Charlie Munger once funded a $185 million windowless dorm at his alma mater, the University of Michigan: 'You never saw a happier bunch of students'

Charlie Munger (left) and a student dorm room (right).
The late Charlie Munger (left) funded the construction of the Munger Graduate Residences (not pictured) at his alma mater, the University of Michigan. Aside from the common areas, dorm rooms there are windowless.Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images; Hill Street Studios via Getty Images
  • Investing legend Charlie Munger once bankrolled a windowless dorm at the University of Michigan.

  • Munger donated $110 million to his alma mater in 2013 and the dorm welcomed residents in 2015.

  • He later told CNN in 2021 that he should have installed artificial windows in the dorm.

Charlie Munger may have made a name for himself in the world of finance, but the veteran investor also dabbled in architecture.

Munger, who passed away on Tuesday, once funded a $185 million dorm at his alma mater, the University of Michigan. In 2013, Munger donated $110 million, part of which was spent to construct the Munger Graduate Residences.

But the building, which can accommodate more than 600 residents, look a little different from the regular college student's dorm rooms.

Aside from the dorm's common areas, the rooms in Munger Graduate Residences are windowless.

Munger believed that doing away with the windows would help maximize interaction between dorm residents, according to a Bloomberg story published in 2021.

"Everybody loves light and everybody prefers natural light. But it's a game of tradeoffs," Munger told Bloomberg then.

"If you build a big square building, everything is conveniently near to everybody in the building. If you maximize the light, you get fewer people in the building," he continued.

The late Munger was proud of the dorm's unique design. In fact, he tried to use the design in another dormitory building he was funding at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).

"You never saw a happier bunch of students," Munger told CNN about a visit he made to Munger Graduate Residences in 2021.

But the dorm's design wasn't a hit with everyone.

Luiza Macadeo, a former resident, told CNN in 2021 that she had a bad experience isolating in her windowless room during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"That was probably the low point of my experience here," Macadeo said.

Munger himself appeared to recognize the limitations of the design. He told CNN in the same interview that artificial windows should've been installed in Munger Graduate Residences.

"It was a mistake on my part," Munger told CNN.

But Munger Graduate Residences is probably going to be the only dorm featuring Munger's windowless design.

The planned dorm at UCSB was scrapped after its design was panned by students and faculty members, according to a story from The Architect's Newspaper in August.

Read the original article on Business Insider