Cornell University has announced a $50 million endowment gift from alumni Nancy E. ('62) and Peter C. ('61) Meinig, their daughters, and their daughters' families to establish the Nancy E. and Peter C. Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering.
The largest single commitment by a group of individual donors to one of the university's colleges in Ithaca will be used to expand the Department of Biomedical Engineering — itself established a decade ago — into its own school within the College of Engineering. Cornell recently received state approval to offer an undergraduate major in biomedical engineering, which builds research around a quantitative understanding of the human body as an integrated, multiscale system, and will begin accepting sophomores into the program this fall. The program is the centerpiece of a new strategic push by the College of Engineering to advance the wider multidisciplinary field.
Among other things, the gift will better enable the college to hire faculty, recruit graduate students, support teaching and research excellence, and foster cross-campus collaborations in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of illnesses, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Peter Meinig is chairman emeritus of the Cornell board of trustees, and he and his wife serve as presidential councilors and co-chairs of the university's sesquicentennial committee.
"This gift is an incredible continuation of the Meinig family's generosity to Cornell and will strengthen the university in countless ways, not the least of which is by enhancing research synergies between Ithaca and Weill Cornell," said Cornell president David J. Skorton. "By its very nature, biomedical engineering bridges medicine, engineering, and the basic sciences while addressing some of the most daunting health issues of our time. There is no more important investment the Meinigs could make."