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Irwin Jacobs giving $133 million for Cornell-Technion institute

Qualcomm founder and his wife, Cornell grads, funding a two-year joint innovation degree

NEW YORK (JTA) – Irwin Jacobs, the founding chairman and CEO emeritus of Qualcomm, is making a $133 million gift to Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology for a joint institute.

The gift announced Monday from Jacobs and his wife, Joan Klein Jacobs, will create the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute. The funds will help support curriculum initiatives, faculty and graduate students, and industry interactions in a two-year graduate program.

Jacobs and his wife, both Cornell alumni, are longtime givers to their alma mater and the Technion. They live in San Diego.

“This transformative gift will support the distinctive international partnership between Cornell and the Technion that is already creating a new model of graduate tech education in New York City,” said Cornell President David Skorton.

The institute plans to offer a two-year interdisciplinary program in which students earn dual master degrees concurrently — one from Cornell and one from the Technion. The degree program will allow students to specialize in applied information-based sciences in one of three hubs focused on leading New York City industries — Connective Media, Healthier Living and The Built Environment — while honing their entrepreneurial skills.

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