NEW YORK (WABC) -- Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that Stony Brook University is receiving a $500 million no-strings-attached donation -- one of the largest gifts ever to an American university.
Stony Brook, a SUNY school on Long Island, is breaking barriers nationwide.
"I'm proud to announce that the Simons Foundation and Simons Foundation International have together pledged $500 million to Stony Brook University's unrestricted endowment," said David Spergel, Simons Foundation president.
The donation was made by the Simons Foundation which was formed by an alumni married couple, Marilyn Simons and her husband, investment hedge fund owner and billionaire Jim Simons.
"I love Stony Brook, I actually never heard of it before I came but it's a wonderful institution," Jim Simons said.
The money will go toward scholarships, academic programs and research.
"I'm so happy to be here today and to be able to give back to Stony Brook, which has given so much to me," Marilyn Simons said.
The school is cashing in bigtime because the $500 million will be matched 40% by the State of New York through a concept created by Hochul.
"My small part was to come up with this endowment idea, which I didn't know was going to be so expensive for me, I wasn't counting on the largest unrestricted endowment gift in the nation's history," Hochul said.
Hochul said although the cost is high, if the endowment idea was an inspiration for the Simons to come forward, then it was worth it.
She says she hopes others follow their generosity and leadership.
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