Leslie and Abigail Wexner, founding and sustaining donors of the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard’s Kennedy School, announced today an additional gift of $3 million to the center. Their gift, an extension of the couple’s longtime commitment to inspiring, preparing, and connecting tomorrow’s global leaders, brings the Wexners’ total commitment to the center and HKS to more than $42 million.
Les Wexner built Limited Brands and now serves as chairman and CEO. He and his wife, Abigail, an attorney, are among the nation’s leading philanthropists. Les Wexner’s alma mater, The Ohio State University, recently named its entire medical complex in his honor. Both Wexners are deeply engaged in numerous community activities in their hometown of Columbus, Ohio. In addition, they serve as cochairs of The Wexner Foundation, which promotes the vitality of Jewish communities throughout North America and is highly supportive of Israel.
The Wexners’ engagement with the Kennedy School began in 1989, when the foundation established the Wexner Israel Fellowship Program. This initiative has enabled more than 200 Israeli public leaders to come to the Kennedy School in pursuit of a midcareer master’s degree.
In August 2000, a gift from the Wexners launched the Center for Public Leadership, reflecting a longtime interest in leadership and history by Les Wexner. Since then, their ongoing counsel and generosity, underwriting core operating expenses, have enabled the center to become recognized as one of the top university-based leadership institutes in North America. CPL serves a growing number of young, aspiring leaders at the Kennedy School and beyond through scholarships, workshops, field trips, and conversations with visiting leaders.