Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh has announced a planned $265 million bequest, one of the ten largest gifts ever to higher education, from businessman, philanthropist, and longtime trustee William S. Dietrich II.
The fund created by the gift, which will become operational after Dietrich's passing, will serve as a catalyst for CMU's global initiatives as well as studies that connect technology and the arts. The fund also will support academic initiatives across the university, including undergraduate and graduate programs, scholarships, artistic creation, and research, and will enhance its ability to educate students in interdisciplinary problem-solving.
The gift will be counted toward the university's ongoing $1 billion capital campaign, which, with Dietrich's pledge, has raised $950 million. In recognition of the largest gift in its history, the university will rename the humanities college the Marianna Brown Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Science, after Dietrich's mother.
The gift will be drawn from the Dietrich Charitable Trusts, charitable remainder trusts that hold assets largely created by the 1996 sale of Dietrich Industries. The assets of the trusts are expected to fund a new organization, the Dietrich Foundation, which will administer the fund benefitting CMU.
"A gift that enhances educational opportunities creates a multiplier effect for our communities and our country — in other words, it is a mode of giving that leverages a gift to achieve its maximum effectiveness," said Dietrich. "Serving as a trustee of Carnegie Mellon convinced me that Carnegie Mellon is not only a great university, but that it is an important driver of the future success of this region and its citizens."