Michael Bloomberg is tossing the old alma mater a $350 million gift today, and Johns Hopkins University is marking the occasion by disclosing the grand total of all Bloomberg's gifts: Starting with $5 the year after graduating in 1964, the billionaire has given $1.1 billion to the college he credits with changing the course of his life. He arrived on campus a bored C student, reports the New York Times, and left a leader, determined to make his mark.
“If I had been the son of academics,” says Bloomberg, “maybe I would never have been as impressed as I was when I was here, because it’s the first time I really was walking among people who were world leaders, who were creating, inventing.” Hopkins and Bloomberg are deeply entwined: Hizzoner's donations have funded a slew of improvements, some 20% of all need-based financial aid in recent years, and driven the university's reputation skyward. Hopkins in turn is the place where Bloomberg, as a trustee, discovered the link between behavior and disease. "He has been the public health mayor ever since," says the former dean of the—you guessed it—Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.