University-Industry Engagement Week

Three U.S. research universities receive historic naming gifts

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: November 14th, 2023

In the first two weeks of November, three U.S. research universities have reported historic, big dollar naming gifts for academic programs.

The donations include $25 million to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), $30 million to the University of South Carolina (USC) and $36 million to the University of Nevada, Reno.

CMU’s $25 million gift comes from trustee Ray Lane and his wife, Stephanie, and will be used to support the university’s Computational Biology Department, which includes faculty in the biological sciences, computer science, and statistics and data science. CMU will rename it the Ray and Stephanie Lane Computational Biology Department.

“Ray and Stephanie Lane have been passionate advocates for the power and possibilities of computational biology since the department’s formation,” says CMU president Farnam Jahanian. “With their support, our researchers are making life-changing discoveries and creating life-saving treatments. I am deeply grateful for their investment in Carnegie Mellon University.”

USC received its gift from one of its alumni, nationally prominent trial lawyer Joe Rice. The $30 million donation will go to USC’s School of Law, which the university will rename the Joseph F. Rice School of Law.

The gift will be used to establish an endowed student scholarship fund and at least four new endowed professorships. It will also support students completing a children’s law concentration, enhance student career development, and fund other educational priorities in the law school.

“An investment of this magnitude is often described as transformative, but this word does not do justice to the far-reaching impact that Joe Rice’s gift promises for the University of South Carolina,” says USC President Michael Amiridis.

The University of Nevada, Reno received its $36 million gift — the largest in the university’s 149-year history — from the George W. Gillemot Foundation. The donation will be used to create the George W. Gillemot Aerospace Engineering Department within the College of Engineering, as well as to enhance the technology within the George W. Gillemot Dome in the university’s Fleischmann Planetarium.

“The University is humbled and honored to be a part of fulfilling the legacy of George W. Gillemot and his vision of preparing exceptional aerospace engineers to meet the needs of the growing aeronautics and aerospace industries,” said University of Nevada, Reno president Brian Sandoval. “This milestone gift from the George W. Gillemot Foundation speaks to the strong commitment of the Gillemot Trustees to meet the needs of Nevada’s future, as an investment in the success of our students, faculty and staff whose innovative work is driving the next great chapter in our state’s history.”

Source: Forbes

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week