Got a billion dollars lying around?

Bargain Basement

Got a billion dollars burning a hole in your pocket? Harvard's got just the thing.

As the Harvard student newspaper The Crimson reports, The Harvard Corporation — the governing body that prides itself on its status as the "oldest corporation in the Western Hemisphere," according to its website — has put the naming rights to Harvard Medical School up for sale, asking for a wee unrestricted donation of $1 billion in exchange for the go-ahead to slap your moniker of choice on the storied establishment's facade. You know, because Harvard's endowment could really use the extra cash!

Billion Dollar Boys

According to the Crimson, Harvard set the price about a decade ago, but this is the first time that the listing has been reported on. And though Harvard declined to comment on its alleged $1 billion price tag, the university's recent sales history would certainly suggest that the school would be more than willing to cash the check.

The Ivy League school has been on somewhat of a renaming spree throughout the last decade, beginning back in 2014 when Harvard alumni Gerald L. Chan, the billionaire investor who runs the Morningside investment group with his brother Ronnie, gave an unrestricted $350 million to the university's School of Public Health — the largest in the school's history at the time — and saw the school renamed in his honor. Chan's donation was bested shortly thereafter in 2015, when the billionaire hedge fund founder John A. Paulson coughed up a cool $400 million to claim the name to Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

As the Crimson points out, it wouldn't be the first time a top university raked in a billion-plus dollar cash prize. Last year, venture capitalist John Doerr — who made his fortune investing in little-known companies like Slack, Google, and Amazon — gave $1.1 billion to Stanford's School of Sustainability, while billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated a staggering $1.8 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, saying that he hoped to make the university's admissions process "need-blind" with the sum.

In other words, billionaires giving boatloads to their alma mater is nothing new. That said, though, it seems like the HMS offer has been on the table for a while. No offense to Harvard Med, but with a decade-old price tag, perhaps the Western world's oldest corporation might consider moving its hot ticket item to the sale rack?

More on education: Researchers Find That Top Colleges Discriminate Against Low Income Students Even When They're Just as Smart as Rich Ones

Share This Article