Silicon Alley U

Hours After Stanford Drops Out, Cornell Announces $350 M. Donation For Tech Campus

tumblr lt88ucxt0t1qige4i Hours After Stanford Drops Out, Cornell Announces $350 M. Donation For Tech Campus

via Belsky Bits

They must be popping champagne in Ithaca right now. Mere hours after Stanford dropped the bomb that it would be withdrawing its bid to build an engineering mecca on Roosevelt Island, Cornell just announced that it has received a $350 million anonymous donation in support of its applied science campus proposal.

Anonymous, hmm . . . Perhaps it’s someone with an extra $88 million lying around? “We’re not commenting!” is all Cornell offered by way of response.

In a statement, Cornell President David J. Skorton said:

“I am thankful and proud that this extraordinary individual gift will support Cornell’s goal to realize Mayor Bloomberg’s vision  for New York City. He has inspired us all in the higher education sector. At Cornell, our entire community has come together, in a way that happens only so often in an institution’s history, with winning ideas, energy and the creativity that the Mayor’s challenge deserves.”

According to the Wall Street Journal‘s sources, part of Stanford’s motivation to pull out was a comment from Mayor Bloomberg during at speech at MIT when he called Stanford “desperate” to win the bid.

President Skorton alluded to Stanford’s decision, albeit obliquely:

“Cornell and the Technion are deeply committed to partnering with New York City to build the world’s leading campus dedicated to technology and enterprise.  Our vision is to build a truly twenty-first century campus that will fuel the city’s growing tech sector and spur the creation of new businesses and new industries for decades to come.  Our proposal for a multidisciplinary institution combining world class applied science research, entrepreneurship and commercialization will accelerate New York City’s transformation into a world leader in technology innovation.  We look forward to continuing to discuss our proposal and our vision with the Bloomberg administration as the process moves forward.”

So was Cornell just sitting on this $350 million, waiting for the right moment to break the big news? Or is today just the best day Dr. Skorton’s life?

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

Comments

  1. Entropygrl says:

     Dr. Skorton Nitasha.  Dr. Skorton.

  2. Fmichael3 says:

    Seems clear Stanford couldn’t compete and chose to weasel out. Not everyone lives by US News rankings, especially when money is involved. 

    1. Anonymous says:

      This result looks really bad for the city, and “let’s quit while we’re ahead” doesn’t reflect that well on Stanford either. What happens the next time that university tries to submit something in response to an RFP?

  3. Mike Caprio says:

    I wonder if a certain billionaire mayor who owns the 7th largest standing army made an anonymous donation to support his real estate boondoggle vision?

    1. Anonymous says:

      That would certainly be sneaky.

      1. Mike Caprio says:

        I saw something at another link saying that mayoral aides claimed he wasn’t a donor, but when you’re the 30th richest person in the world, there are always ways to move money around and not technically be “a donor”.

      2. Anonymous says:

        It is likely to come out. Such a big donation. We have a lead, not Bloomie. Workin on it ;)