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Nonprofit news roundup for May 21, 2008

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Elite U.S. universities produce most billionaires

A small group of universities have educated a majority of America’s billionaires, with just 20 universities accounting for 52 percent of U.S. billionaire graduates, while 182 schools account for the rest, Andrew Farrell said in a column at Forbes May 19. Harvard University has the most at 50, while Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, Yale, Columbia and The University of Chicago round out the top five.

Montebello leaves Met for NYU

Philippe de Montebello is leaving his position as director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to become the first professor of museum history and culture at New York University, The New York Times reported May 20. Montebello, who has directed the museum for 31 years, also will advise the university on the opening of its new campus in Abu Dhabi.

Coalition wages grassroots fight for uninsured

A nonprofit coalition funded by a Connecticut grantmaker has ushered resolutions calling for state solutions to the health-care insurance crisis through four town governments and has set its sights on four more, The Courant of Hartford, Conn., reported May 19. Caring Families Coalition is fighting for universal health care using grassroots approaches and funds from the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut.

Yao Ming criticized for ‘stingy’ donation; China nets more than Myanmar

Chinese NBA star Yao Ming has been criticized for his donation of 500,000 yuan, or $70,000, to relief efforts in China, a contribution some see as paltry, Agence France-Presse reported May 18. Many Chinese Olympians have already given to disaster victims, Xinhua reported May 15. Official aid tallies are still incomplete, but initial figures suggest China’s earthquake is pulling in significantly more than the cyclone in neighboring Myanmar, a phenomenon experts attribute to donor skepticism about Myanmar’s government, unequal media attention and corporate interests in China, CNNMoney reported May 20.

In Brief :

* The University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, received $20 million from a local businessman for its music school, CBCNews.ca reported May 20.

* The Jewish Healthcare Foundation of Pittsburgh, one of the region’s largest foundations, has delayed its grantmaking cycle pending an analysis of its financial losses in the recent economic turmoil, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported May 19.

* Shipping company UPS pledged $10,000 to a charity that aids thoroughbreds in honor of Eight Belles, the racehorse euthanized after an injury at the Kentucky Derby, The Associated Press reported May 20.

* The National Trust for Historic Preservation named New Orleans’ Charity Hospital and an adjacent neighborhood one of America’s 11 most endangered historic places, The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported May 20.

* The $13-million Native American Art and Cultural Foundation, which will be the first permanently-endowed U.S. foundation solely devoted to tribal art and culture, is conducting a national search for a president, The Bismarck Tribune reported May 20.

* The BBC may face a fraud probe after staff knowingly withheld 100,000 British pounds, or $197,000, meant for charity, The Daily Mail of London reported May 20.

* Violence against foreigners in South Africa has charities calling for donations of at least one million rand, or $130,000, to help destitute victims, The Sunday Times of Johannesburg reported May 20.

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