Cornell University receives gift from alumna to create College of CIS

Cornell University receives gift from alumna to create College of CIS

Cornell University has announced a nine-figure commitment from alumna and former Noyce Foundation board chair Ann S. Bowers ('59) to establish the Cornell Ann S. Bowers College of Computing and Information Science.

The gift will support construction of a new building for the Faculty of Computing and Information Science (CIS) — for which enrollment is growing faster than at any other school at Cornell — and provide significant endowment support for CIS faculty and students. The new college will be the first to be named for a woman at Cornell — a college that is led by a female dean, professor of computer science Kavita Bala, and where 43 percent of CIS majors are women, well above the national average.

Bowers led human resources at Intel Corporation — which was co-founded by her late husband, Robert N. Noyce — in the 1970s and served as one of Apple's first vice presidents in the 1980s. Bowers spent her career developing and fostering an environment where technologists could thrive, and it is especially meaningful, the university notes, that her gift supports CIS at Cornell, which, when it was created twenty-one years ago, was one of the first programs in the nation to combine computer science with the study of how technology impacts humanity. 

A longtime Cornell volunteer and benefactor, Bowers has given more than $20 million to the university over three decades, including gifts toward construction of CIS's current building and endowed professorships and research scholarships in the liberal arts, science, technology, engineering, and math. She also has served as trustee and a member of the President's Council of Cornell Women; the Cornell Silicon Valley Advisors, which she chaired; and many other Cornell-affiliated advisory boards. 

"The creation of CIS was twenty years ahead of its time," said Bala. "We believed computing and information technology would have a profound impact on life and society, and our unique multidisciplinary structure now serves as a model to other academic institutions. This is an exciting time in technology, with amazing opportunities and hard problems. This incredibly generous gift will propel Cornell to lead the way in addressing the technological and societal challenges of our time."

(Photo credit: Cornell University)