Investing in Discovery

David Schamis ’95 and Rebecca Vitas Schamis ’00 MBA support science research and teaching

The Schamis Terrace at the Yale Science BuildingWhen the new Yale Science Building opens its doors this August, students and faculty members will access its brand-new laboratories for learning and discovery, as well as ample spaces for informal idea sharing, collaboration, and study. A focal point of the building is the rooftop terrace, an outdoor gathering space with commanding views of Science Hill and East Rock. The terrace is named for David Schamis ’95 and Rebecca Vitas Schamis ’00 MBA, recent contributors to Yale’s science initiative. 

The Schamises’ gift adds to the Research Frontiers Endowment, a fund within the Yale endowment created to support goals arising from the June 2018 Report of the University Science Strategy Committee. In addition to state-of-the-art facilities, the report calls for strategic investments in faculty, students, programs, and equipment, with emphasis on research areas that are poised for growth, including quantum science, data science, neuroscience, inflammation research, and the environment.

“The sciences are fundamental to Yale’s mission of educating leaders and improving the world, and I am grateful to David and Becky for their generous support,” said President Salovey. “As we build on Yale’s longstanding strengths in the sciences, we will further expand our knowledge about the natural world, solve pressing technological and scientific challenges, and educate new generations of investigators and scientifically literate citizens.” 

Jumpstarting research 

“The Research Frontiers Endowment provides Yale researchers with a stable, long-term funding source that can support their work in ways that external funding traditionally does not,” explained Peter Schiffer ’88, vice provost for research. “As the endowment grows, it will be a flexible, reliable, and increasingly important source of funding for Yale’s scientists, engineers, and innovators.” 

Supporting research across the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the endowment enables teams to be nimble in pursuing their best ideas. It provides seed funding to jumpstart new faculty research efforts, supports new graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, and funds instrumentation. 

“We believe strongly in Yale’s mission, and we want our gifts to be the most useful for the university,” said David Schamis. “The Research Frontiers Endowment will enable discoveries that will have a ripple effect for other advances. We are excited to help make that happen.” 

In addition to supporting the research endowment, the Schamises have supplemented an existing scholarship in Yale College and contributed to the lacrosse program, the Yale Alumni Fund, and the Yale School of Management.

June 28, 2019