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Stony Brook University receives historic $500 million endowment

Stony Brook University Union
Kenneth C. Zirkel
Wikimedia Commons
Stony Brook University Union

Stony Brook University received a $500 million endowment gift on Thursday. It is one of the largest in the history of higher education.

The donation comes from the Simons Foundation formed by Jim Simons, a Stony Brook math professor turned hedge fund manager, and his wife Marilynn Simons who holds two degrees from the school.

David Spergel is the Simons Foundation president. 

“I think with this investment, Stony Brook will not only be a flagship of the New York state system, but a national flagship," Spergel said. "And will continue to not only continue to play an important part on Long Island and New York, but for the nation.”

Mrs. Simons said tuition assistance from the public university system helped her attend school in the 70s. She hopes the funding will do the same for future students.

“I have a lot of thanks to Stony Brook and to the state of New York for opening the door to higher education. Making it affordable and accessible to students like me.”   

The school will receive the $500 million over the next seven years. New York state’s donation matching program will add another $200 million in public funding.

Stony Brook will also look to raise another $200 million from other donors in the next three years to be able to get the maximum amount of matching funds.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.