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Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024
The Observer

$25 million gift to fund new Institute for Data & Society at Notre Dame

Notre Dame has been given a $25 million gift to establish the Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society, according to a University press release Friday.

The institute will expand Notre Dame’s data-based academic programs and serve as “an interdisciplinary, university-wide hub that will connect faculty, students and research across existing data science and analytics programs on campus,” according to the release.

University provost Tom Burish said the Lucy Family Institute will work with University’s existing data-driven academic and research programs to bring data science to a broader range of disciplines, including health, business and the social sciences. The institute will also be host to academic publications and conferences, and seek partnerships with outside entities.

Alumnus Robert Lumpkins and his wife, Sara, who graduated from Saint Mary’s, donated the $25 million gift.

“We are exceedingly grateful to Bob and Sara for their past generosity in helping Notre Dame keep pace with emerging trends in data science and business analytics,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in the release. “With this latest gift, they have ensured that our undergraduate, graduate and professional students will wield the latest tools, knowledge and innovations to better society and the world.”

The Lumpkins have previously helped fund endowed faculty positions, scholarships and business, science and mathematics programs.

“We are pleased to support Notre Dame’s vision in this endeavor, which meshes with our values,” Sara and Bob Lumpkins said in the release. “We believe data science and analytics offer a powerful opportunity to enhance interdisciplinary collaboration and learning at the University, and that Notre Dame is uniquely positioned to bring an ethical perspective to its use for the good of society.”