Carnegie Mellon Receives $265 Million Pledge

Ann McClure's picture

Carnegie Mellon University has received a huge new pledge to expand its programs.

The $265 million gift from former steel executive William S. Dietrich II is one of the largest in recent years from an individual to a private university, and the largest in the school's history, officials told The Associated Press.

The recession has impacted charitable giving, and the Dietrich pledge may be part of a resurgence. Last week the University of Southern California announced a $6 billion capital campaign. The Dietrich pledge also brought Carnegie Mellon close to meeting its $1 billion campaign.

The pledge also marks another chapter in Pittsburgh's transition from steel to tech. Dietrich is the former chairman of Dietrich Industries Inc., a supplier of steel building materials. Carnegie Mellon was founded as a technical school in 1900 by steel king Andrew Carnegie, but in recent years it has become known for world-class programs in computer science, robotics and the arts.

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