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Sharik Currimbhoy CC ’02 Makes Timely Pledge

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Delhi-based entrepreneur Sharik Currimbhoy CC ’02 has pledged $12.12 million to Columbia in a gift that will span multiple schools at the University and will support research and fellowships with a focus on India and emerging markets. The announcement of the gift was timed to coincide with 12:12 p.m. on December 12, 2012 — 12:12 on 12-12-12. This is the largest gift from an alumnus in India to Columbia.Sharik CurrimbhoySharik Currimbhoy

Currimbhoy, who studied economics at the College from 1998–2002, is the founder of Element Capital, an investment company with a focus on private equity and real estate. The gift was made in honor of his great-great-grandfather, Sir Currimbhoy Ebrahim.

“Columbia University molded me into the person I am today by giving me the opportunity to live and work in the financial center of the world,” Currimbhoy said. “At the same time, I was deeply impacted byColumbia’s Core Curriculum, the College’s courses on significant ideas and achievements in literature, philosophy, history, music, art and science.

“To this day I recall my first Lit Hum class with the captivating Wallace Gray GSAS ’58,” Currimbhoy said. “Little known to us freshman, Professor Gray was the foremost authority on Joyce in the world. Professor Gray went on to be my friend, philosopher, guide and mentor. That was the beauty ofColumbia; the youngest are led by the wisest. I vividly recall the day I told him I was starting up a financial news company. ‘But Sharik’, he said, ‘you’re a poet.’ While I was never able to live up to Professor Gray’s hopes that I would be the next Frost, my poems are the institutions I have built. Columbia gave me a gift that will last a lifetime, and I would like to return that gift over more than one lifetime.”

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