Cornell alumnus David Atkinson and his wife Patricia Atkinson have committed $80 million to fund a permanent, major research center (ACSF) focusing on challenges in the global energy, environmental and economic development arenas. To celebrate this transformative gift, Cornell President David Skorton sent a letter to all Cornell Trustees and Council members, institutions of higher education with sustainability programs, non-governmental organizations, all members of Congress, federal funding agencies, and state and community leaders. The letter highlights the Institute for Computational Sustainability (led by Carla Gomes, ICS Director) as an example of an ACSF-assisted success in advancing research and scholarly collaboration in sustainability, stating, "The Institute for Computational Sustainability, funded by the National Science Foundation, is pioneering computational methods for balancing environmental, economic, and societal needs for a sustainable future. This team has founded a new field within computational science that is already being taken up by other universities and government agencies in the U.S. and Europe."