"Michael B. Kim ’85, through his foundation, the MBK Educational
Foundation, has pledged $7.5 million toward construction of a new
dormitory that will be sited adjacent to, and constructed in tandem
with, another new dorm that received separate funding a year ago.
News of the gift was announced at last weekend's quarterly meeting of
the College’s Board of Managers. Michael, who lives in Seoul, South
Korea, has been a member of the Board since 2005.
This is a most welcome and important gift for many reasons. First and
foremost, it reaffirms our commitment to ensuring vibrant student life
at Haverford, and the role of living space in building a strong sense of
community. Notably, we are not building in order to expand the size of
the student body, but rather because we want to better accommodate the
student body we already have, which has seen dorm living rooms become
bedrooms during the gradual expansion that has taken place since 1978.
The new dorms will also enable us to move many students up from the
Haverford College Apartments and closer to the heart of campus.
Michael was unable to attend the Board meeting, but said in an email,
“The Kim family is delighted to be contributing to the advancement of
the College through the gift of the MBK Educational Foundation. We are
particularly pleased that the Foundation’s gift will touch the lives of
many students for years to come." Michael is a founding partner of MBK
Partners, one of Asia’s largest private equity firms.
The College has offered to name the new facility in honor of Michael and
his family. His gift comes a year after another Haverford College
alumnus, Steven Jaharis ’82, made a challenge gift in support of the
other new dorm, to be named in honor of former Haverford president Tom
Groundbreaking for both buildings on what is now the parking lot east of
the Whitehead Campus Center will occur next April.
Student living space emerged as a top priority in a recent survey of
alumni and friends of the College who have expressed interest in
supporting Haverford philanthropically. The College expects that
these and other building projects, along with initiatives relating to
the expansion of faculty and curriculum, will form the core of an
upcoming comprehensive campaign, the general parameters of which the
Board of Managers also approved this weekend.
> Ultimately, a total of 160 students will call the two dorms home
beginning in September 2012.
Concept and design work, which included extensive input from across the
community, was conducted last year and came on the heels of the
College’s comprehensive Master Planning process. The award-winning
architectural firm of Tod Williams Billie Tsien channeled community
input into an innovative design that takes its cues from Haverford’s
enduring respect for community and the land on which this community
As Billie said in a note describing their plans, "The buildings and
landscape work together and free up space so that it can be used to
create larger and more positive social spaces for the students. A
central open courtyard in each building brings light, air, and a
protected outdoor space for student use. Student lounges are located on
either side of these courtyards, so when weather permits, large sliding
glass doors can open to connect the inside to the outside. Light
monitors on the roof bring natural light through shafts to the lower
level, bathrooms and selected student rooms. In this new complex, the
buildings and the landscape will work together to form a sense of
community that is contained and enhanced by nature.” "