San Diego’s Jacobs: Big Givers with Big Hearts

Irwin and Joan Jacobs are philanthropists that think big. From their home in San Diego, California they do not hesitate to help organizations of general benefit to society and to organizations dedicated to helping the Jewish community.

In 2013 they donated an incredible $221.1 million, a large portion of which went to the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute at Cornell NYC Tech. Their largess has also supported other worthy causes such as the Dunaway Foundation, the San Diego Public Library, and Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego.

As a co-founder of Qualcomm, a wireless-communications firm, Irwin Jacobs has a special place in his heart to support the advancement of technology. This explains his special attachment to the work being done at Cornell NYC Tech. In 2013 the couple pledged about $133 million to Cornell Tech, establishing the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute. The Institute will be the home of a dual-degree master’s program at the newly formed Cornell Tech established on Roosevelt Island in New York. The purpose of the school is to foster a synthesis of the academic with the industrial aspects of science and technology.

The school is a joint project of Israel’s highly regarded Technion Institute of Technology and New York’s prestigious Cornell University. Students will earn degrees from both universities simultaneously in applied information-based sciences. One of three areas will be focused on: connective media, healthy living, or design, construction, and management of parks, buildings and infrastructure.

Both Irwin and Joan graduated from Cornell University in 1954. Joan has a Bachelor’s in nutrition, and Irwin a degree in electrical engineering.



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