The Evergreen State College Receives $1 Million Gift

September 16, 2005

Gift provides significant start for Evergreen's first ever capital campaign

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced it is making a contribution of $1 million to support the development of The Evergreen State College's first ever capital campaign. The gift will help the college build fundraising capacity to sustain its distinctive excellence. The contribution will be announced at 10:30 a.m. today at Evergreen's 2005 Convocation ceremonies on its Olympia campus.

When Evergreen opened in 1971, Governor Dan Evans and the legislature challenged the college to serve as an innovative, non-traditional liberal arts institution. Evergreen's extraordinary approach to teaching and learning quickly earned the college its reputation for innovation and excellence. Today, with higher education growth and public funding at a critical turning point, Evergreen is increasing its efforts to secure long-term funding sources to ensure the college's success continues into the next generation.

To that end, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gift will assist Evergreen in creating a strong prospect research and stewardship program, aid the college in acquiring development training and materials for the Foundation's Board of Governors and the college's Board of Trustees, and provide seed money for conducting donor cultivation activities.

"We are so very grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for this tremendous gift recognizing our work," said Evergreen President, Thomas L. "Les" Purce. "With this initial gift to support a future capital campaign, we will be able to engage and inspire our alumni and friends to support the long-term success of this extraordinary college," he said.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to improving people's lives by sharing advances in health and learning with the global community. Led by Bill Gates' father, William H. Gates Sr., and Patty Stonesifer, the Seattle-based foundation has an asset base of $24.2 billion.

The Evergreen State College, a public, four-year college of arts and sciences, annually enrolls more than 4,200 students. Evergreen opened its doors in 1971. Since then, it has become a national leader in the development of interdisciplinary learning communities that combine and coordinate several academic subjects that are traditionally taught separately.

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