When the Simons Foundation first profferred a $50 million matching challenge to fund endowments and research at Stony Brook University, the Stony Brook Foundation estimated that it would take between three and five years for the matching donations to come in.
On Monday, the University announced it had surpassed that goal in 12 months – and that it raised $200 million total through the matching challenge, which was issued in December 2011 as part of a $150 million gift that Jim and Marilyn Simons made to Stony Brook via their foundation. Before the end of 2012, that goal was met.
Simons said he and his wife were "surprised and delighted" that their gift was matched in such a short period of time.
"Stony Brook is an outstanding public university, offering a wonderful education at reasonable cost to many thousands of young people," Simons said in a statement. "The generosity of those who joined us in this effort will enhance the University in many dimensions, making that education more valuable still."
More than 1,500 donors stepped up to bat in the matching challenge together have made the $200 million the sixth-largest donation ever made to a University in the U.S., according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. Among the donations, $3.2 million has been earmarked for approximately 628 student scholarships.
The University said its goal is to add, over time, 267 new faculty members and 100 endowed chairs and professorships through private funding.
“Endowed faculty appointments represent the highest academic honor and attract the best and brightest faculty to our campus,” University president Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said in a statement. “In turn, these academic stars attract the best and brightest students. These great minds are what will solidify Stony Brook’s place among the elite universities in the country.”