Stony Brook University has a friend in James Simons.
The university, in Stony Brook, N.Y., announced on Dec. 14 that the founder of hedge fund manager Renaissance Technologies; his wife, Marilyn; and the Simons Foundation were donating $150 million to the school. It is the largest single gift in the history of the 64 schools in the State University of New York system.
The gift will create a 250,000-square-foot medical research facility, among other entities.
“This gift represents a milestone moment — transformational moment — in the history of our young institution,” said university President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. in a news release.
Mr. Simons, who founded Renaissance Technologies in 1982, said in the release, “Stony Brook gave me a wonderful chance in 1968 when I was hired as chair to build up the Department of Mathematics. That worked out remarkably well, and ever since, the university has had a special place in my heart.”
Mr. Simons was chairman of the department until 1978.
Mr. Simons and his foundation have given more than $300 million to the university in the past 20 years, including a gift of $60 million in 2008 to establish the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics.