Billionaire investor Mario Gabelli has made a record-setting donation to Fordham University to support his namesake business school, The Post has learned.
Gabelli’s $35 million gift is the largest Fordham has received in its 179-year history, beating the $25 million record he set a decade ago when the Bronx-based university named the Gabelli School of Business in his honor.
The GAMCO Investors founder’s latest donation puts the 100-year-old business school nearly halfway toward its $75 million goal for a fundraising campaign it launched to support student recruitment, research and curriculum changes as it heads into its second century.
“The underpinning of meritocracy is education. Education requires faculty, facilities, financing, and great students,” Gabelli, a Bronx native and 1965 Fordham grad, told The Post in a statement. “We are privileged to support our Fordham alma mater.”
Gabelli’s Dec. 2 gift will fund a wide variety of programs at the business school, Fordham said, including scholarships for graduate students and hands-on experiences such as the Student Managed Investment Fund, which allows junior and senior finance students to invest more than $1 million of the university’s endowment.
The donation — made through the Gabelli Foundation — will also help the school set up more portfolios, including one focused on environmental, social and governance investing practices that will be managed by graduated and undergraduate students, according to the university.
Fordham will use up to $7 million of Gabelli’s gift to match other people’s donations toward scholarships for the business school’s MBA and Ph.D. students, university officials said.
“It is impossible to overstate the importance of this gift — it will allow us to better prepare more deserving students for positions of leadership in business and finance around the globe,” said Father Joseph M. McShane, Fordham’s president.
Gabelli, 78, has made more than $65 million in gifts and pledges to his alma mater over the years, according to Fordham. He’s also signed onto the Giving Pledge to give away more than half of his net worth, which Forbes estimates at $1.7 billion.
Gabelli has made his fortune from GAMCO, which he founded in 1976 and grew into a global financial services firm. He has a bachelor’s degree from Fordham and an MBA from Columbia University.