The gift will be used to fund construction of the first academic building on the school's Roosevelt Island campus. In 2011, Cornell won a competition sponsored by then-Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's administration that included $400 million in real estate and infrastructure upgrades to build an applied sciences campus on the narrow island in the East River. Scheduled to open in 2017, the building, to be known officially as "The Bloomberg Center — in Honor of Emma and Georgina Bloomberg," after Bloomberg's daughters, will include a residence hall billed as the world's tallest "passive house."
To date, Cornell has raised $685 million for the campus, with university president David J. Skorton hoping to raise $1 billion by the end of 2021.
"From my perspective, this is closure of a process that Mike Bloomberg and his team started some years ago by creating the applied sciences initiative," said Skorton. "The Bloomberg Center will, in perpetuity, carry the name of the person whose idea the whole campus was."