Gift to name and endow Cornell’s School of Public Policy

Dear Cornell community,

In February 2020, following a multiyear review by a series of faculty committees, the university announced plans to create a new School of Public Policy: one that would further elevate Cornell’s excellence and prominence in the social sciences, and provide a unified home for our many scholars of public policy and related disciplines.

Today we are delighted to share another important milestone in the development of these plans: the naming of the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy, thanks to a generous gift by Jeb E. Brooks, MBA ’70, and Cherie Wendelken, together with the Brooks Family Foundation. This historic gift — made as faculty are working to design the school’s academic programs and as its administrative structure takes shape — represents a remarkable vote of confidence in support of the university’s newest school.

The gift provides endowment for the Cornell Brooks School upon its founding, allowing for key investments in faculty recruitment and academic program excellence and setting the school on a path to becoming a preeminent public policy institution.

We are deeply grateful to Jeb and Cherie, who have been longtime friends and supporters of Cornell, for their generosity. Among their many ties to the university, Jeb and Cherie are proud to count three generations of Cornellians in their family, including Jeb’s father, Earl Brooks, who taught business as a professor in the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management for nearly 50 years.

We look forward to the formal opening of the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy this fall: another exciting step toward further boosting multidisciplinary public policy research, teaching and engagement at the university.

You can read more about this transformational gift and the new school in the Cornell Chronicle.


Martha E. Pollack

Michael I. Kotlikoff