In a matter of 24 hours on Thursday, the Cornell community and donors around the world raised almost $8 million dollars on Cornell’s fifth annual Giving Day, around $40,000 more than last year. The Department of Athletics and Physical Education was named the top receiver of donations this year, with gifts received totaling $2 million.
Over the last year, professors, researchers and lecturers collectively donated approximately $289,975.05 to election campaigns. Almost all donations were to left-leaning candidates for Congressional, gubernatorial and other races. There was only one donation to Republican candidates.
Incumbent Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) has outraised his Democratic challengers by an average of $1.6 million in the last three election cycles, but Federal Election Commission Filings show that only two Cornell staff and faculty — one of them a registered Democrat — have given large individual contributions to his current campaign.
Philanthropic donations to Cornell increased by $44.5 million — about eight percent — from $546.1 million to $590.6 million for the 2014-15 fiscal year, according to the Council for Aid to Education. The council, which conducts an annual survey to calculate donations, ranked Cornell as the fifth university to receive the most donations, behind Stanford, Harvard, the University of Southern California and the University of California, San Francisco. Nationally, colleges raised a record $40.30 billion, which is the highest since the inception of the survey in 1957, according to the council. Frederick Van Sickle, vice president of alumni affairs and development, said the increase in donations is due to the vibrancy of Cornell’s alumni community. “Cornell is blessed with a passionately supportive alumni community that responded to the University’s needs and aspirations through the record setting and just-completed Cornell Now campaign,” Van Sickle said.
Cornell will be one of the beneficiaries of the late hotelier Leona Helmsley’s multi-billion dollar estate, The New York Times reported Wednesday. Helmsley, was known as the “queen of mean” according MSNBC, and she was able to amass her estimated $5 billion estate because of her cutthroat business mentality.