RIT graduate donates $50M to alma mater

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A 2009 Rochester Institute of Technology graduate is donating $50 million to his alma mater– the largest donation in the school’s history.

Austin McChord, the founder of Datto, developed technology that helps companies with backup and disaster recovery services.

McChord, 32, says the motivation for his gift is to inspire others.

“Nothing in my background really helped or should have caused me to be successful,” McChord said. “I simply got lucky, I guess? And so I would just tell people to run, go for it and do it. A lot of people find reasons to talk themselves out of it, but instead, dream big and make it happen.”

Thirty million dollars will go towards a new facility, the Maker Library & Innovative Learning Complex of the Future, which will connect RIT’s Wallace Center and the Student Alumni Union. 

The remaining $20 million will advance RIT’s cybersecurity and artificial intelligence capabilities. 

Datto employs about 200 people in downtown Rochester. McChord hopes to expand that in the near future and be involved at RIT as his vision becomes reality.

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