Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Anonymous $350 Million Donor is Revealed and It Is a Cornell Alum

He always flies coach. He does not own a house and his watch cost $15.

The mystery man who gave $350 million to Cornell to support the new science center that it was awarded yesterday by Mayor Bloomberg of NYC, in partnership with Technion of Israel, has now been revealed.

The magnanimous donor is a Cornell University alum, who graduated from its School of Hotel Management in 1956.

His name is Mr. Charles F. Feeney, and The New York Times has a wonderful article on him and his generosity and vision. He views this initiative as transformational and I concur.

According to The Times, Cornell and Technion promise to start offering classes next September in temporary space, and to complete 300,000 square feet of space on Roosevelt Island by 2017 and more than 2 million square feet by 2037. Plans call for about 280 faculty members and 2,500 students in master’s and doctoral programs, a larger contingent than the universities had proposed a few months ago.

The schools have also committed to training at least 200 teachers each year in science education.

The universities plan to organize the campus around three overlapping, shifting “hubs”: technologies for “connective media,” applicable to everything from finance to social media; health care industries; and sustainable development, chosen in part to mesh with the city’s existing strengths.

Now isn't the above something that one can get excited about?!