GC Receives $2.5M Gift to Research Socio-Economic Inequality

September 1, 2016

The Graduate Center announced today a $2.5 million gift bestowed by James and Cathleen Stone to research multiple forms of socio-economic inequality.

The Graduate Center announced today a $2.5 million gift bestowed by James and Cathleen Stone to research multiple forms of socio-economic inequality.

In recognition of the gift, the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Center will be renamed the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality*.

Professor Janet Gornick (Political Science/Sociology), who has led the LIS Center since its establishment at the GC in 2009, will continue to serve as Director.

"The Graduate Center is delighted to receive this generous gift from Jim and Cathy Stone," said President Chase F. Robinson. "These new resources will enable the Graduate Center and the Stone Center to expand and enhance our research and teaching in the quantitative study of inequality, an increasingly influential field in which our faculty are taking leading roles."
The mission of the Stone Center is to build and disseminate knowledge related to the causes, nature, and consequences of socio-economic inequality, with particular focus on inequality at the top end of the spectrum.

The Stone Center will house the U.S. Office of LIS, which is the partner of the Luxembourg Office of LIS. The two LIS offices collaborate to carry out the work of LIS, a renowned cross-national data archive that now includes data from 50 countries.
"We are pleased to support the Graduate Center at CUNY and expand its work examining economic inequality, an issue we feel is fundamental to solve in this country," said Jim and Cathy Stone. "We have tremendous confidence in the leadership and talent of Janet Gornick and her team."

The gift will make possible a wide array of public programs, conversations, and lecture series, including a student-run series on inequality research; the interdisciplinary Lee Rainwater Memorial Lecture Series, which begins next year; and the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Lecture Series on Wealth Inequality, also being launched in 2017.
Jim Stone's career has included positions in academia, government, and business. He is the author of a current book on public policy. Cathy Stone is a lawyer and former city government executive, with particular interests in issues of the environment and education.
"I am immensely grateful for this gift from Jim and Cathy Stone, as are my colleagues in our partner office in Luxembourg and here at the Graduate Center," Gornick [pictured] said. "These funds will enable us to carry out new work on a topic that the Stones care deeply about-the concentration of income and wealth among the most affluent-and to supplement that with several initiatives that concern other facets of socio-economic inequality."

Joining Gornick in the Stone Center will be Distinguished Professor Paul Krugman (Economics), Presidential Professor Branko Milanovic, and Presidential Professor Leslie McCall (Sociology), all of whom teach a number of courses at the GC related to inequality. McCall will also serve as Associate Director.

Each summer the Stone Center hosts a one-week intensive workshop on inequality research for Ph.D. students and other young scholars. It also hosts a series of research and policy briefs based on data contained in the Luxembourg Income Study Database and/or the Luxembourg Wealth Study Database, and authored by GC faculty and students.
To learn more, visit gc.cuny.edu/stonecenter.
*Subject to CUNY Board of Trustees' approval.