Paul Allen gives big donation to WSU for global health

Dec 2, 2010

Washington State University is getting the biggest donation in its history – from its most famous drop-out.  Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, is giving $26 million, to support the new School for Global Animal Health.  Allen’s donation is just a little bigger than one given by his old Microsoft pal Bill Gates two years ago. 

The Gates Foundation gave $25 million and Allen is giving $26 million, all of it going to the School for Global Animal Health, which, combines several research areas in agriculture, biology and zoology. Faculty are focusing on vaccines and disease transmission among animals, which can spread to humans and devastate livestock. 

Allen made a just few brief comments about his gift, saying:

“It really means a lot to me to be able to help expand the School for Global Animal Health and launch exchange programs between Washington state and Africa.”

Allen’s donation will complete the construction of a building that the Gates’ money started.  It also calls for expanding research specifically in Africa.  

Allen attended WSU as a freshman and sophomore, before dropping out to work as a computer programmer in Boston. 

WSU also announced it is half-way toward an overall goal of raising $1 billion for its endowment and programs.

(For an irreverent take on the announcement, visit KPLU's Humanosphere blog.)