Billionaire Throws a Cool $133 M. at Cornell-Technion Campus

Another billionaire just chipped in on the Applied Sciences NYC project on Roosevelt Island.

Irwin Jacobs, founder of wireless telecommunications company Qualcomm, and his wife, Joan Klein Jacobs, are shelling out $133 million for a new center to be built on the highly-anticipated engineering campus.

“This transformative gift will support the distinctive international partnership between Cornell and the Technion that is already creating a new model of graduate tech education in New York City,” said Cornell President David Skorton, in a prepared statement announcing the gift.

Dubbed the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute, the center will offer dual degrees in information sciences, one from Cornell and one from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.   It is set to launch in the fall of 2014.

Mr. Jacobs isn’t the first billionaire to chip in on the project.  Applied Sciences NYC received a record breaking gift of $350 million from DFS cofounder, Chuck Feeney, last year.

Mr. Jacobs – who is worth $1.55 billion, according to Forbes – and his wife, both Cornell alumni, previously established the Irwin and Joan Jacobs Professorship and the Joan Klein Jacobs Cornell Tradition Fellowship at Cornell, among other contributions.

Mr. Jacobs “has been giving away money at a steady pace,” Forbes noted, also having donated $185 million to the University of California at San Diego, where he taught computer science; and, along with his wife, $75 million to the University of California, San Diego health system, and a pledge of more than $100 million to the San Diego Symphony.

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