Hearts benefactor James Anderson donates $100m to Johns Hopkins university in Italy

Hearts director James Anderson has donated $100 million in the largest-ever private contribution to a university in Italy

The transformative gift from philanthropists James and Morag Anderson to Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Europe campus in Bologna is designed to create new opportunities for students and faculty.

Johns Hopkins is the oldest research university in the United States, with the donation allowing the institution to expand their Europe campus in Bologna.

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The gift will allow Johns Hopkins to transform the SAIS Europe campus into an international hub for research and collaboration.

A transformative gift of $100 million from philanthropists James and Morag Anderson to Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Europe campus in Bologna

A statement said the contribution would bring together leading academics and practitioners from around the world to train the next generation of international experts and offer multidisciplinary solutions to global problems, and work towards peace and democratic development.

Mr Anderson, the Edinburgh-based investor and chair of the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe Advisory Council, said of the donation: “SAIS Europe has taught me that it is vital for leaders to think critically and imaginatively about complex problems that have no easy answers.

“I believe that it is essential to make it possible for the most talented and engaged students to study with our faculty and each other in Bologna regardless of their ability to pay for it, and to create opportunities to amplify Johns Hopkins’ impact across borders and oceans.”

The university will recognise the Andersons' philanthropy by naming the campus the James and Morag Anderson Campus in Bologna.

Ronald J. Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins said: “The gift from James and Morag Anderson is transformational. With it, SAIS Europe will further secure its role as a vibrant hub for scholarship, learning and public policy at a critical juncture in global history and is among the most significant private philanthropic contributions ever made to higher education in Europe.”

The philanthropists are prominent supporters of the arts, education, sports and youth in Scotland.

Mr Anderson, who also sits on the university’s board of trustees, is a director at Hearts. He has given more than £3m to the men's senior game and £250,000 to women's football during the Covid-19 pandemic. His £8m contribution to Hearts aided the development of a new stand in 2017.

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The couple’s philanthropic relationship with SAIS Europe dates back to 2001.

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