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$50M gift to engineering supports minorities

Friday, January 29, 2016

$50M gift to engineering supports minorities

A $50 million commitment from Robert F. Smith ’85, founder and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, and his foundation will support chemical and biomolecular engineering and underrepresented students at Cornell Engineering. The gift will also create a unique fellowship program at Cornell Tech that further strengthens the new campus’s ties to engineering in Ithaca. 

In recognition of Smith’s support, the university will name the Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Cornell, as well as the Robert Frederick Smith Tech Scholars Program spanning Cornell Engineering and Cornell Tech. 

Under Smith’s leadership, Vista Equity Partners has become one of the most successful investment firms in the world. Smith’s accomplishments have landed him at #268 on the most recent Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans.

Smith is also well known for his philanthropy and is president of the Fund II Foundation, a non-profit organization working to advance social change and preserve African-American culture, human rights, music education, the environment and American values such as entrepreneurship and innovation.

Read more about the gift and the programs it will support in the Cornell Chronicle.

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