In what appears to be the largest university gift ever by an individual under the age of 40, Brian Prince-corporate executive officer for Shinsei Bank Ltd. in Tokyo and University of Rochester alumnus-is making a $2 million commitment to start a university fund that promotes democratic principles and open markets.
The Prince Family Open Society Fund was announced today by University of Rochester President Thomas Jackson as he accepted Prince's initial gift of $1 million, with a pledge for an additional $1 million in the future.
Also in attendance at the announcement was Chairman of Shinsei Bank Masamoto Yashiro, who was a guest lecturer on Japanese banking and international finance for students of the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration.
Prince, who received a bachelor of science degree in optics from the University of Rochester in 1986 and a master of business administration degree in 1989 from the Simon School, is creating the fund partially in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
"I worked in the World Financial Center for the majority of my career in New York and personally lost friends and college classmates when the World Trade Center buildings collapsed," Prince said. "But on a global scale, the attacks were an attempt to destroy the epicenter of what free-market capitalism is all about and the democratic principles behind an open society-principles represented by and taught at the University of Rochester."
The second youngest of six children, Prince grew up in the town of Gates in suburban Rochester. He was the first in his family to attend a university.
"Brian Prince exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit and global outlook that we try to cultivate in all of our students," President Jackson said. "It's exceptional not only that Brian's able to make such a generous commitment at such a young age, but that he has the character to do so. This fund will be used in ways that honor this spirit."
Prince's multi-million-dollar gift will support scholarship activity in several disciplines that have personal meaning to him. It will be distributed among:
The University of Rochester's Alumni Scholarship Fund and Athletic Department as recognition for the entry sports gave Prince to the world of higher learning. The Simon School, which gave him the tools to be effective in business and cultivated his commitment to an "open society" that is characterized by the rule of law, a free-market economy, respect for human rights, minorities and minority opinions, and the division of power. The Jeremy Glick Fund, which honors a fellow University of Rochester graduate and Alpha Delta Phi fraternity brother who died on Sept. 11 aboard United Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.
Prince will add to the fund in future years and will work with the university to promote free trade and open societies with the hope that other individuals and companies will also contribute to the fund to support the principles behind it.