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Harvard Gets $400 Million Gift, Biggest Ever

File - A tour group walks through the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

America's prestigious Harvard University said Wednesday it has received its biggest gift ever - $400 million from Wall Street hedge fund billionaire John Paulson.

The university said the money would support its School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, which is being renamed for the 59-year-old donor, a 1980 Harvard Business School graduate.

Harvard's science and engineering school has expanded rapidly in recent years. Its research laboratories have led advances in such diverse fields as the development of self-organizing robots and an implantable cancer vaccine.

Paulson's fortune is estimated at more than $11 billion. In the U.S. investment world, he is acclaimed for betting correctly against sub-prime mortgage bonds as the U.S. housing market plunged in 2007 in the months ahead of the country's steepest economic decline since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

In announcing his gift to Harvard, Paulson said, "There is nothing more important to improve humanity than education."

Harvard's endowment now totals $36.4 billion, making it the world's richest university.