Cornell’s College Of Business Gets $150 Million Naming Gift

H. Fisk Johnson has five Cornell degrees on his resume, including an MBA received in 1984

Fisk’s and SC Johnson’s new gift to Cornell places the Johnson family, which owns one of the largest private companies in the U.S., consumer goods giant SC Johnson, among Cornell’s most generous and loyal benefactors. “The Johnson family has provided remarkable leadership and support to Cornell over three generations,” said Rawlings. ”Their friendship, guidance and generosity have helped to shape the university we know today – from the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, to the Imogene Powers Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity, and the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management to the newly named college of business.”

In 1967, Fisk’s grandfather Herbert F. Johnson Jr. ’22, who served as a trustee from 1947-72 and a presidential councillor from 1972 until his death in 1978, committed funds that allowed Cornell to build the art museum bearing his name. He chose Cornell for its strength in chemistry, an area his father deemed crucial for the future of the family company. As a student, he met his future wife, Gertrude, the daughter of Olaf Brauner, a Cornell professor from 1896 to 1939 and founder of the university’s Department of Art.

Both of Fisk’s parents attended Cornell, as well. Samuel C. Johnson ’50 was a trustee from 1966-88, presidential councillor from 1988 until his death in 2004, and longtime member of the Johnson School Advisory Council and Lab of Ornithology Administrative Board. Imogene Powers Johnson ’52 remains a presidential councillor and member of the Lab of Ornithology Administrative Board. Together, Sam and Gene made numerous landmark gifts to Cornell, including the naming of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management in honor of Sam’s grandfather in 1984 and the Imogene Powers Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity in 2000. Their $20 million gift for the Johnson School was, at the time, the largest ever from individuals to a business school. Over time, the school has realized more than $100 million in support from that gift.

In addition, the school added, Fisk and his three siblings all attended Cornell. Fisk holds five degrees spanning the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering and the Johnson School, and he has served as a trustee, trustee emeritus and presidential councillor, as well as an adviser to the Johnson Graduate School of Management. His brother Curt ’77 and sisters Helen ’78 and Winifred (Winnie) ’81 also attended Arts and Sciences. Curt and Helen are former members of Cornell University Council and Helen has served on the Athletics Alumni Advisory Committee and was inducted into the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame.

Largest Gifts To Business Schools


School Amount Donor Year
Chicago’s Booth School of Business $300 million David Booth 1997
Michigan’s Ross School of Business $200 million Stephen Ross 2004, 2013
Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Business $150 million H. Fisk Johnson 2017
Stanford Graduate School of Business $150 million Robert & Dorothy King 2011
UCLA Anderson School of Management $142 million John & Marion Anderson 1987, 2011, 2015
Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business $122 million David Tepper 2004, 2013
Stanford Graduate School of Business $105 million Philip Knight 2006
UC-San Diego $100 million Ernest Rady 2015
Florida State College of Business $100 million Jim Moran 2015
Columbia Business School $100 million Ronald Perelman 2013
Columbia Business School $100 million Henry Kravis 2010
Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School $80 million David Atkinson 2010
Florida’s Warrington College of Business $75 million Al & Judy Warrington 2014
Hawaii’s Shidler College of Business $100 million Jay Shidler 2006 to 2014
Virginia’s Darden School of Business $62 million Frank Batten 1999
Northeastern’s D’Amore-McKim School $60 million Richard D’Amore & Alan McKim 2012
Thunderbird School of Management $60 million Sam & Rita Garvin 2004
Tel Aviv (Coller) $100 million Jeremy Coller 2016
Boston University’s Questrom School $50 million Allen & Kelli Questrom 2015
Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business $50 million Jim Haslam & family 2014
Georgia Tech’s Scheller College $50 million Ernest Scheller 2012
Harvard Business School $50 million Tata Group 2010
Yale School of Management $50 million Ned Evans 2010
Arizona State’s Carey School of Business $50 million William Carey 2003
Texas’ McCombs School of Business $50 million Red McCombs 2000
Arkansas’ Walton College of Business $50 million The Walton Family 1998

Source: AACSB


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