Private support for the UW reached an all-time high with more than $154.6 million contributed in gifts ($85.1 million) and private grants ($69.5 million) from individuals, corporations, foundations and associations. The record-breaking total includes gifts of $22 million from Bill and Melinda Gates that have been previously announced (Columns, September 1995 and June 1996).
"The numbers are impressive, and we're very grateful to everyone who contributed this year," says Marilyn Dunn, vice president for development. "What is most important, though, is the impact of those dollars: We'll be able to hold on to some top faculty when other universities try to recruit them. More bright students will get an education with the help of scholarships and fellowships. Research will be done that would not otherwise be possible."
A gift that will help the business school comes from Michael and Myrna Darland of Bellevue, who contributed $1 million for an endowed chair in entrepreneurship. Michael Darland co-founded Digital Systems Inc. (DSI), a telecommunications company, and served as president, CEO, and chairman of the board of DSI from 1979-1995. In 1990, he received the High Technology Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Washington State. A volunteer on the business school's advisory board, he also serves on the advisory committee for the Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Myrna Darland, who set aside her career to raise the couple's three children, has been an active volunteer for the Bellevue Public Schools and community organizations.
"We are fortunate to live in a country that rewards entrepreneurs," says Michael Darland. "The person who holds this chair can nurture and encourage students who have those instincts, students who will create their own businesses. We hope that the value created, not only for this region but worldwide, will make the amount of this gift seem insignificant."
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