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New York Times Identifies Anonymous Cornell Alum Who Donated $350 M. Towards the Tech Campus

feeney book party New York Times Identifies Anonymous Cornell Alum Who Donated $350 M. Towards the Tech Campus

Mr. Feeney via the Cornell Chronicle

Looks like Sandy Weill will have to be okay with having only two Cornell institutions named after him. The New York Times just outed the Big Red enthusiast responsible for a $350 million anonymous donation towards Cornell and Technion’s proposed applied sciences campus. The individual is 80-year-old Charles F. Feeney who made his billions running the Duty Free Shoppers Group. The donation was made through Atlantic Philanthropies, an organization founded by Mr. Feeney.

Well that explains the duty free joke during today’s presser announcing Cornell and Technion as the winner. Early in the presentation, Technion president Peretz Lavie said he was told on Friday afternoon to buy a ticket for New York. When Betabeat asked whether that meant the decision wasn’t made until Friday (after Stanford dropped out of the race), Mayor Bloomberg quipped:

“The president of the Technion—I don’t want to brag for him—but he was in Sweden where one of his faculty members just received a Nobel Prize, so if you’re going from Israel to Sweden you might as well keep going, hopefully he’ll spend a little bit of money and buy some things to take back.”

Wink-wink. Okay, now we get it!

The donation was announced Friday afternoon, although sources say it had been in the works for awhile. It’s not clear whether part of Mr. Feeney’s donation went towards the $150 million venture capital fund announced as part of the campus initiative at today’s press conference. Mayor Bloomberg also revealed that Cornell received the full $100 million grant allocated for the project.

According to the Times, Mr. Feeney may know a little something about the ramen-eating, lean startup lifestyle espoused by the beneficiaries of his donation:

“He flies coach, owns neither a home nor a car, and wears a $15 watch.”

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com

Comments

  1. It is nice to see people giving back to the institutions that help them become a success.

    Before there was the “Oracle at Delphi” there was Count Vampire J. Machiavelli

    VJ Machiavelli
    Power to the People who “VOTE”

  2. Self Object says:

    That’s a lot of money

  3. Self Object says:

    That’s a lot of money

  4. Can't Comment says:

    It’s not well known and has only come to light recently, but Mr. Feeney is also responsible for much of the money that has created the University of Limerick in Ireland. Limerick’s Airport, Shannon, was the world’s first duty free, so I guess that explains it. Fair play to the man, I love the way he’s not in your face like other philanthropist’s sometimes are…  

    1. Lynda Annflood says:

      It’s awesome that he knows he can’t take it with him, and want to give to education and needy  people. If he decides he what to help someone tell, him my car is broke down.  My grnaddaughter is graduating and need to go to medical school and I don’t have the money and my mom home that I live in is going into foreclosure.  I NEED $200, 000.00.  I could be debt free. granddaughter in college  and worry free. Tell
      Mr. Feeney he is a kind man and god honors his giving. LYNDA FLOOD, ROCKY POINT, N.C.  Would like to start my own ministry.

  5. Upendokenya says:

    Please donate to our organization also in Kenya.  We are call Upendo Development & Restoration Prog, we running a feeding programme for vounarable children in a slum area called Kiambiu in Nairobi Kenya please asist us. Put a smile on a poor kids face this chrismas please. Do it through the Programme Director, Veronica Watibini on +254 723 436 272 via Western Union.  Any contributions you make will be highly appreciated.  You call call for more details.

  6. Upendokenya says:

    Please donate to our organization also in Kenya.  We are call Upendo Development & Restoration Prog, we running a feeding programme for vounarable children in a slum area called Kiambiu in Nairobi Kenya please asist us. Put a smile on a poor kids face this chrismas please. Do it through the Programme Director, Veronica Watibini on +254 723 436 272 via Western Union.  Any contributions you make will be highly appreciated.  You call call for more details.