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Ellison Cancels $115-Million Harvard Gift

From the Associated Press

Oracle Corp. Chief Executive Larry Ellison has decided not to give Harvard University a planned gift of $115 million, a company spokesman said Tuesday.

Ellison canceled the gift because Lawrence H. Summers stepped down as Harvard’s president this month after a stormy tenure at the university, Oracle spokesman Bob Wynne said. Summers announced his resignation in February, after being embroiled in controversy throughout 2005. Wynne said Ellison began to reconsider his donation when it appeared that Summers would step down.

“It was really Larry Summers’ brainchild and once it looked like Larry Summers was leaving, Larry Ellison reconsidered,” Wynne said. “It was Larry Ellison and Larry Summers that had initially come up with this notion.”

Ellison’s promise to Harvard last year created a stir throughout the philanthropic community because it would have been the school’s largest single contribution. The gift would have created a global health foundation named after Ellison.

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Wynne said Ellison planned to make a donation to another institution but had no details as to the size of the planned contribution or where it would be made. Wynne said he didn’t know whether Ellison had notified Harvard.

Ellison, 61, co-founded Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle in 1977 and helped build the firm into a software giant. He is the nation’s 15th-richest person, according to Forbes, with an estimated net worth of $16 billion.


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