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January 29, 2016

$50 Million to Cornell U., $20 Million to Wesleyan

Cornell University was expected to announce a $50 million donation Friday to boost its engineering program and draw more minorities and women into the field, writes The Wall Street Journal. Cornell's School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering will be renamed for donor Robert Frederick Smith, a 1985 Cornell engineering graduate who heads investment firm Vista Equity Partners.

About $35 million will be used to create an endowment for the school, to be used in part to draw prominent faculty and support scholarships. Some of the donated funds will also be used to develop diversity efforts within the engineering college and provide financial aid for minority students. Mr. Smith said the aim of the gift is to provide "on-ramps" for women and people of color to "participate in this digital economy."

Wesleyan University has received a $20 million donation from the chairman of its board of trustees, the Hartford Courant reports.

The gift from pharmaceuticals executive Joshua Boger, and his wife, Amy Boger, includes $11 million for a new scholarship program as well as funds for an endowed math and science professorship and student research fellowships. Mr. Boger graduated from Wesleyan in 1973. He will retire from the institution's board in May after 17 years as a trustee, the last seven as chairman.