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The $100 Million Facebook-Newark Schools Deal Went Down in an Airport Lounge

Where: Newark-Liberty International Airport [map], Newark, NJ, United States
September 27, 2010 at 5:37 PM | by | ()

If you watched Oprah late last week or picked up a newspaper, you may have noticed the news that Mark Zuckerberg, founder and current head of Facebook, has made the decision to give some $100 million dollars to the Newark, NJ public school system. It's not just a straight gift however, but a "challenge grant," requiring the Newark school system to match it by seeking another $100 million in donations. Zuckerberg has no history of such philanthropy, so this is a huge deal, and it's a huge deal that was sealed in an airport lounge at Newark International Airport.

If you're ever passing through the Continental Airlines President's Club at EWR, glance towards their private conference, because the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports that a 3-hour-long meeting here made it happen:

A clandestine meeting was held early last month at Newark Liberty International Airport.

Zuckerberg had just flown in from his home in California, on his way to visit his parents in New York.

[New Jersey Governor Chris] Christie, after spending a week at the Jersey Shore with his family, was preparing to embark with his two sons on a vacation tour of baseball stadiums around the country.

And waiting for them in a private area of the President’s Club at the Continental Airlines terminal was [Newark Mayor Cory] Booker, trying to close the deal of his life.

'They got us a conference room,' recalled Christie. They met for nearly three hours. 'And we left that day really thinking that this is going to happen.'

Interesting. Does anyone else think it's odd that, after Christie took a week-long vacation with his family, that he was off on yet another vacation? At least he got this work done.

[Photo: AFP/theAge.au]

Archived Comments:

Lots of Vacation Time

I'd love to be the governor of NJ for all those days off, but I'd have to live in NJ...so count me out!


HA yea. And you'd also be flying in and out of Newark. Blech! As you can probably tell, I am not a fan of EWR. $15 each way on NJ Transit doesn't help things.

Where is the love?

Obviously, I am partial to EWR since it's my hometown airport. Or well used to be. Kinda still is. Ok, well sometimes, I fly back to JFK bc of Virgin but all other times, EWR.

But anyways, I've hung out in that lounge many times before and it's pretty nice. Very standard Continental look--brown leather chairs, beige rugs etc. I just really hate how they have those mini-bagels tho. Like they are just barely bigger than a silver dollar. Never needed a private conference room tho. One day!