Billionaire Igor Rybakov and his wife Ekaterina pledged $100 million over the next 10 years, while announcing the winners of the inaugural Rybakov Prize, totaling $1.2 million for three change-makers in the realm of education.
The nine-figure commitment is significant, on par with past educational gifts by fellow billionaires such as Eli and Edythe L. Broad and Stephen A. Schwarzman. The Broad Foundation pledged $100 million for the School of Management at Yale University in 2019; that’s in addition to $4 billion in lifetime charitable giving.
Schwarzman, for his part, pledged $188 million to Oxford University last year and has given away more than $500 million to date to a variety of charitable causes.
President of the Rybakov Foundation, Ekaterina said, “Impactful change can succeed at that rate of growth. Just five years ago, I was much more anxious about the future than I am now. We want to encourage people to be involved and responsible for the world in which we will live. For our common future. And our future, right now, is at the school desk.”
Top honors of $1 million will support Abdulkerimov’s Luminary Center in a mountainous village in Russia’s Dagestan region which offers tuition-free, interdisciplinary, modular schooling. Most of the money will go toward creating an endowment for the Center, while $100,000 can be used at his discretion. He stated plans to open 50 Luminary centers in five years.