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Bloomberg keeps up gifts to alma mater

Sun., Jan. 27, 2013, midnight

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is giving $350 million to alma mater Johns Hopkins University, pushing his lifetime giving to the private Baltimore university past $1 billion, the university said Saturday.

University officials believe Bloomberg, who earned his fortune creating the global financial services firm Bloomberg LP, is now the first person to give more than $1 billion to a single U.S. university.

Most of the latest gift, $250 million, will go toward a variety of cross-disciplinary subjects, including research on water resources, health care, global health, the science of learning and urban revitalization. The remaining $100 million will go to need-based financial aid for undergraduate students, awarding 2,600 Bloomberg scholarships in the next 10 years.

Phelps’ horse a champion, too

Michael Phelps is a winner at the track, too. Cerro, a 3-year-old colt partly owned by the 18-time Olympic champion swimmer, won the $54,500 third race at Gulfstream Park in Hallendale Beach, Fla., on Saturday.

Phelps and his former coach, Bob Bowman, share an ownership interest in the Ireland-bred colt, which runs in the colors of Team Valor International. Cerro is trained by Graham Motion, who oversaw 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom for Team Valor.

Phelps, who retired after the London Olympics, became interested in horse racing through Bowman, who has bred and owned thoroughbreds for several years and is a friend of Motion. Phelps and Bowman weren’t on hand to see Cerro win on Saturday, although they were at Gulfstream to see the colt finish third in a race on Jan. 1.

Millepied lands Paris ballet job

Benjamin Millepied, the “Black Swan” choreographer who helped transform Natalie Portman into an obsessed, paranoid ballerina for the film and later married the actress, has been named director of the Paris Opera Ballet.

Millepied, 35, is a former principal dancer with the New York City Ballet who left in 2011 to create his own dance company in Los Angeles, L.A. Dance Project. He’ll start at the Paris company in October 2014.

Portman and Millepied, who have a son, met during the making of “Black Swan,” Darren Aronofsky’s psychological thriller that stars Portman as a ballet dancer. Portman won the best actress Academy Award for her performance in the movie.

The birthday bunch

Singer Bobby “Blue” Bland is 83. Actor James Cromwell is 73. Actor John Witherspoon is 71. Ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov is 65. Actress Mimi Rogers is 57. Commentator Keith Olbermann is 54. Actress Bridget Fonda is 49. Actor Alan Cumming is 48. Actor-comedian Patton Oswalt is 44.


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