High school students participate in SFI's 2014 C.A.M.P. (Computing and Modeling Program) summer education retreat in Groton, Mass.

The McKinnon family has made a generous gift of $2.5 million to support the Santa Fe Institute’s Education & Outreach programs.

The gift creates a permanently endowed fund to continue and expand SFI-sponsored educational activities and their administration. These programs include a variety of summer schools, internships, mentorships, and online courses and resources that provide complexity training and engagement for students of all ages and stages of education. 

“With this gift we can bring our wide-ranging expertise to thousands of complexity enthusiasts and learners in New Mexico and beyond,” says SFI President Jerry Sabloff. “We are extremely grateful to the McKinnons for their confidence in and support for our science and education programs.”

“We are honored to partner with you in helping to take SFI to the next level,” says Mr. McKinnon, an SFI Trustee and longtime Institute supporter.

In recognition of the gift, SFI has named the position of Vice President for Education and Outreach as the “McKinnon Family Vice President for Education and Outreach.”

The gift, among the largest in the Institute’s history from a private donor, brings SFI’s New Science. New Horizons. campaign total to $25.2 million. The 30th anniversary campaign seeks to raise $30 million by December 31, 2016.

Mr. McKinnon is founding partner of Sandia Holdings LLC. Formerly he was a managing partner of Ziff Brothers Investments and an investment banking analyst with Merrill Lynch & Co. He serves as Trustee and Chairman of the Investment Committee at the Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut; as a Trustee of his alma mater high school, the Albuquerque Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and as Trustee Emeritus at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.

Mrs. McKinnon formed a manufacturing company with her father, building wine and beer tanks and brewing systems for commercial beer producers worldwide. She has committed her time and resources to mentoring children who need support to be the first in their families to attend college.

The McKinnons, both native New Mexicans, split their time between Connecticut and Santa Fe.

Read the article in the Santa Fe New Mexican (September 4, 2014)

Note: Although the gift is not directly dedicated to SFI's K-12 after school programs, through the years funds from the endowment may help support those programs and will help provide administrative stability for all SFI's educational programs.

Read Irene Lee's letter to the editor (September 28, 2014)