UW Today

This is an archived article.

October 28, 1999

UW awarded $10 million from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

News and Information

The University of Washington has received an additional $10 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to enhance the Mary Gates Endowment for Students.

The current gift makes this the largest endowment at the UW with gifts totaling $20 million.

“The Gates Foundation is pleased to invest in the excellent undergraduate education programs at the University of Washington,” said William Gates, Sr., chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “We know that state funding must be supplemented by private support if the university is to provide the best in education to the citizens of Washington.”

Established in 1995 with a $10 million gift from Bill and Melinda Gates, the Mary Gates Endowment has provided 590 awards benefiting 467 students. The endowment permits the UW to award honors scholarships of one to four years for students in the Honors Program. Leadership grants help students develop the values of citizenship by supporting their efforts to engage in public service under the guidance of a faculty mentor or community leader. Research grants enable students to deepen their involvement in work with faculty on research, curriculum design, the creative arts and other forms of scholarly endeavor. Grants also support renewable scholarships and summer research grants for promising freshmen and transfer students who are NASA Space Grant Scholars.

“The Gates family, through its gifts of vision, service and philanthropy, has had a transformative effect on the education of a very large number of undergraduates” says Fred Campbell, dean of undergraduate education and vice provost. “Moreover, the Mary Gates Endowment is helping to create a new model for undergraduate education which brings the full strength of a research university to undergraduate students.”

UW President Richard L. McCormick says, “For more than two decades, the Gates family has invested their time, energy and resources in this university, and their presence has had a dramatic impact on many aspects of our work. This latest gift, adding to an endowment established in honor of former Regent Mary Gates, who took special pride in the university’s undergraduate students, will help us in our continuing support of our most creative and ambitious students. It is a wonderful investment in the future, and we are deeply grateful.”

To date, Bill and Melinda Gates have donated $57 million to the UW.
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For more information, contact Bob Roseth, UW, 206-543-2580, or Trevor Neilson, Gates Foundation, 206-709-3112.