RenTech Founder Gives $60M To Stony Brook U.

Feb 28 2008 | 8:07am ET

Renaissance Technologies founder James Simons is giving $60 million to his former employer.

At a New York news conference, the quantitative hedge fund billionaire announced the gift to Long Island’s Stony Brook University, where he headed the mathematics department more than 30 years ago.

Simon’s donation, which includes a previously-announced $20 million gift, will be used to set up and house the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, and to endow seven new faculty positions. It will also pay for about 30 visiting scholars every year.

The gift is the largest ever to a public university in New York. Stony Brook is located just down the road from Renaissance’s East Setauket headquarters; the now-$35 billion hedge fund was incubated on the Stony Brook campus five years after Simon left the university.

“It’s because I’m very fond of Stony Brook,” Simons told The New York Times. “It was my first administrative job. I helped build the university in a modest way. I met my wife there.”

Simon joined Stony Brook, at the tender age of 30, after he was fired by the Defense Department for speaking to a reporter about his anti-war views. He headed the university’s math department from 1968 until 1972.


In Depth

FINalternatives Survey: We Asked Investment Pros...

Apr 2 2016 | 9:42pm ET

The data from our annual reader survey continues to roll in and provide interesting...

Lifestyle

Point72's Cohen Donates $275M To Veterans Mental Health Network

Apr 6 2016 | 8:31pm ET

Billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen has formed a non-profit aimed at treating...

Guest Contributor

Agecroft: Why NYCERS Should Reconsider Exiting All Hedge Funds

Apr 18 2016 | 5:51pm ET

The recent decision by the New York City Employment Retirement System to exit its...