Buffett Watch

Daughter of Buffett Mentor Gives $128M to Pennsylvania School with Profits from Early Berkshire Hathaway Investment


The daughter of Warren Buffett's mentor and business partner David Dodd is giving $128.5 million over a period of twenty years to the George School in Newtown, Pennsylvania.  It's being called "one of the largest single gifts to an existing independent school in the United States." 

Buffett talked about the gift and about his view of the markets right now in a live interview on CNBC's Power Lunch.  (Details on that interview are in this WBW post.)

The money for Barbara Dodd Anderson's gift is coming from David Dodd's early investment in Buffett's holding company Berkshire Hathaway.  She is a member of the Geroge School's Class of 1950.

A news release from the George School quotes Buffett as saying, "Any longtime shareholder of Berkshire is appreciably wealthier because of the indirect influence that Dave Dodd had upon our company. As both a teacher and a friend, I revered Dave. I am delighted that his decision to invest in Berkshire has enabled Barbara to honor both her father and George School through this wonderful gift.”

David Dodd was a professor at Columbia University who taught Buffett when he was student there.  His daughter is quoted in the release as saying, "My father became a business partner of Warren’s and they were good friends throughout my father’s life."

With his Columbia colleague , also a mentor to Buffett, Dodd wrote one of the classic texts of investing, 1934's Security Analysis.

She's also quoted as saying, "My father’s professors recognized his own talent and hard work when he was a student at the University of Pennsylvania in the 1930s. They inspired and placed confidence in him. When he became a professor himself, he tried to do the same for his students, one of whom was Warren Buffett. When I was a student at George School, my teachers did the same for me. That was a difficult time in my life, as my mother was very ill, and my teachers not only responded to my interests in the classroom but cared for me personally. George School became a second home for me."

George School describes itself as "a coeducational Friends (Quaker) boarding and day school for grades nine through twelve."  The school's Director of Development Anne Storch says in the release, "Initially, the funds will be used to support current strategic goals of the school, which emphasize three areas key to the school’s mission—student financial aid, faculty and staff compensation, and leadership in the area of environmental sustainability.”

Last week, Warren Buffett Watch reported that Charlie Munger, Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and a long-time associate of Buffett's is giving a total of over $20 million dollars to two schools in the Los Angeles area.

Questions?  Comments?  Email me at buffettwatch@cnbc.com