McVey Commits $2 Million to Data Science Initiative and Women’s Lacrosse

by James Burnett

College parent and trustee Rick McVey committed $2 million to the College, according to a statement from the Office of Communications on April 9. The statement explained that the commitment “will support the creation of a multi-disciplinary data science initiative and the College’s championship women’s lacrosse team.”

In an interview with the Echo, Bruce A. Maxwell, the chair of the department of computer science, said this donation will help “transform Colby into a place where students who are interested in data science get the skills, education, and practice they need to become successful.”

Maxwell said that “what makes this McVey’s gift particularly exciting is that it’s enabling us to take a very serious look at the curriculum across the board” to see how best to teach data analysis in the sciences, social sciences and the humanities.

According to Maxwell, money will be “invested in professors and students who are already here at the College. We are investing it in giving people incentives to move into the area of big-data in their research and teaching.”

He added that they will also be investing some of the money in student experiences. For example, this year, some of the money will be spent to support students doing summer data-research projects.

Donor Rick McVey said in the statement from the Office of Communications that “data science is gaining such momentum that as savvy students consider fields, they are also considering where technology is going in those fields and how that could influence their future careers.”

$500,000 of the $2 million donation will be distributed to the College’s Women’s lacrosse team. McVey’s daughters, Lane McVey ’12 and Grace McVey ’16 both played for the team. In the statement from the Office of Communications, the Head Coach Karen Henning said “this incredible gift will allow us to fully support our team as we continue to reach for the highest level of excellence on the field.” Under Henning, the team has won three conference titles, most recently in 2017.

According to Fortune, McVey is “the founder and CEO of MarketAxess Holdings, a New York-based exchange that controls 85% of all U.S. electronic corporate fixed income trading.” The statement from the Office of Communications added that MarketAxess has hired three students from the College’s Class of 2019.