By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — The founder of a Wall Street private equity firm, who grew up in Montgomery County, is donating $100 million of his own money to establish a scholarship program in China for students from around the world.

The program is billed as a rival to the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University. Blackstone founder Stephen Schwarzman is putting up his own money and will help raise another $200 million to endow the scholars program at Beijing’s Tsinghua University.

The 66-year-old Schwarzman, who graduated from Abington High School, appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation.

“Bringing students to China is an essential part of their education. China is no longer an elective course; it’s really core curriculum.”

Schwarzman says China’s rapid economic growth and rising global influence would define the 21st century. And, he says the program, much like the Rhodes Scholarship, will produce outstanding leaders.

“The center of the world’s economy is moving to Asia much more than it used to be in 1902 when it was more U.S. and Europe when the Rhodes was established.”

He donated money to the Abington School District to help build a multi-purpose stadium at the high school and $100 million to the New York Public Library.