One of the richest men in the world gave a "transformational" and "historic" half-billion-dollar donation to a Hudson Valley school.

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On Thursday, Bard College announced what school officials called a "transformational" $500 million donation from George Soros.

“This is the most historic moment since the college’s founding in 1860,” Bard College President Leon Botstein stated.

This challenge grant, among the largest ever made to higher education in the United States, will facilitate and strengthen Bard’s exemplary educational and social initiatives, establish the College’s most substantial endowment ever, and set the stage for a $1 billion endowment drive, officials say.

The billionaire philanthropist is a long-time supporter of the Dutchess County college, according to Bard College. In response to the grant the generous grant, Bard announced it has raised an additional $250 million from supporters, including trustees, alumni and friends, and will raise another $250 million over the next five years.

“When this endowment drive is complete, Bard will have a $1 billion endowment, which will ensure its pioneering mission and its academic excellence for the future," Botstein stated.

Soros is one of two founding partners of the college's new Open Society University Network, a global network of educational institutions created with the Central European University in partnership with Mr. Soros’s Open Society Foundations. The network allows Bard to expand and strengthen the college’s pathbreaking network of domestic and international partnerships, officials say.

“Bard has had an outsized impact, setting the standard in liberal arts education in prisons, in high school age students, and in the arts and in its international work,” Soros said.

Soros lives in Westchester County. His net worth is $8.6 billion, according to Forbes. Soros is ranked 282 on Forbes list of the richest people in the world.

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