Oct. 10, 2008
Weill Hall: A visionary building becomes a reality through the vision of its leading donors
It's no surprise that building and outfitting a facility like Weill Hall is almost prohibitively expensive.
But Weill Hall is here because Cornell had help from the state of New York and from philanthropists who backed the project with millions of dollars and their belief in its potential.
"Facilities of this type, because they are highly specialized and serve a range of disciplines, require lead donors who are visionary," said Stephen Kresovich, vice provost for the life sciences.
The state of New York was the first to come forward by delivering a commitment for $25 million. Former state Senate majority leader Joseph Bruno was a pivotal player in securing its approval, said Stephen Philip Johnson, Cornell vice president for government and community relations.
Public dollars helped to make the case for private support. As of today, a handful of lead donors have contributed nearly $75 million toward the building's $163 million cost. Among them:
Fundraising will continue for the facility and in support for other life sciences priorities, especially graduate fellowships and endowed professorships, said Jim Mazza '88, director the Campaign for Cornell.
Weill Hall has already become a focal point for attracting top scholars, Kresovich said.
"Once you come into Weill Hall, you realize the promise of life sciences is not a distant reality," he said. "It is here today."
Bryce T. Hoffman is a writer for Cornell's Alumni Affairs and Development.