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Cornell University plans to rename one of its main campus roads in honor of Charles F. 'Chuck' Feeney '56, founding chairman of The Atlantic Philanthropies and the university's most generous donor.

Feeney invested nearly $1 billion, mostly anonymously, throughout the university over a period of nearly 40 years. Even after his worldwide philanthropy was revealed in the late 1990s, he still chose not to connect his name in any form to the many institutions he supported. That is why there has never been a space, program, scholarship, professorship or any other entity bearing his name at Cornell.

Now, by renaming East Avenue as Feeney Way, university leaders have found a way to recognize his generous and unprecedented giving across Cornell and – most important to Feeney – inspire future generations of Cornellians to give back to their communities in whatever way they can.

Cornell owns East Avenue and has begun the process of renaming it, in coordination with the City of Ithaca. The plan would replace street signs at three intersections and add a descriptive marker sharing Feeney's story.

The goal is to formalize and celebrate the transition of the street name sometime in the spring, in conjunction with Feeney's 90th birthday.

In 2011, Feeney became a signatory of the Giving Pledge, created by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates with the aim of motivating the world's wealthiest individuals and families to commit to giving away the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes and charitable organizations, preferably while the donors are still alive – the essence of Feeney's own "giving while living" philosophy.

Earlier this year, Feeney reached his lifetime goal of giving away his entire fortune and formally dissolved The Atlantic Philanthropies in September.

Atlantic's total $8 billion in giving over nearly four decades went to universities and nonprofits across the world, and to global causes focused on human rights, education, health equity, peacemaking and social justice.

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