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Fmr. Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill and wife become Carnegie Hall’s first $100 million donor

Cortney Moore

Carnegie Hall just went cha-ching, and it’s all thanks to a familiar donor.

The famous New York City arts staple and national landmark announced Tuesday that Sanford I. and Joan Weill and The Weill Family Foundation – have earned the billionaire pair a unique distinction of being the first to reach the cumulative $100 million donor threshold in the concert hall’s history. This after receiving an additional $14.6 million gift.

In a press release, Carnegie Hall said the Weill family’s donation will help promote its 125th Anniversary Campaign and support both art and education initiatives. Specifically, $5 million will be “earmarked to underwrite the hall's music education and teacher training programs in New York City public schools.”

Weill, who is also known as Sandy, was CEO of Citigroup from 1998 to 2003. He famously mentored Jamie Dimon, before firing him. Dimon went on to become the CEO of JPMorgan and is now considered one of the nation's top, if not number one, banking CEO.

As for Weill, the financier and former banker has donated to a number of philanthropic causes alongside his wife, Joan. Together, they have joined the Giving Pledge, a foundation founded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett that promises to give away wealth post-mortem.

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The milestone donation to arts was accomplished after thirty-six years of being a trustee at Carnegie Hall. Sandy became the organization’s chairman in 1991 and president in 2015.

"I can't remember a time when Carnegie Hall hasn't been a central part of Joan and my life," Weill said in a statement.

He added: "We are so proud of everything that has been accomplished here over the years, especially in the area of music education, with kids having the chance to experience great music at the finest concert hall and develop their potential through music. It is very rewarding to think about how this amazing hall will be enjoyed by future generations. We truly think the best is yet to come."

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The Weills will continue to donate to philanthropic causes and organizations around the globe, according to Carnegie Hall.

Notable recipients outside the arts include the Weill Cornell Medical College, National Academy Foundation, University of California and more.

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