Cornell University has received $350-million from an anonymous donor to support its bid to create an applied-science and technology campus in New York.
The institution is part of a high-stakes competition to get the rights to build a campus in New York City, and its announcement of the gift today was widely viewed as a way to cement its front-runner status after Stanford, the other top contender, announced earlier Friday that it would drop out of the bidding.
Winning the right to create the campus is a big plum for universities: New York City promised to provide land and as much as $100-million to finance the campus. Cornell announced in October that it planned to join forces with Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to establish the new campus.
In addition to Cornell, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, and New York University remain in competition to build the new campus.
New York officials plan to announce the winner in January.
It’s unclear whether Cornell will be allowed to keep the gift if it loses its bid to keep the campus.