Bates College is launching a new program in digital and computational studies after receiving $19 million from seven families.
The college, located in Lewiston, is creating three endowed professorships for the new program and three professorships in neuroscience, economics and chemistry. The new positions represent the first expansion of the Bates faculty in more than a decade.
Michael Bonney, class of 1980 and chair of the Bates College Board of Trustees, and his wife, Alison Grott Bonney, are pledging $10 million of the total, the largest single gift the college has received. Bonney is the former CEO of Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts.
The college's new program in digital and computational studies will include traditional computer science courses and link to disciplines across the college's full academic program.
The college wants to give students the capacity to interrogate what it means to live in a world that is "awash in data," said Matthew Auer, the college's vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty. The program will begin in the fall of 2017.