August 31, 2011

Libe Café Renamed For $500K Donation

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Libe Café has been renamed after alumnus Amit Bhatia ’01, whose $500,000 donation to the cafe and library system was announced this summer.

Bhatia’s donation is his first to Cornell and is meant to “provide for scholarship and socialization in John M. Olin Library,” according to a press release from the University.

While an undisclosed portion of the donation will support the actual café, the majority of the money will be used to support Cornell’s libraries, specifically in acquiring collections. Money will be allocated to the libraries with the greatest needs, said Jennifer Sawyer, director of library alumni affairs and development. 

Bhatia decided to donate to the libraries because of the role they played while he was at Cornell, said University Librarian Anne Kenney. 

When Bhatia was a student, Libe Café gave him the opportunity to socialize with his friends. Bhatia’s said he wanted was to give back to a facet of the University that had aided his friends and himself in thriving at Cornell, she said.

“The naming of a café was appealing to him,” Kenney said. “He had done well and wanted to give back to his University.”

Talks surrounding a donation began last spring, Kenney said. By early summer, the idea of re-naming Libe Café had been finalized, she said, and the unveiling of the newly-placed café sign took place a few weeks later.  

Library administration said they hope Bhatia will be able to make his way to campus sometime this fall. 

Bhatia grew up in England and was educated in the U.K. and India, later graduating from Cornell with a degree in economics and investment management. 

He now runs Swordfish Investments and Swordfish Capital Management and is a member of the Queen’s Park Rangers’ Board of Directors. 

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Original Author: Hermela Nadew