Kiwi gives $US50 million to Catholic University in the USA

A New Zealander, Peter Cooper, has donated $US50 million to Georgetown Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

Established in 1789, Georgetown is the USA’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit university.

The donation is for the creation of a leadership programme for the university’s student-athletes, and to fund a sports field.

“The athletics program at Georgetown has played a significant role in our family’s life,” he told the university.

The university said Cooper and his wife Susan were the parents of five Georgetown graduates — twins Kylie and Ryan, as well as Matthew, Kris and Adam.

He is a Kaitaia-raised son of a truck driver.

He is of Ngati Kahu, Ngati Kuri and Te Aupouri descent.

Cooper, now in his 60s, got his first taste of the US on a school scholarship and has had a foot in both countries ever since.

A lawyer specialising in commercial and property law, Mr Cooper was formerly executive director of Lion Nathan, chief executive of LD Nathan and joint managing director of Mace Development Corporation.

He practiced law for 11 years and was partner at Auckland law firm Russell McVeagh, where he specialized in commercial and property law.

Cooper made a fortune in real estate and private equity and developed projects including the billion-dollar, 6.5ha Britomart site in downtown Auckland.

He is the founder and Executive Chairman of Cooper and Company.

Cooper and Company is a private investment company, established in 1989, that develops and invests in assets on a long-term ownership basis.

The company has offices Newport Beach, California; Auckland, New Zealand; and Southlake, Texas.


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