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UCLA receives $25M gift from head of Japanese retail giant

Posted at 10:38 AM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 13:50:06-05

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The University of California, Los Angeles has received a $25 million donation from Tadashi Yanai, the founder and CEO of Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo, the school announced Wednesday.

The money will endow a center named for Yanai devoted to the study of Japanese literature, language and culture, the university said in a statement.

Yanai's gift is the largest from an individual donor in the history of UCLA's humanities division, according to the school.

In 2014 he donated $2.5 million to create the Yanai Initiative, a collaboration between UCLA and Japan's Waseda University. The program supports academic and cultural programming and enables student and faculty exchanges between the two universities. The latest gift will ensure the initiative’s long-term future, the statement said.

“Thanks to his generosity, UCLA will lead the way in research and teaching in Japanese humanities, bringing new attention to a rich culture that has captured people’s imaginations for centuries," said David Schaberg, UCLA’s dean of humanities.

Yanai founded Uniqlo in the 1980s and grew it into a global brand known for its casual clothing.