Light & Verity

A major gift—and a name—for SOM building

School of Management

School of Management

An architect's rendering depicts the entrance to the new School of Management building, which will be called Edward P. Evans Hall. View full image

As construction proceeds on a new $180 million building for the School of Management, Yale is still working on raising donations for the project. They advanced several steps in December, when former Macmillan Publishing CEO Edward P. “Ned” Evans ’64 gave $50 million. The building will be named Edward P. Evans Hall. 

Evans, a private investor and a breeder of thoroughbred horses, died on December 31 of acute myeloid leukemia, just 11 days after his gift was announced. President Richard Levin ’74PhD says that Evans, who was unmarried and had no children, knew he was terminally ill when he contacted the university about making a major gift. “It was very moving to have a person think so generously at a time when he was very, very sick,” Levin says. After considering a list of projects, Evans settled on SOM. “He responded quickly to the idea of the School of Management,” says Levin. “He was a businessperson himself, and he liked the idea of Yale improving its business school.”

The new SOM, a modernist structure of steel and glass built around a grassy courtyard, is being designed by the British architecture firm of Lord Norman Foster ’62MArch. It will replace the group of small buildings and historic New Haven homes that have housed the school since its 1976 founding, and will allow SOM to expand student enrollment from 450 to 600. 

Now under way on Whitney Avenue—across the street from the Peabody Museum of Natural History and a block or two from SOM’s current buildings—the new structure is one of several construction projects that were thrown into limbo by the economic downturn of 2008, when Yale’s endowment lost $6.5 billion. The university called a halt to the design and development of projects that did not already have donor funding in place. That list also includes a new home for the School of Drama, a biology building on Science Hill, and two new residential colleges. 

Levin says that Evans’s gift, along with a $10 million gift pledged in November by Wilbur Ross ’59, will allow SOM to move forward while the rest of the money is being raised. “It’s pretty clear we’ll be able to close up the full gap over the next three years while the building’s being built,” he says.  

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