STONY BROOK, N.Y. -- A billionaire former professor and his wife are donating $150 million to Stonybrook University, the largest gift ever to any school in the State University of New York system.
The gift announced Wednesday comes from James Simons, a hedge fund manager who taught math at Stony Brook, and Marilyn Simons, an alumna of the school.
“This gift represents a milestone moment – a transformational moment – in the history of our young institution,” Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said. “Everyone has a reason to celebrate and an opportunity to excel. It provides Stony Brook with infinite possibilities…the financial capacity to fulfill our potential and reach unparalleled heights in the areas of research, education and discovery.”
The money is targeted at three priorities: research excellence in the School of Medicine, faculty hires through new endowed professorships and recruitment of top-level graduate and undergraduate students.
"Stony Brook gave me a wonderful chance in 1968 when I was hired as chair to build up the Department of Mathematics,” said Jim Simons in a statement. “That worked out remarkably well, and ever since, the university has had a special place in my heart."
Added his wife: "My Stony Brook education and the friendships I developed there as an undergrad and as a graduate student opened so many possibilities to me. We're deeply grateful for all Stony Brook has given to us and very glad to be able to give back to such a great institution."
Jim Simons is founder of Renaissance Technologies, a hedge fund management company, and chair of the Simons Foundation. Marilyn Simons is president of the Simons Foundation.
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