Barnard College Receives a Gift More Than Double the Size of Its Previous Largest Donation

Barnard College, the highly selective liberal arts educational institution for women in New York City, is the recipient of a $55 million gift from Diana T. Vagelos and P. Roy Vagelos to fund the renovation and expansion of Altschul Hall, home to the college’s principal science facilities. The gift, more than double the size of any previous single donation in its history, will further elevate Barnard as a leader in preparing young women and underrepresented voices for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

P. Roy Vagelos is the former CEO of Merck, the large pharmaceutical company. Diana Vagelos is a 1955 graduate of Barnard College and has served on the college’s board of trustees since 2003. “As philanthropists, Roy and I really believe in giving to initiatives and organizations that further science, technology, and medicine. We are enormously confident in the college’s vision for the future and proud to support STEM at Barnard,” Ms. Vagelos said.

The center will have the labs and spaces to accommodate the Summer Research Institute, Barnard’s signature STEM program, which last year supported almost 10 percent of its student body. Two of Barnard’s newest programs — neuroscience and behavior and computer science, which are already among the top 10 selected majors — will also benefit from increased spaces in the center. The renovated building will be renamed the Roy and Diana Vagelos Science Center

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