Despite never having given more than $50 to my alma mater, they thought I might be interested in their newsletter for donators, in which I learn:
—if I give them a very large chunk of money, they will promise to pay me a percentage every year.
—the IRS has just made it cheaper to avoid gift and death taxes on large estates by setting up a trust
—gee, the rival college got a gift of land back in the day that just brought in over $90 million
Also see the series from University Diaries on big endowments.