Charles Munger, the vice chairman at Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is giving $65 million to the University of California at Santa Barbara for a housing facility where visiting scientists can gather to discuss physics.
Construction of the three-story residence is expected to be done in two years, the university said in a statement. The gift by Munger, the long-time business partner of Warren Buffett, is the largest single donation in the school’s history, according to the statement.
“Once you see what a combination of calculus and Newton’s laws will do and the things you can work out, you get an awesome appreciation for the power of getting things in science right,” Munger, 90, said in the statement. “I don’t think you get a feeling for the power of science, not with the same strength, anywhere else than you do in physics.”
Munger has been a benefactor of educational institutions including Harvard-Westlake, a Los Angeles-area prep school. He pledged $110 million last year to the University of Michigan to build a graduate residence that will house students from multiple disciplines.
The billionaire studied mathematics at Michigan in the 1940s. His grandson, also named Charles, studied at UCSB.
Munger disclosed in an Oct. 21 regulatory filing that he gave 100 Class A shares of Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire, valued at about $20.7 million, to UCSB. Shelly Leachman, a spokeswoman for the university, didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment about what portion of the $65 million would be in Berkshire stock or other securities.
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