A&S alumnus establishes scholarship for Black students

Robert and Carola Jain

A $1 million gift from Robert ’92 and Carola Jain to the College of Arts and Sciences will support Black A&S students with demonstrated need, and others who enhance Cornell’s diversity, equity and inclusion.

The Robert ’92 and Carola Jain Cornell Promise Scholarship meets a critical need at a moment when the COVID-19 pandemic has hit Black communities particularly hard, according to Ray Jayawardhana, the Harold Tanner Dean of Arts and Sciences.

“Supporting our students during this economic downturn is an important expression of our college’s commitment to promote equity and diversity,” Jayawardhana said. “We have heard from our students about the distinct challenges they and their families are facing as the pandemic and recent events spotlight racial inequities in society. The Jain Cornell Promise Scholarship targets an area of greatest need, and we are grateful to the Jain family for this impactful gift.”

The Jains’ gift is part of the larger Cornell Promise initiative to raise current-use scholarship support for undergraduate students in response to the unprecedented challenge resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the financial toll of the pandemic on Cornell, the university is committed to ensuring that all admitted students have sufficient financial resources to complete their Cornell education.

“We are very proud that Cornell has need-blind admissions, but the reality is some students have ongoing struggles which distract them from their primary goals and may affect their career choices,” Robert Jain said. “We hope that our gift will inspire others to recognize that these students will be our future leaders, and we need to give them all we can to help them succeed.”

Jain is co-chief investment officer for Millennium Management, where he is responsible for managing the firm’s investment process. A government major at Cornell, he is a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Council. He also sits on the board of Harvard Management Corp. and serves on the Investor Advisory Committee of the New York Federal Reserve.

Carola Jain is chief marketing officer for Spartan, overseeing their global marketing and brand strategy.

In 2014 the Jains founded the Jain Family Institute, with the goal of addressing important social problems by identifying and implementing high-impact interventions.

Linda B. Glaser is news and media relations manager for the College of Arts and Sciences.

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