Weill Cornell Medical College Capital Drive Raises $1.1 Billion
On November 9th,, 2011, Weill Cornell Medical College celebrated the dedication of its new Belfer Research Building. Until that morning, the man behind a $100 million gift that will make the facility’s construction possible was a mystery. The ceremony, which took place on Weill Cornell’s East 69th street campus, revealed that oilman Robert Belfer donated the large sum.
The new 18-story building is scheduled to open in 2014 and will double Weill Cornell’s research space and allow the school to hire 30 new researchers. According to the Weill Cornell webite, when it opens, researchers will devote their time to studying such challenging medical problems as cancer, cardiovascular disease, children’s health, neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and global health and infectious diseases.
Image of Belfer Research Building courtesy of Forbes
The dedication ceremony recognized everyone who had generously given their time, financial resources and talent to help achieve the college’s vision for the building. Weill Cornell’s capital drive, called Discoveries That Make a Difference, has raised at least $1.1 billion so far, according to an article on Forbes. Another notable donation came in the form of a $135 million challenge gift from Sanford I. Weill, Chairman of the Weill Cornell Board of Overseers, and his wife, Joan.
November 9th was also a day of celebration for the most recent phase of Weill Cornell’s Campaign, the Research Leads to Cures Initiative. This latest phase of the capital drive was launched last spring and aims to raise $225 million to pay for the people and programs involved in the new Belfer Research Building. So far $61.1 million has been raised for this campaign. Weill Cornell has already begun recruiting for its new staff of 30, and three faculty members have been hired.
Image and slideshow courtesy of Weill Cornell
One of the main events at the ceremony was the sealing of a time capsule with items chosen by a volunteer committee. Someone from Weill Cornell will open the capsule in 2098, the 200th anniversary of the funding of the school and the 100th anniversary of it being renamed.
Looking towards the future, Maurice R. Greenberg, a member of the Weill Cornell Board of Overseers, said, “More than a building, this is a major investment in biomedical research that will set the standard for multidisciplinary and intra-institutional collaboration.” Those who made the capital drive possible are undoubtedly excited to see the facility when it opens.
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