By Hallie Detrick
November 3, 2017

Friday is a big day for Phil Schiller.

On the long-anticipated release date for the iPhone X, which Schiller unveiled in September, the Apple executive is also in the news for a $25 million gift to Boston College. The donation will go toward a new $150 million science facility. In return for their generosity, Schiller and his wife, Kim Gassett-Schiller, will have the facility’s “crowning jewel,” an integrated science facility, named after them.

The high-profile gift comes only a few days after Ken Griffin, the CEO of the hedge fund Citadel, made the second-largest donation in school history to the University of Chicago. His $125 million gift comes three years after he made a $150 million gift to his alma mater, Harvard University, and will support student scholarships and faculty research in the economics department.

Schiller may now be the senior vice president of world marketing for Apple, but once upon a time he was a Boston College student studying biology with plans to become a marine biologist. When he decided marine biology wasn’t for him, it was the electives he took outside his major that helped him land a job.

Celebrating the value of liberal arts and interdisciplinary study, The Boston Globe reports the new institute will bring together students from across the college to study and solve the world’s most pressing challenges, like global warming and diseases in the developing world. It’s also an attempt to help the college compete with its Boston and Cambridge neighbors—the institute will add courses in engineering and applied sciences in an effort to increase the proportion of students graduating with a degree in STEM subjects.

Who knows, maybe one of them will even get us past “peak phone.”

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