creating a scholarship fund for lower-income students and endowing a professorship in the Department of History.
Blankfein—a former Social Studies concentrator in Winthrop House—created the Lloyd C. Blankfein Professorship of History in 2004, according to the Harvard University History of Named Chairs, 1991-2004, "in recognition of his own strong interest in the subject."
David R. Armitage, an expert in Western political thought, has held the professorship since 2007. He declined to comment for this blog post.
A Brooklyn native, Blankfein attended both the College and the Law School on a scholarship. He created the Blankfein Family Scholarship Fund, according to the terms of the scholarship, for "deserving undergraduates in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, with a preference for students from New York City with a strong interest in the social sciences and who are interested in a career in law or business."
The status of the scholarship fund is unclear, since there is no mention of it on any Harvard websites—but Blankfein donated a sizeable amount to Harvard in 2004 to augment the fund.
According to Bloomberg, Blankfein also donated $25,000 to the Harvard College Parents Fund both in 2007 and 2008 and $10,000 to the Law School in 2007—in addition to $1 million in 2000 and $1.7 million in 2006 for "general purposes."
As of 2004, when the History of Named Chairs was published, Blankfein co-chaired the FAS Financial Aid Task Force, in addition to serving as a member of other Harvard committees, including the FAS Dean’s Council. He served as a co-chair or vice chair of the gift steering committees for his 15th, 20th, and 25th reunions.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.