Cornell University expects a large donation from the ExxonMobil Foundation next month. As part of the corporation’s educational matching gift program, ExxonMobil awards more than $1.5 million in unrestricted grants to 92 colleges and universities across New York State.
The contribution to Cornell is given as an unrestricted grant, allowing the University to use the money for any purpose it chooses.
The ExxonMobil Foundation has not yet revealed the amount or the date Cornell will be receiving the donation. However, the expectation is that the donation will be a little less than the $340,000 donated last year by the corporation.
“As a general rule, colleges and universities have received a little less than last year because of current economic conditions,” said Bill Carpenter, contributions program officer at the ExxonMobil Foundation.
“Between 1998 and 2002, ExxonMobil has given $1.5 million to Cornell through the matching gifts program, probably in excess of two million when you add in employee gifts,” said Carpenter.
The large size of the donation is a reflection of ExxonMobil’s and its employees’ relationship with Cornell.
“The relationship with Cornell, alumni, and the company are really quite good as evidenced by this large donation. This is the largest alumni gift matching support that Cornell receives,” said Nick Komanecky, director of university corporate relations.
Usually the donation is presented by an executive in the corporation who has an affiliation to Cornell.
“Typically an ExxonMobil executive hand-delivers the annual company gift-matching check. I have not yet learned when a representative plans to come to campus this year. Last year I arranged a meeting for alumna Elissa Sterry M.S. ’81, deputy manager of public affairs, to present the company’s check to President Hunter R. Rawlings III,” according to Komanecky.
The ExxonMobil educational matching gift program began in 1962 and is the philanthropic branch of the ExxonMobil Corporation in the United States.
Under the educational gifts program, the money for the grant comes from employees of ExxonMobil who have some affiliation to Cornell, either as alumni or parents of Cornell students.
The ExxonMobil Foundation then matches the contributions made by these employees on a 3-1 basis, according to Carpenter.
“Our educational matching gift program exemplifies the commitment ExxonMobil has made to higher education and to its employees,” said Kenneth P. Cohen, vice president for public affairs of ExxonMobil Corporation, in a recent press release put out by the corporation. “Our employees have a long history of supporting their colleges and universities across the country,” he said.
This year the program has made gifts to colleges and universities in 47 states.
Other colleges and universities receiving grants from the foundation include Columbia University, Syracuse University, Colgate University, Barnard College and New York University.
Archived article by Erica Temel