Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ballmers give $50 million to university

Register Guard
November 13th, 2014

Connie and Steve Ballmer showered $50 million in Microsoft-­made wealth on the University of Oregon on Wednesday.
The UO said it will use the money to help bright, low-­income students get through college; hire five new researchers to study obesity; and pay for a marketing campaign to make the UO’s academics as famous as Duck football.
A large share of the $50 million will go into a UO endowment, and the annual interest it will earn will pay in perpetuity for the scholarships and researchers.
The gift is critical to the university, interim President Scott Coltrane said.
“Without enough money to build our endow­ment, we don’t have a secure future,” he said. “What this (gift) does is makes us able to compete for the best students and the best faculty in ways that we can depend on.”
Connie Ballmer, 52, manages the couple’s philanthropic ventures. She’s a UO alumna, and she’s a governor-appointed member of the UO’s recently created board of trustees. She also is leading a committee that will find and interview UO presidential candidates. The presidency has been vacant since Michael Gottfredson left abruptly in August.

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