About Wm. Polk "W. P." Carey
The W. P. Carey School of Business is named for the late Wm. Polk Carey, a great philanthropist and Arizona State University benefactor, who was also one of the nation’s most prominent real estate investors .
In 2003, the New York-based banker, founder and chairman of W. P. Carey & Co. LLC, announced a $50 million gift from his educational and philanthropic foundation to the business school at ASU. At the time, the generous donation was the second-largest gift ever to a U.S. business school. In recognition of the extraordinary support, ASU renamed the business school in Carey’s honor. The gift has been instrumental in helping the W. P. Carey School of Business to become one of the world’s top business schools, with various programs ranked Top 30 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.
ASU President Michael Crow has said of the gift, “Bill Carey was not only a great business leader and philanthropist, but also a visionary. He knew that metropolitan Phoenix needed a first-rate business school to advance in the 21st century and saw in ASU the potential to develop that school. Through his generous investment in ASU almost a decade ago, the school that bears his name has become world-class and will continue to educate future business leaders for many generations to come.”
Carey’s family has deep connections to ASU. In 1886, his grandfather, John Samuel Armstrong, introduced legislation to help create the Tempe Normal School, which later became Arizona State University.
Carey was educated at Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from ASU. He also made multimillion-dollar gifts to other universities on the East Coast.
Carey once said of his gift to the W. P. Carey School of Business, “The key to future economic growth is quality education, and this school will be dedicated to producing our country’s next generation of business leaders.”
W. P. Carey School of Business Dean Robert Mittelstaedt says, “Bill gave us the ability to dramatically advance the quality and status of the school much more rapidly than would have been possible otherwise. He was a philanthropist who believed a primary way to advance our country was through education.”
Carey passed away in January 2012 at the age of 81, after an incredible 60-plus-year career in the finance industry.