U of R receives $17-million from Wegman Family Charitable Foundation

Updated: 04/01/2014 10:23 PM
Created: 04/01/2014 10:48 AM WHEC.com
By: Nikki Rudd

It is a huge gift to the University of Rochester and it is from the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation.

Seven million is going to the Golisano Children’s Hospital, slated to open in the summer of 2015. The other $10 million will go to the university’s institute for data sciences. It’s a proposed $25 million facility that will bear the Wegman’s name. 

Danny Wegman, Wegman Family Charitable Foundation President, said, “To me, the most powerful economic driver in the world is a great educational institution. And I think that's what we have at the U of R.”

The U of R wants to get this project started as soon as possible. U of R President Joel Seligman says data science is the defining discipline of the 21st century. The institute will be a 50,000 square foot facility will be built in the science and engineering quad on the River Campus and will support as many as 20 new faculty positions. 

News10NBC asked the experts exactly what data science is. The U of R's Senior Vice President of Research Robert Clark says it's like having a basement full of stuff.

Robert Clark, U of R's Senior Vice President of Research, said, “We put machines to work to filter through your basement for you, to find the few things that are really important. That's what data science allows you to do. It really puts computational tools to work to do this sorting and sifting and it's why artificial intelligence and machine learning is the core of what we do.”

As for the children’s hospital, it is the largest capital project in the university’s history.

The University of Rochester still needs another $15 million to finish the Golisano Children's Hospital. Danny Wegman hopes his family's gift will inspire others to give to the cause. 

To donate to the Golisano Children’s Hospital, click here.

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