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University of Virginia Receives $120 Million Gift to Establish Data Science School


The University of Virginia is establishing a new School of Data Science after receiving an external gift of $120 million, the largest gift in the school’s history.

Donated by alumni Jaffray Woodriff’s Quantitative Foundation, the school will lead efforts to improve society globally through teaching and research based on the powerful, emerging field of data science.

“Data has the potential to shape our world in ways we are only now beginning to understand,” university president Jim Ryan said. “With this gift, we have an opportunity to establish one of the first schools of data science in the nation – one driven by the discovery of new knowledge and a commitment to the public good. I am extremely grateful to the Quantitative Foundation for their generosity and vision, and I look forward to the work ahead.”

To meet the growing demand for skilled data science professionals, the school will offer both undergraduate and doctoral degree programs, along with certificate programs. A portion of the gift will also go toward setting up doctoral, post-doctoral fellowships and an endowed fund for visiting scholars from other schools and academic units. 

“UVA has the rare opportunity to create a school that embodies the principles that have made the University exceptional, while at the same time creating a forward-looking exemplar for what the future will look like in higher education,” Phil Bourne, director of the Data Science Institute said.

“The Data Science Institute has provided a solid foundation, including best practices, a foundational team and a set of processes and protocols upon which to build.”

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