H. Fisk Johnson '79, M.Eng '80, M.S. '82, MBA '84, Ph.D '86 donated $150 million — the largest single gift ever to the Ithaca campus — to endow the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business.

Courtesy of Cornell University

H. Fisk Johnson '79, M.Eng '80, M.S. '82, MBA '84, Ph.D '86 donated $150 million — the largest single gift ever to the Ithaca campus — to endow the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business.

January 28, 2017

In Largest Ever Donation to Ithaca Campus, Johnson ’79 Gives $150M to Endow College of Business

Print More

H. Fisk Johnson ’79, M.Eng ’80, M.S. ’82, MBA ’84, Ph.D ’86 already made Cornell history by holding the record for the most Cornell degrees earned by a single student. Today, he makes a monumental impact on the University by donating $150 million to the College of Business, endowing it as the SC Johnson College of Business.

This is the largest gift ever made to Cornell’s Ithaca campus and the second largest to a U.S. business school, according to Cornell.

“Cornell University has been a part of my family for more than 120 years,” Johnson said. “I hope this gift will serve as a significant catalyst to help growth the reach and impact of Cornell’s College of Business. The goal is to strengthen the College of Business overall, while enhancing its three individual schools and the qualities that make each exceptional.”

“Cornell University has been a part of my family for more than 120 years,” Johnson said. Fisk's siblings, parents and grandfather all studied at Cornell. His grandfather, Herbert F. Johnson Jr. ’22, endowed the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art.

Courtesy of Cornell University

“Cornell University has been a part of my family for more than 120 years,” Johnson said. Fisk’s siblings, parents and grandfather all studied at Cornell. His grandfather, Herbert F. Johnson Jr. ’22, endowed the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art.

Despite the controversy surrounding the creation of the College of Business just last year among current students, alumni and faculty members, Johnson’s gift will be an important milestone for the growth of all three respective schools within the college.

The $150 million gift will be divided into two components, according to the University.

The first $100 million will be used to establish a permanent endowment to support the college’s future endeavors, including faculty recruitment, rigorous research opportunities and the SC Johnson Scholars program, which will provide immersion programs, internships, and shadowing opportunities to undergraduates in Dyson and the School of Hotel Administration, according to the University.

Johnson has earned five degrees from Cornell: a B.S. in 1979, a Master of Engineering, a Master of Science, a Master of Business Administration, and a Ph.D. in 1986.

Courtesy of Cornell University

With five degrees from Cornell — a B.S. in 1979, a Master of Engineering in 1980, a Master of Science in 1982, a Master of Business Administration in 1984 and a Ph.D. in 1986 — Johnson holds the record for most Cornell degrees earned by a single student.

This endowment will help further the college’s initial goal of establishing a comprehensive and collaborative business management program, announced Soumitra Dutta, dean of the College of Business.

“This extraordinary gift will further [our] goal by creating more diverse and rigorous learning and research opportunities for both faculty and students across the college’s three accredited business programs,” Dutta said. “It also will help enhance the unique characteristics and strengths of each and support our mission to realize the full potential of Cornell’s business programs.”

Dutta added the each of the three schools within the college — the Dyson School, the School of Hotel Administration, and Johnson — will gain several benefits from these resources.

The remaining $50 million will be allocated to increase philanthropic support for a current-use challenge grant on a 1:3 matching ratio, bringing the potential value of the gift to $300 million, according to the University. This grant will be focused on faculty and student support.

Johnson is the CEO of SC Johnson, a multinational company that manufactures household cleaning products.

Courtesy of Cornell University

Johnson is the CEO of SC Johnson, a multinational company that manufactures household cleaning products.

“This generous gift will transform business education at Cornell, providing significant and ongoing support for the faculty, students and programs of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business,” said Interim President Hunter R. Rawlings.