The ExxonMobil Foundation donated $542,150 to the College of Engineering as part of the foundation’s Educational Matching Gifts Program, which seeks to bolster math and science education in the United States.
Sherri Stuewer ’73, vice president of environmental policy and planning for the ExxonMobil Corporation, presented the check to President David Skorton on April 7 at a meeting of the Cornell Board of Trustees in New York City.
Stuewer, who also earned her masters degree in engineering at Cornell, currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees.
“As a long-time ExxonMobil employee and as a member of the Cornell Board of Trustees, I get double satisfaction out of presenting the check from the ExxonMobil Foundation to Cornell,” Steuwer stated in an email. “I am thankful for the support of the alumni who are ExxonMobil employees, as well as for the support from the ExxonMobil Foundation.”
The foundation is ExxonMobil’s primary philanthropic branch in the U.S., according to the company’s website.
Through the Educational Matching Gifts Program, Exxon Mobil matches up to three times its employees’ donations to U.S. universities. The company will augment the contributions of anyone who receives annuity from ExxonMobil — including employees, retirees and surviving spouses — to U.S. universities, according to Truman Bell, Senior program officer for education at ExxonMobil Foundation.
“We will match their gifts on a three-to-one basis up to $7,500 — for which we would give $22,500 — per donor per year,” Bell said. “The Corporation actively recruits at Cornell, so we have a number of Cornell graduates at Exxon Mobil, and they give back to that institution.”
Foundation program officer Bill Carpenter said that the gifts are “unrestricted” and can be put toward any purpose of the donor’s choice, with the exception of athletics.
“This unique matching program reflects the company’s long-standing commitment to education,” Stuewer said. “Last year, Exxon Mobil and the ExxonMobil Foundation made over $237 [million] in contributions … and over 46 percent were for education.”
June Losurdo, major gifts officer for Alumni Affairs and Development in the College of Engineering, praised the donation as important to the University.
“The ExxonMobil Foundation is working to improve U.S. math and science education,” Losurdo said. “The ties are obvious. Many of our alumni who are ExxonMobil employees and retirees use this benefit to support Cornell students in a variety of ways such as fellowships and department support.”
Cornell is a long-standing beneficiary of the program, according to a University press release. This year, Cornell received the fifth-largest gift of 924 institutions, the University said.
According to Carpenter, the endowment is larger than ExxonMobil’s gift to Cornell of $467,966 last year.