The grants include $10 million in support of the Center for the Study of Inequality (CSI) in the College of Arts and Sciences, $3.25 million for Cornell Law School's International Center on Capital Punishment, and $3 million for the creation of a university welcome center. Feeney, who graduated from the university's School of Hotel Administration in 1956 and went on to co-found the Duty Free Shoppers Group, has provided nearly $1 billion to his alma mater through Atlantic.
The grant to CSI — one of the largest ever for the social sciences at Cornell — will support an endowment for the center's directorship, an expansion of the center's staff, and research, outreach, and policy initiatives. The grant to the law school will establish the Cornell International Center on Capital Punishment, which will focus on advocacy and research and building partnerships with national and international organizations; support a summer training program for capital defense lawyers from Africa, the Middle East and Asia, where death-row populations are the highest in the world; support research by the Latino Defendants Project; and help sustain Death Penalty Worldwide, an online database that provides information about laws and practices in countries and territories where capital punishment is still on the books. The challenge grant for the welcome center is expected to raise an additional $3 million for that project.
"Cornell is fortunate to have had the Atlantic Philanthropies as an ally for more than three decades," said the university’s interim president, Hunter R. Rawlings III. "Atlantic's new awards advance initiatives that are tremendously important to Cornell, our faculty, and our students. We are especially grateful to the foundation for partnering with us to further efforts that will combat inequality and promote human rights on a global scale."