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Celebrating 20 years of the Mary Gates Endowment

Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Celebrating 20 years of the Mary Gates Endowment

Leadership. Discovery. Legacy.

For 20 years, the Mary Gates Endowment for Students has provided scholarships to undergraduates to support their academic excellence, research and leadership projects. It's designed to help students connect to all the remarkable facets of a leading-edge research university. Scholarships provided by the Endowment support undergraduates' endeavors to learn through practical application and their aspirations to set a course for a broader purpose. Inspired by the legacy of former regent Mary Maxwell Gates, this Endowment has transformed the University of Washington undergraduate experience.

Changing students, changing the institution

Throughout the 20th anniversary year, scholars and alumni shared their stories, explaining how being named a Mary Gates Scholar gave them validation that their work was important. The Scholars thanked their mentors for guiding them through the process of discovering their purpose and goals. Mentors reflected on the ways the Endowment has helped develop a culture of interdisciplinary research across the UW. Throughout this monumental occasion, we also celebrated the Endowment’s namesake, Mary Maxwell Gates, and her legacy of leadership and commitment to the UW undergraduate education. Watch the video to hear more.

Like what you see? Consider giving to the Mary Gates Scholars Alumni Fund.

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  • Not sure where to give? Explore the Opportunities tab and support funds with the broadest student impact.
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Congratulations to the Class of 1967! Give in honor of your 50th reunion year and support whatever area of the University you are most passionate about. All giving will be recognized at the 50th reunion dinner, on Saturday, April 8th, 2017.

Thank you for celebrating with us!

Mary Gates Scholars from 20 years ago to today and special friends of the Endowment came together on April 5, 2017 and celebrated the impact the Mary Gates Endowment for Students has had on undergraduates and on the University.

Mary Gates Scholars in action

Whether they are undertaking a research project, leadership work or scholarship, each Mary Gates Scholar applies what they learn and becomes even more ready to address the challenges we know about today as well as those yet to be discovered.

Here are a few stories from recent years.


Opportunities for girls were limited in Sasha Portnova's native Kazakhstan. In the U.S. and at the UW, however, the possibilities felt boundless.





Undergraduate researcher Jennifer Smith shares her experience of returning to school after many years away.





Mary Gates Scholar Varsha Govindaraju talks about service and leadership.