Barnard College in New York City has announced a $15 million gift from alumna and trustee Diana T. Vagelos and her husband, Dr. P. Roy Vagelos, former CEO and chairman of Merck & Co., for the Nexus, a multi-use campus center currently under construction.
Scheduled to open in September 2009, the complex will house dining facilities, cafes, a black-box theater, a green roof, event spaces, classrooms, and meeting rooms, while its innovative design will visually connect the school's existing campus with the neighboring Harlem and Morningside Heights communities.
The gift — the largest in Barnard's history — includes a 50 percent matching component for Nexus gifts of more than $250,000.
"Diana and Roy Vagelos are visionary philanthropists and...deeply committed to excellence in education for women," said Barnard president Judith R. Shapiro. "This historic gift will not only influence future generations of Barnard women, it will also benefit the residents of New York City and surrounding communities, who come from near and far to attend classes, see cultural performances, and hear interesting speakers."