Philanthropists Margaret and Richard Riney are backing innovative health and education initiatives.
Richard and Margaret Riney
The kitchen of the Rineys’ home in Colorado
Margaret and Richard Riney have a deep history of supporting health and education initiatives, and they have been inspired by rapid advances in research to help create medical breakthroughs for humans and animals alike. The philanthropists, who also shared a peek inside their Colorado home, recently made a record $30 million gift to the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine where a top priority will be developing the first comprehensive online portal for dog owners to find trusted information about canine medicine. We talked to them about why health and education initiatives are so important to them and what their plans are for the future.
The living room. The Rineys tapped Shaeffer Hyde Construction to build their custom home.
Tell us about your partnership with the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine.
RR: The pandemic highlighted the desperate need for continued investment in medical research in both humans and animals. Philanthropy had a profound impact on health research for humans during the pandemic, and we saw an opportunity to similarly help create medical breakthroughs for dogs. By partnering with veterinary experts at a leading research university, The Margaret and Richard Riney Canine Health Center will advance canine research and provide owners with trusted, accessible information about canine medicine. One of the priorities will be to develop the go-to comprehensive online portal for dog owners to find trusted information about canine medicine. We are grateful to support critical research initiatives and work with Cornell University to help dogs live longer, happier and healthier lives.
Incorporating hues of blue throughout the residence, the Rineys hired Amy Studebaker Design to turn their mountain home into the ultimate place for relaxation.
Who are the key players in this initiative?
MR: It’s always been important to us to be hands-on in our support for health, education, animal and art initiatives, but it’s the teachers, nurses, researchers and others who deserve the praise. In this case, in our partnership with the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, that’s Dean Lorin Warnick, Dr. David Lee and Matthew Braun, who were all instrumental in bringing to life our vision of a research-driven canine health program.
Why is supporting health and education initiatives important to you?
RR: We started the Margaret and Richard Riney Family Foundation with one key mission: to make a difference. As parents of two young boys, we share the passion and commitment of parents everywhere in building a solid foundation for the next generation. Health and education are critical to that because of the outsized role they play in creating future opportunities for children and developing strong communities. Unfortunately, there is still a gap in access to quality healthcare and education in underserved communities throughout the country. Making sure that children can be healthy and also receive the best possible education is particularly important because these investments at an early age have lifelong impacts. When a child has appropriate medical care and is being taught by a teacher that truly cares about their success, that child has a far greater chance of reaching their full potential.
What are some of the other organizations you partner with?
MR: We are honored to have partnered with transformational organizations including the Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital to help expedite children’s recovery through an outdoor playscape and The Little Bit Foundation, which aims to remove learning barriers for underprivileged students. We are also proud to support the Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP) at the University of Pennsylvania, which recently updated its mental health and substance abuse guidance, ‘Health in Mind,’ to reflect how the COVID pandemic has impacted children and families at risk. The organizations we partner with are steadfastly committed to the communities they serve, and it’s a privilege to work alongside them to help create opportunities for future generations.
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHED BY MAX KIMBEE