UW News

March 29, 2016

UW to create new real estate minor with gift from Windermere Real Estate founder John Jacobi

UW News

The University of Washington will create an undergraduate minor in real estate studies thanks to a $5.4 million gift from retired Windermere Real Estate founder John Jacobi and his wife, Rosalind. The Jacobis’ gift will also support two new endowed faculty chairs at the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies in the UW’s College of Built Environments — the Windermere Endowed Chair for Real Estate and the John and Rosalind Jacobi Family Endowed Chair for Real Estate. The new minor in real estate will be officially offered in fall 2017 with courses starting in January 2017. This minor will be made available to all undergraduate students pursuing any UW major.

“The University of Washington has been a huge part of our family’s life and is one of Seattle’s best assets. This minor is not about creating new real estate agents and brokers, it’s about elevating the real estate profession,” said John Jacobi. “Our hope in making this gift is that UW students who minor in real estate will acquire a broader base of skills that make people successful — skills like finance, marketing and negotiation.”

“I couldn’t be more pleased that John and Roz have directed their philanthropy to the College of Built Environments. This minor will help the UW continue to provide a flexible education and skill set for students that will be responsive to our region’s increasing needs,” said College of Built Environments Dean John Schaufelberger. “The Jacobis’ generosity gives us a proof point that real estate as a profession has the gravitas to one day possibly warrant a full-fledged real estate department within the College of Built Environments.”

The Jacobi family has a long history of involvement with and support of the UW. Both John and Rosalind attended the UW, as have both sets of their parents and several of their children. Along with their gift to the College of Built Environments, the Jacobis have been ardent supporters of UW Intercollegiate Athletics, through the company’s 30-year sponsorship of the annual Windermere Cup crew races, their support of endowed rowing scholarships for men’s and women’s crew, and their giving to women’s golf, basketball and football. In 2015, John was honored by the Foster School of Business with the 2015 Distinguished Leadership Award.

In addition to funding the real estate minor and two endowed faculty chairs, the Jacobis’ gift will also create the Windermere Endowed Real Estate Support Fund to provide support for the minor program. The two endowed chairs will be filled by candidates who have achieved national recognition in real estate. Candidates may include current UW faculty members or individuals being recruited for the positions.