Harvard University has announced a $12.3 million gift from Lily Safra, widow of Republic National Bank of New York founder Edmond J. Safra.
The gift, which Safra made in honor of her late husband, will be used to create an endowment for the university's Edmond J. Safra Graduate Fellowship program and to support the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, including the center's research lab, a five-year initiative launched in 2009 by director Lawrence Lessig to study the causes and consequences of institutional corruption.
Safra, a longtime member of the Safra Center's advisory council, participates regularly in center-sponsored seminars and public programs. The center received a $10 million endowment gift from the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation in 2004.
"We are grateful for this timely gift to the Safra Center," said Harvard University president Drew Faust. "At a moment in history when many people are examining the global financial system and the role of public institutions, we will all benefit from serious research into the increasing complexity of public life and the ethical issues faced by corporate leaders."