Carnegie Mellon alumnus Swartz gives $10 million to university

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Carnegie Mellon University has received another substantial gift, this one $10 million from a venture capitalist and his wife.

CMU today announced the gift from James Swartz, who earned a master's degree at CMU in 1966, and his wife, Susan.

The $10 million will be used to help build a new academic hub named the David A. Tepper Quadrangle.

In November, the charitable foundation of Mr. Tepper -- for whom the business school is named -- made a $67 million gift. The business school was named in honor of Mr. Tepper after he and his wife, Marlene, gave $55 million in 2004.

The largest gift to CMU is $265 million from the late William S. Dietrich II, a longtime CMU trustee.

Mr. Swartz is the founding partner of Accel Partners, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif. In 2007, the National Venture Capital Association gave him a lifetime achievement award. In 2013, CMU gave him the Tepper School Alumni Achievement Award. He has served as the director of more than 50 companies.

The news release states the quandrangle willl "enhance undergraduate and graduate programs in business, expand opportunities for innovative research and interdisciplinary degrees, and offer a flexible technological framework that anticipates the future of learning."

The Tepper and Swartz gifts will help to build a 295,000-square-foot facility in Tepper Quad.

In a news release, Mr. Swartz said, "At Carnegie Mellon I learned to master management science, constructing business models to solve challenges that were completely new to the marketplace and unleashing the power of data for smarter business decisions.

"Those lessons, and the skills that I developed as a result of them, have greatly benefited me throughout my entrepreneurial career. I recognize the university’s new vision for the future of business education and entrepreneurship and I am pleased to contribute toward their efforts to the benefit of new technologies and future generations of students."

Also in the news release, CMU president Subra Suresh said, "Jim has also been a steadfast benefactor of the university, sharing not only his wealth, but his experience and his vision."


Education writer Eleanor Chute: echute@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1955.

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