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Alumnus Gifts $100 Million to Advance the Sciences

University Hall
University Hall.
A $100 million dollar donation from an anonymous College alumnus and his wife will support the sciences at Harvard, the University announced Friday.

According to the press release, the donation — the largest to date during University President Lawrence S. Bacow’s tenure — will primarily support renovations and improvements to the Science Center’s labs, technologies, and classrooms. It will also fund two mathematics programs, including an academic exchange with universities in Israel and a postdoctoral fellowship in mathematical finance. The remainder of the donation will finance Faculty of Arts and Sciences initiatives.

Friday’s gift marks the first nine-figure donation made to Harvard since the record-breaking capital campaign concluded in June, raising $9.6 billion in total and shatting higher education fundraising records.

In the press release, Bacow wrote the gift will “provide powerful momentum” for Harvard’s science initiatives.

“This is a critical investment in ideas that will create exponential value not only for Harvard students and faculty, but also for society as a whole,” he wrote.

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The donation comes as FAS continues to face the challenges of an increasingly tight budget, caused in part by multiple years of feeble endowment returns. Budgetary concerns have forced FAS to struggle with priorities such as faculty hiring and undergraduate House renewal.

Dean of FAS Claudine Gay wrote in the press release that the donation will impact “the lives and scholarship of students and faculty for many years to come.”

“Having a significant fund of flexible resources gives us critical capacity to sustain our core mission, embrace new innovation, and prepare our students for lives of leadership and service to the world,” Gay wrote.

According to the press release, the alumnus, who graduated in the 1990s, made the donation in honor of his father, Bacow’s new presidency, and the leadership of former FAS Dean Michael D. Smith.

“I have truly admired Mike’s thoughtful leadership, and I have great confidence in Larry’s vision. But I especially want to show the love, respect, and admiration I have for my dad, who sacrificed so much to make my education possible,” the alumnus wrote.

—Staff writer Luke W. Xu can be reached at luke.xu@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @duke_of_luke.

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