Following initial opposition to the creation of the College of Business, H. Fisk Johnson ’79 hopes his $150 million donation will increase cooperation across the three schools.
At the celebration of the newly-named SC Johnson College of Business today, Johnson said that the merger of the three schools was the perfect opportunity for him to make this gift.
“When the combined college was announced, it was clear to me that the schools were at a little bit of a crossroads” Johnson said. “But with the potential benefits that could come from capitalizing on the scale of these three schools, I really believe that the business program here has a huge opportunity in front of it, and that there couldn’t be a better time to make this gift to get this new vision for Cornell business, and the three schools, off to a really strong start.”
Soumitra Dutta, dean of the now SC Johnson College of Business, addressed concerns regarding the consolidation of the schools, emphasizing the distinctiveness of each school.
“It’s very important to recognize that each school is special, excellent and unique in its own way,” Dutta said. “The faculty of each school control[s] the curriculum for the school’s population, but the additional benefit is that they now have much easier access to more resources and more faculty from other schools.”
Dutta added that, not only will the college reap financial benefits from this donation, it will also earn the positive reputation SC Johnson has in the “world of business.”
“For five generations, [the Johnson] family’s global company has led the way in developing progressive corporate policies,” he said. “SC Johnson is known for its commitment to its staff, the communities in which it operates and the wellbeing of the planet.”
Johnson said his $150 million gift to Cornell was part of the company’s commitment to corporate responsibility.
“We give away five percent of our pre-tax profits every year as a company to causes all around the world, whether it’s mosquito-borne diseases like malaria or dengue,” Johnson said. “So this gift is a part of what we normally do as a company every year.”
With the distinction and respect SC Johnson wields, the Johnson family hopes that all three schools within the College of Business will take important steps forward in higher education.
“It is our hope that this gift, with its matching grant, will help us realize our collective aspiration to strengthen the outstanding reputations of these three great schools and have the business program at Cornell rise even higher into the echelon of top-tier schools in the world,” Johnson said.