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$30M Gift Establishes New Cornell Real Estate School

Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Cornell University will create a new department dedicated solely to real estate thanks to a recent $30M gift from a wealthy alum.

Paul Rubacha, the co-founder of Ashley Capital, announced a gift that would establish a new department within the SC Johnson College of Business, ranked fifth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Cornell already has a reputation as a real estate school, with its renowned Nolan School of Hotel Administration and its offering of a two-year master’s program, the Baker Program in Real Estate. The new Paul Rubacha Department of Real Estate will expand on that with a research-focused master’s/Ph.D. program, and expand faculty and collaborations across disciplines at the school’s Ithaca and New York City campuses. 

Rubacha, a 1973 Cornell MBA, founded Ashley Capital, one of the nation’s largest privately held industrial real estate investment companies, with Richard Morton in 1984, according to the firm's website. It recently purchased 350 acres of a former Buick plant in Flint, Michigan.

The Baker Program graduated 31 students in 2021, 96% of whom received a full-time job offer, with an average base salary of $90,769, according to the school.