RenTech Founder Simons Gives $150M To University

Dec 14 2011 | 3:52am ET

James Simons has already founded a hugely successful hedge fund. Now, he’s preparing to found—or refound—the university he worked at prior to becoming a billionaire.

The retired Renaissance Technologies chief and his wife, Marilyn, will today announce a $150 million gift to Stony Brook University. The gift is the sixth-largest donation ever to a U.S. public university and the largest in Stony Brook’s history.

The previous record at Stony Brook is also held by the Simonses, who gave the school $60 million in 2008.

The Simons gift will be given over a seven-year period and follows legislation freeing the State University of New York’s 64 campuses to raise their tuition and promising continuing state support. Simons pushed for the changes, promising a major gift if the changes were made.

“There was no point to continue to support an institution that the state was backing away from,” Simons told The New York Times. “Inexpensive access to mediocrity is not doing anyone such a favor.”

The $150 million will fund a new life sciences building, a neurosciences institute, centers for biological imaging and cancer and infectious diseases, 35 endowed professorships and 40 graduate fellowships. The donation, more than triple Stony Brook’s average annual fundraising, is the university’s “rebirth day,” President Samuel Stanley said.

Simons served as chairman of Stony Brook’s mathematics department from 1968 until 1978. Four years later, he founded RenTech.


In Depth

Hedge Fund Veteran Peter Borish Talks Trading

Dec 17 2014 | 9:32am ET

Peter Borish says 2014 was “tricky” from a trading perspective. “The best...

Lifestyle

Cohen Donates $1.5M To GOP Governors Association

Dec 10 2014 | 7:13am ET

The Republican Governors Association raised close to $25 million from October 1...

Guest Contributor

Q&A With Daniel Gallancy: Institutional Interest In Bitcoin Is Growing Steadily

Dec 12 2014 | 7:54am ET

Daniel Gallancy is founder and CEO of SolidX, a provider of total return swaps for...

 

Sponsored Content

Editor's Note

    Guidelines for Guest Articles

    Oct 22 2014 | 9:46am ET

    We are always looking for guest articles from hedge fund managers and buy-side firms.

    If you are interested in submitting a contributed piece for possible publication on FINalternatives, please take a look at the specs. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

December 2014 Cover

Futures 2014 person of the year

Jeff Sprecher was simply looking for a platform to trade energies when launching ICE 14 years ago but it has grown to reach the pinnacle of both the listed futures and equities world.

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.