STONY BROOK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It’s the kind of gift that can vault Stony Brook into the upper tier of public colleges.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs On The Story

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Hedge fund giant James Simons and his wife Marilyn are donating $150 million – the school’s largest gift since the couple donated $60 million in 2008.

At a time when tuition is rising and state funding always seems to be in jeopardy, the Simons family is funding the construction of a new life sciences building and the endowment of new professorships.

“You’re going to see this economy work, and Stony Brook is going to be a major engine in that economic resurgence,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports

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James and Marilyn Simons are making the generous donation to a university they met at years ago.

As Marylin Simons explained to CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan the couple has a strong personal connection to the school.

“I made many life long friends and even met my husband here,” said Marylin.

“Jim and I still have a close relationship with this school, and it’s great to see it growing, and getting better and better everyday,” she added.

Simons was a math professor at the school before starting a hedge fund where he earned billions. His wife received her bachelor’s and doctorate at Stony Brook.

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