Cornell Law School announced that it has been promised a $25 million donation from a former graduate. According to the Cornell Daily Sun, the donation is largest in the law school’s history and will help bolster the law school’s general finances. The money will also be used to fund student scholarships and faculty research. Use of the money is being dictated by the donor, who requested to remain anonymous.
“It’s really admirable that the person wanted it for general funding as opposed to memorializing themselves,” Cornell Law Professor Kevin Clermont told the Daily Sun. Clermont said that the donor was foregoing “naming opportunities galore” presented by the current building expansion.
The school announced the donation just before breaking ground on a $55 million project to expand its facilities, a project that was in part funded by private donations. The expansion will include creating new underground classrooms, repurposing the law library and transforming the Law School dormitory into offices and meeting space.
The last time the law school received such a massive donation was in the 1980s when alum Jane Foster gave $17 million. That money was used toward the funding of buildings and expansion of the school. Cornell has received nearly six million dollars in other donations in support of the law school since July 2011, according to the Daily Sun.
Cornell’s anonymous donation is in stark contrast to last year’s $30 million donation to the University of Maryland’s law school from the W.P. Carey Foundation, which was the largest gift that school has ever received. The law school is now named the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
The W.P. Carey foundation, which is run by a family with long mercantile and legal roots in Baltimore, also gave $50 million to Johns Hopkins to rename its business program the Carey Business School and another $50 million to Arizona State to rename its business program the W.P. Carey School of Business.