George Roberts - Co-Founder (Alongside Henry Kravis) of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Announced as 2013 Commencement Speaker at Claremont McKenna College
George R. Roberts - Philanthropist, and Co-Founder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. —Announced as 2013 Commencement Speaker
CLAREMONT, Calif. — Claremont McKenna College (CMC) has announcedthat Trustee and financier George R. Roberts ’66 P’93, Co-founder of KohlbergKravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) and its co-chairman and co-chief executiveofficer, will deliver the keynote address at the College’s 66th AnnualCommencement ceremonies set for 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. Theceremony, honoring the Class of 2013, will be held on Pritzlaff Field, south ofBauer Center.A generous champion of his undergraduate alma mater, Roberts’ name isentwined with daily life at CMC, including the conclusion last March of theGeorge R. Roberts Faculty Challenge. The gift-matching measure, launched in2006, was the largest gift in the history of the College for direct facultysupport, and raised a total of $60 million to build, support, and strengthen theCollege’s academic environment with exceptional scholars committed toteaching and research. Faculty members who received an endowed chairunder the Roberts Faculty Leadership Initiative are designated as George R.Roberts Fellows.Within the same year that the Challenge reached its successfulconclusion, Roberts then gave an unrestricted gift of $50 million to theCollege, which pushed the College past its $600 million Campaign forClaremont McKenna goal. Announced in December 2012, his unrestricted giftled the Board of Trustees to designate in his honor a state-of-the-art new
“Claremont McKenna College is honored to welcome George Roberts as thisyear’s keynote speaker,” said Pamela Gann, president of the College. “Forme, personally, having George Roberts serve as our speaker at my lastCommencement as president is most gratifying. He is the embodiment of allthat CMC values. Simply put, George Roberts exemplifies visionary andtransformative leadership.”A pioneer of the private equity industry, George Roberts co-founded KohlbergKravis Roberts & Co. in 1976. For more than 30 years, along with KKR co-founder and CMC Trustee Henry R. Kravis ’67, he has led the firm in its growthinto a leading global alternative asset manager.He is actively involved in managing the firm and serves on each of the regionalPrivate Equity Investment and Portfolio Management committees. Roberts alsohas served as a director or trustee of several cultural and educationalinstitutions, including Claremont McKenna College. In addition to his generousphilanthropy at CMC, he is the founder and chairman of the board of directorsof the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), a San Francisco-basedventure philanthropy organization that creates jobs and employmentopportunities for people facing the greatest barriers to work. REDF providesequity-like grants and business assistance to a portfolio of nonprofits inCalifornia to start and expand social enterprises — nonprofit-operatedbusinesses selling goods and services demanded by the marketplace, whileintentionally employing young people and adults who would otherwise facebleak prospects of ever getting a job.
Roberts earned his bachelor’s degree from Claremont McKenna College in1966, and a J.D. from the University of California (Hastings) Law School in1969. He has more than four decades of experience financing, analyzing, andinvesting in public and private companies, as well as serving on the boards of anumber of KKR portfolio companies.His philanthropy already touches many facets of the College’s life. In addition tothe extraordinary Roberts faculty fundraising challenge and his unrestricted giftto the Campaign, Roberts has also supported construction of two academicbuildings — Roberts North and Roberts South, which house classrooms andfaculty offices — as well as the founding of the Roberts Environmental Center.Claremont McKenna College (CMC) is an independent, coeducational liberalarts college. Established in 1946, CMC is a member of The ClaremontColleges, a consortium of seven independent institutions inClaremont, California.Original article about George Roberts published February 18 2013 onheraldonline.com