Yale University

Class News

Ned Evans '64 $50 Million Landmark Gift Names SOM Campus

Eli: A publication for Yale's most generous donors
April 2011

A visualization of the new SOM campus showing the
fa├žade street view looking south on Whitney Avenue
FROM THE BEGINNING, FUNDRAISING FOR the Yale School of Management's new campus was a calculated risk. In 2008, as markets plunged and capital froze, the School committed to its ambitious building program, confident that it could raise $189 million from donors to cover the costs without borrowing money―an option that would have meant delays and additional expenses. By fall 2010, SOM friends and stalwarts had assembled a fund totaling $110 million. Then, in December, Edward P. (Ned) Evans '64 stepped forward with a $50 million contribution, the largest gift in SOM'S history, and in dramatic fashion any uncertainty of reaching the goal vanished.

Evans expressed hope that his gift would "bring together the Yale School of Management on a beautiful new campus, enlarge its student body, and propel it to the highest level in the twenty-first century." Now under construction, the Norman Foster-designed facility will be named Edward P. Evans Hall.

Just weeks after the announcement of his gift, Evans died from acute myeloid leukemia. President Richard C. Levin and Yale SOM Dean Sharon Oster spoke for the entire Yale community expressing their "deepest sympathy and condolences, as well as ongoing gratitude for Ned Evans's transformative contribution to the School of Management." With his gift, Evans joined the ranks of a very small group of donors whose generosity to Yale will reverberate for decades to come.

Educating leaders for business and society

The Evans gift is the latest in a series of generous donations to the SOM campus, with many of the largest contributions coming from Yale College alumni―including members of the Beinecke family as well as James S. Chanos '80, Charles D. Ellis '59, Henry F. McCance '64, Joseph c. McNay '56, Wilbur L. Ross '59, and Frederick W. Smith '66―who identify with the School's mission of educating leaders for business and society. Dean Oster said, "The gift from Ned Evans is another example of this close connection between Yale College and the professional schools and will enable SOM to expand its influence in the world of scholarship and practice and further contribute to the Yale University community."

In the vernacular of Yale's residential colleges, Evans Hall
is designed around a central courtyard that will be a vital
gathering place for the SOM community

This spring, the contours of Yale SOM'S 4.25-acre campus will begin to emerge from behind the temporary blue fencing on Whitney Avenue. In recent months, workers have excavated the site, prepared the foundation, and laid in the utilities for the new building. With the onset of warmer weather, crews will begin to raise the steel skeleton. When it is completed in 2013, Evans Hall will offer a superlative teaching and learning environment designed to support the School's integrated MBA curriculum. And at 230,000 square feet―twice the size of SOM'S current facilities―it will provide space for the student body to grow from 220 to 300 students.

Taking Yale SOM into the home stretch

Featuring technology for interactive learning, classrooms have
been named by graduates including Len Baker '64

During his career, Evans had been a private investor, the chair and CEO of publishing house Macmillan, Inc. from 1979 to 1989, and one of the nation's premier horse breeders. Over his three decades in the business, his horses won more than 100 stakes races, setting track records, amassing awards, and garnering him recognition in 2009 as the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association's national breeder of the year. Against this winning tradition, it is fitting that his gift brought the SOM campus building campaign―part of the broader $300 million Management Tomorrow Campaign―out of the far turn and into the homestretch and gave it, like his best horses, a strong finishing kick.

The Ligon-Lamsam Commons is a student lounge overlooking
the courtyard

President Levin said, "The School of Management's new home will be as forward-looking as its pioneering curriculum. With this gift, Ned Evans has expressed confidence in the School's future and ensured that construction can proceed without putting undue pressure on our budget. We are immensely grateful for his generosity and proud that his name will now be associated with this spectacular new facility."