The University of Strathclyde said the donation from Charles Huang through his philanthropic foundation was the largest it had ever received.
It is also one of the biggest single donations made to any Scottish university.
Dr Huang gained his MBA from Strathclyde in 1989 and his marketing PhD in 1994. His gift will help fund a new building at the university.
The donation will also enable the creation of an institute named after Dr Huang’s supervisor, Prof Stephen Young.
The professor was a former head of the department of marketing at Strathclyde University and Dr Huang’s supervisor and mentor during his PhD studies. He died in August.
Dr Huang founded and chairs the US-based private equity firm Pasaca Capital Inc – its recent venture Innova Medical Group developed the rapid lateral flow tests used in Covid-19 testing programmes.
Among its recent ventures is Innova Medical Group, which developed the rapid lateral flow tests used in Covid-19 testing programmes worldwide, including in the UK.
He said the university had played a “critical role” in his career and business success.
“I came to the University of Strathclyde for my MBA in August 1988 under a scholarship from the British Council for international students and I’m forever grateful of the UK for that life-changing opportunity,” he said.
“This gift is to show my gratitude to Strathclyde and to support those who have yet to embark on their studies.”
The university said the gift would enable it to grow its “collaborative work” with business, industry and the public sector and to develop the next generation of students while supporting the UK’s pandemic recovery.
The donation is to be split, with £30m going towards a new technology and innovation building which will be named after Dr Huang.
The remaining £20m will enable the creation of the Stephen Young Institute for International Business, the Stephen Young Global Leaders Scholarship Programme and the Stephen Young Entrepreneurship Awards.
Prof Sir Jim McDonald, the university’s principal and vice-chancellor, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Dr Charles Huang for this exceptionally generous gift. A donation of this scale will make a huge difference to our students, our research, and our innovation.
“The University of Strathclyde has been transforming lives for more than 200 years and to see one of our own return to support future generations is a very significant moment.”
The vice-chancellor said Dr Huang’s recognition of the role Prof Young had in shaping his future demonstrated how inspirational teaching could leave a “positive mark” for decades to come.
“For Charles to celebrate the impact that Strathclyde made on his career makes this very special to the entire university community.” he added.
Prof Young’s daughter, Juliette Young, said she was delighted that her father’s “outstanding” academic career was being recognised in such a way.
“We would like to express our gratitude and thanks to the Charles Huang Foundation for remembering our father in this way,” she said.