Carnegie Mellon University
September 30, 2021

Carnegie Mellon Receives Gifts Totaling $46 Million to Support Student Experience, Science and Mathematics Education and Research

This fall, Carnegie Mellon University received three significant gifts to advance key areas of the university. Entrepreneur Charles C. Hoskinson made a $20 million gift to establish the Hoskinson Center for Formal Mathematics; the Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh provided $16 million to endow the Tartan Scholars program and University Libraries deanship and help build the new Highmark Center for Health, Wellness and Athletics; and CMU Trustee Frank Brunckhorst gave $10 million to support the boundary-breaking initiative for the future of science.

“We are very grateful for the generosity of Charles Hoskinson, the Posner family and Frank Brunckhorst, whose gifts will help to advance new frontiers in science and mathematics and enhance the experience for CMU students,” CMU President Farnam Jahanian said. “Thanks to this support, we will be able to provide talented students the access and tools they need to thrive at CMU and accelerate discoveries that have real-world impact for humanity. I am tremendously excited by all that these gifts will make possible in the decades to come.”

Making Mathmatics Accessible

The Hoskinson Center for Formal Mathematics will advance mathematical research by improving global access to knowledge and resources for mathematics researchers, educators and learners.

Sitting at the intersection of philosophy, mathematics and computer science, “formal mathematics” works on mathematical theorems and proofs after they are stated in a formal language, which in turn allows researchers to develop computer programs to assist in the process. Led by Jeremy Avigad, professor of philosophy in the Dietrich College of Humanities & Social Sciences and professor of mathematical sciences in the Mellon College of Science, the Hoskinson Center will develop the technology and techniques needed to increase worldwide access to the power of formal mathematics.

“Carnegie Mellon has the resources and experts to take the study of formal mathematics and disseminate it in a meaningful way,” Hoskinson said. “We can bring together the best minds in mathematics, computer science and machine learning to create an infrastructure for using formal mathematics as a core educational tool.”

A leader in blockchain-based technology, Hoskinson founded the Bitcoin Education Project, Cardano and Input Output (IOHK).

A donation from entrepreneur Charles C. Hoskinson will establish the Hoskinson Center for Formal Mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University. Pictured above, from left to right: Dietrich College Dean Richard Scheines, Farnam Jahanian, Hoskinson and Jeremy Avigad.

Supporting Student Success

The Posner Foundation is providing a $16 million grant to cultivate a dynamic, accessible, supportive and diverse student experience at CMU. The gift will establish a $10 million endowment for the Tartan Scholars Program, a $5 million endowment to create the Helen and Henry Posner, Jr. Dean’s Chair for the University Libraries, and $1 million toward the construction of CMU’s new Highmark Center for Health, Wellness and Athletics.

“CMU students are bright, talented, enthusiastic, confident and hardworking. With the right support and resources, I have no doubt that they will change the world,” said CMU Trustee Anne Molloy, who is a trustee of the Posner Foundation and the wife of its chairman, Henry Posner III. “Our family foundation is pleased to provide those resources so that students from across the socio-economic spectrum will thrive at CMU.”

The grant adds to the Posner families’ legacy of philanthropy and service at CMU. Their generosity helped expand the Jared Cohon University Center, created the Posner Center, which houses rare and historic books and art collected by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Posner Sr., and supported CMU’s School of Drama Centennial Celebration. Most recently, the Posner Foundation made gifts that helped develop the Tartan Scholars program and endowed several scholarships for CMU undergraduate students.


Advancing the Future of Science

Frank Brunckhorst has given $5 million to help build the university’s next-generation science building, which will include a new headquarters for CMU’s Neuroscience Institute, and an additional $5 million to provide program support for the institute.

Launched in 2018, the Neuroscience Institute answers critical brain science questions through multidisciplinary research, and substantial institute activity is planned for CMU’s new $210-million science building, to be constructed on the Pittsburgh campus. Together, the gifts will foster, facilitate and support partnerships among researchers from traditional scientific fields, from natural and social sciences to computer science and engineering, aiming to accelerate the pace of discovery and solve complex global problems.

“Carnegie Mellon’s scientists are at the forefront of neuroscience research, current and envisioned, benefiting all manners of neurological health and understanding,” Brunckhorst said. “Their hearts are in their work, and their work benefits all of humanity. This gift will provide resources to continue and expand this research.”

An alumnus of the Tepper School of Business, Brunckhorst serves on the board of directors and is former chairman of Boar’s Head Provisions. Brunckhorst was first elected to the CMU Board of Trustees in 2005.

All three gifts are part of Make Possible: The Campaign for Carnegie Mellon University, which is advancing the university’s ambitious strategic priorities and has a goal of raising $2 billion in private philanthropy for initiatives across its seven colleges and schools.