News and analysis
April 11, 2016

$275-Million Cohen Gift Will Benefit Veterans and Their Families

Steve Marcus, Reuters

Steve Cohen, founder of SAC Capital Advisors, pledged $275 million to start a new veterans nonprofit that will provide free care to former service members.

A roundup of notable gifts compiled by The Chronicle:

Cohen Veterans Network

Hedge-fund billionaire Steve Cohen pledged $275 million to start a new veterans charity that will offer free care to former service members suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental-health issues.

The nonprofit aims to open up to 25 clinics across the country over the next five years.

Mr. Cohen founded SAC Capital Advisors, a hedge fund that now goes by the name Point72 Asset Management. He is the father of a Marine who served in Afghanistan.

New York University

Rose-Marie "Rory" Meyers and her husband, Howard Meyers, gave $30 million to the College of Nursing. Of the total, $22.5 million will endow scholarships for low-income, first-generation college students, and the rest will support academic programs and faculty.

The university is renaming the nursing school the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing in honor of Ms. Meyers, who is a nurse. Like many of the students the gift will help, she was the first in her immediate family to go to college.

Mr. Meyers, the chairman and chief executive of the metals company Quexco, graduated in 1964 from NYU’s Stern School of Business. He serves on the university’s Board of Trustees and on the Stern School’s Board of Overseers.

University of Southern California

Edward and Gayle Roski donated $25 million to endow the Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute at Keck Medicine of USC. The money will go toward research and education programs at the institute.

Mr. Roski is president and chairman of the Majestic Realty and a co-owner of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team and the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers. He graduated from USC with a bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate.

Ms. Roski is a painter and was a patient at the institute. She received cataract treatment there and said in a news release that the surgery improved her ability to see light values and color while painting.

The couple met as USC students and have since given the university a number of gifts, including $23 million in 2006 for the fine arts and design school, now named for Ms. Roski.

Thomas Jefferson University

Jack and Vickie Farber gave $20 million to expand clinical and research programs in the university’s Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience.

The money will also back the university’s Jefferson Weinberg ALS Center, a research and patient-care institute for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Mr. Farber is a former chairman of CSS Industries, which makes greeting cards, gift wrap, and other paper and related products. Ms. Farber’s parents both suffered from neurodegenerative diseases; she lost her father to ALS and her mother to Alzheimer’s disease.

Fanconi Anemia Research Fund

Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife, Penny, pledged $10 million to support the David B. Frohnmayer Scientific Research Fund, a dedicated fund within the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund.

The money will go toward accelerating the pace of clinical trials, drug testing, gene therapies, and other treatments for children and adults with Fanconi anemia, a rare genetic disease.

Mr. Frohnmayer, a former University of Oregon president who died last year, co-founded the Fanconi anemia fund with his wife, Lynn.

University of Chicago

Eric Gleacher, a retired mergers and acquisitions expert, donated $10 million to endow a scholarship program for U.S. veterans pursuing MBAs at the university’s Booth School of Business.

The Gleacher Veteran Scholars Fund will help former service members bridge the gap between their government benefits and the costs of earning an MBA.

The donor served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps for three years before earning an MBA at Booth in 1967. He led mergers and acquisitions divisions at Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley and later founded the Gleacher and Company, which he sold in 2009.

University of Oklahoma

Architects Jalal and Mohammad Farzaneh gave $4 million through their Farzaneh Family Foundation for the College of International Studies’ Iranian Studies program.

The brothers earned their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from the university and went on to found Home Creations, a home builder in Moore, Okla.

To learn about other big donations, see our database of gifts of $1 million or more, which is updated throughout the week.