The funds will go towards the school’s current endowment of $370 million and come from the Simons Foundation, formed by Dr. Jim Simons, a former Stony Brook math professor who made billions as a hedge fund manager, and his wife Dr. Marilyn Simons, who received her bachelor’s degree and doctorate from Stony Brook.
Marilyn said she was grateful for her transformative time at the school and that she hoped the gift would help people from underserved communities thrive.
“I was really grateful when the opportunity opened up for me to attend Stony Brook for college,” she said. “I commuted to the school with my brother and my cousin. They went off to lay brick and I went to my calculus class.”
The $500 million will be distributed over seven years.
Additionally, the donation will also result in a $200 million in public funds, due to a recent endowment donation matching program. The school aims to raise $200 million more from other donors in the next three years to qualify for the maximum amount of state matching funds.
The Simons have given a total of approximately $1.2 billion to Stony Brook over the years.