The Haas family, which owns blue jeans giant Levi Strauss & Co., has added $8.75 million to its previous $15-million donation to build a new home for the UC Berkeley business school that bears the family name, campus officials announced Thursday.
Altogether, the family's $23.75-million gift represents more than half of the estimated $45-million cost of the facility, the Haas School of Business.
"We hope the promise of UC Berkeley and its manifest excellence will be a national model for business education in the future," Walter A. Haas Jr., former chairman of Levi Strauss and owner of the Oakland A's baseball team, said in a statement.
After the $15-million gift in 1989, the school was named after his deceased father, Walter A. Haas Sr., a 1910 graduate of the school and Levi Strauss president from 1928 to 1955.
With fund raising about 90% complete, officials say that construction is to begin in September on the 200,000-square-foot facility surrounding a courtyard at the southeast corner of the campus. The business school, which enrolls 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students, occupies cramped quarters in a building it shares with other academic disciplines.