The Simons Foundation announced a $500 million endowment gift to Stony Brook University.

The foundation, which aims to advance research in mathematics and the basic sciences, announced the gift from its Manhattan headquarters.

This combined gift from the Simons Foundation and Simons Foundation International, is expected to grow by up to $1 billion in contributions for the university’s endowment through “New York State’s 1:2 endowment matching program and other philanthropy inspired by this gift,” according to a news release about the donation.

The gift is intended to “cement” Stony Brook as the state’s “flagship research institution,” and the university’s “commitment to educational excellence, research innovation and community support,” according to the news release.

Impacts from investments that stem from the gift include student scholarships, endowed professorships innovative research and clinical care, according to the university.

“The Simons Foundation mission is to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and the basic sciences,” Foundation President David Spergel said in a statement.

“For more than a decade, we have been proud to give to an institution that is at the forefront of educational excellence in the sciences,” Spergel added. “It is our sincere hope that this large unrestricted gift will build upon our previous support to Stony Brook, giving students and faculty the ability to dream big and engage in transformative research.”

“A world-class, public education has the ability to transform the lives of New Yorkers, which is why in this year’s budget we created the first-ever matching fund for endowment contributions for SUNY’s university centers,” Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement. “Time and again, Stony Brook University forges a bold path forward, from innovation happening at Brookhaven Lab to the economic development throughout Long Island. With this remarkable contribution from the Simons Foundation, Stony Brook will continue to excel as an internationally recognized research institution and give students the tools they need to succeed.”

“We are eternally grateful to Jim and Marilyn Simons and Simons Foundation President David Spergel for their unparalleled support of Stony Brook University,” University President Maurie McInnis said in a statement.

“In 1960, we were given a mandate by the State Board of Regents to become a university that would ‘stand with the finest in the country,’” she added. “Thanks in large part to the generosity of the Simons Foundation, we have done just that, and we have no intention of slowing down. We take seriously our commitment to our students, our faculty and our broader community to advance knowledge and contribute to the most significant challenges facing our society. We are so proud of all that we have accomplished as an institution and our best days are ahead of us.”

“I joined Stony Brook University in 1968 as chair of their Department of Mathematics,” Simons Foundation Co-Founder Jim Simons said in a statement. “I knew then it was a top intellectual center with a serious commitment to research and innovation. But Stony Brook also gave me a chance to lead — and so it has been deeply rewarding to watch the university grow and flourish even more. Marilyn and I are proud to support this outstanding public university that has given us so much.”

“As a Stony Brook graduate, I know firsthand the role that a quality education plays in the trajectory of one’s life,” Simons Foundation Co-Founder Marilyn Simons, ’74, PhD ’84, said in a statement.

“I am proud of the education I received there,” she added. “Jim and I want to ensure that Stony Brook continues to serve its students with the highest level of educational excellence and with world-class resources. The foundation’s gift will also help give those from underserved communities the opportunity to reach their full potential. We look forward to seeing this institution continue to thrive.”

Since Jim and Marilyn Simons made their first gift of $750 in 1983, they and the Simons Foundation have committed more than $1.2 billion to Stony Brook, while also inspiring over 2,100 other donors to give to the university. Their support has led to growth impacting every corner of the Stony Brook campus and beyond, from the Renaissance School of Medicine and the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics to Stony Brook’s Simons STEM Scholars program, nine endowed chairs and professorships in economics, and more.

last month, following Stony Brook’s successful bid to serve as the anchor institution of the The New York Climate Exchange, the Simons Foundation committed $100 million to the project’s expected $700 million budget. These funds will help establish this climate research, education and green-economy training hub, set to transform how the world responds to the climate crisis and pioneer investigation into environmental, community and health outcomes and impacts.


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