UC Berkeley gets $252 million donation for data center

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BERKELEY — The University of California, Berkeley has received a $252 million donation — its largest-ever single gift — to start construction of a new building for students and faculty studying computing and data science.

The gift, made anonymously, will allow the university to start building the Data Hub on the north side of campus , the San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday.

Another $300 million in donations will be needed to complete the building, which will house the Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society, which teaches an increasing number of students across a variety of majors. More than 6,000 of the university’s 31,000 undergraduate students take data science classes each year.

The Data Hub will house classrooms and offices and also may include robotics and artificial intelligence laboratories, research centers, public gathering areas, and a large auditorium.

The donation comes as the university kicks off an ambitious effort to raise $6 billion by the end of 2023. University officials say it’s one of the biggest fundraising efforts by any public university, and is needed to maintain the campus’ top academic rating and programs as state support shrinks to 14% of its budget.

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