Dartmouth College has announced a $20 million gift from Dorothy Byrne in support of efforts to attract and support the best students and professors in mathematics.
Made in honor of Byrne's late husband, insurance executive and philanthropist John J. Byrne, Jr., and matched by $5 million from a $100 million gift Dartmouth received in 2014 to support academic excellence, the gift will help create the Jack Byrne Scholars Program in Math and Society. Among other things, the $25 million program will include enrichment grants and need-based scholarships for eight Byrne Scholars per class to pursue independent study and special projects in math; the John J. Byrne Jr. Prize in Mathematics, a graduate fellowship valued at $35,000; and three new professorships to be held by faculty focused on decision science, or the use of applied mathematics to find solutions to social issues. The program also is expected to increase collaboration among the Department of Mathematics, the Tuck School of Business, and the Department of Computer Science.
In recognition of the gift, Dartmouth has dedicated the Jack Byrne Undergraduate Commons at the John Kemeny Mathematics Building as a meeting place for students and faculty. The Byrne family previously supported a variety of projects at the school, including the Byrne Fund in Chinese Studies, the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, the Palliative Care Program at DHMC, and construction of two campus buildings. In addition, the Byrnes' three sons — all Dartmouth alumni — established a professorship at Tuck in honor of their father, who served on the Tuck board of overseers from 1982 to 2000.
"This gift honors Jack’s love for mathematics and education, as well as his commitment to Dartmouth and its students,” said Dorothy Byrne. “Jack was keenly aware of the power of mathematics to solve complex problems, and he would be thrilled to know that his legacy will support generations of mathematicians to come.”