Billionaire Denny Sanford Gives $100M to UC San Diego to Study Compassion After Meeting Dalai Lama

He is the founder and owner of First Premier Bank and the chairman and chief executive officer of its bank holding company, United National Corporation.

Billionaire philanthropist Denny Sanford (left) Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters


Billionaire philanthropist Denny Sanford had a private meeting with the Dalai Lama when he visited the University of California San Diego in 2017. Two years later, that sit-down has inspired Sanford to donate $100 million to the school for the scientific study of empathy and compassion, with an eye toward boosting it in medical professionals, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. “I have had the opportunity to see how grace, humanity and kindness can change people and the world,” the 83-year-old Sanford said in a statement. “This gift extends that vision.” Sanford is worth about $2.6 billion and plans to give away his entire fortune before he dies.



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