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Alumni Gift to Support Innovation, Entrepreneurship and More at RIT


Creativity, entrepreneurship, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence at the Rochester Institute of Technology are getting a boost thanks to a $50 million alumni gift, the largest donation ever made to the university. The gift comes from Austin McChord, founder and CEO of data protection company Datto.

The largest portion of the gift, $30 million, will be used to foster creativity and entrepreneurship, including the launch of a new Maker Library & Innovative Learning Complex of the Future, a facility that will house a variety of collaborative learning spaces, student services and more. In addition, funding will go toward equipment, endowed faculty positions, student scholarships and "Entrepreneurial Gap Year" fellowships designed to help students create their own business.

The other $20 million will be used to advance RIT's cybersecurity and artificial intelligence capabilities by expanding facilities and establishing endowments for faculty and graduate students.

"My goal with this gift is two-fold," said McChord in a statement. "First is to help make more resources available to students, alumni and the community at-large to create, build and innovate for the future. But it's also to help recognize those who helped you along the way. My success today would not have been possible without my time at RIT."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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