Established in 2000 with a gift of $3,000,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation reflects the philanthropic priorities of its co-founders, William H. Gates III and Melinda French Gates. The Foundation supports global health and learning, with the hope that in the 21st century advances in these critical areas will be available to all people.
Through this gift, the Gates Foundation established two Endowed Chairs - the first Endowed Chairs in UW Computer Science & Engineering.
At the time of the gift, William H. Gates III is chairman and CEO of Microsoft Corporation. In addition to his involvement in key management and strategic decisions at Microsoft, he plays an important role in the technical development of new products. Through his corporate vision and his philanthropy, he has uniquely influenced the rapidly expanding use of computers in the workplace, in education, and in countless aspects of daily life.
Melinda French Gates earned her bachelor's degree in computer science and economics, and her master's in business administration from Duke University. Upon graduation, she joined Microsoft where she played a leadership role in the development of the company's multimedia and Web-based products. She retired from Microsoft two years after her marriage to William H. Gates III, and she is involved in a variety of philanthropic activities that support the arts, social services, and education, including her position as a trustee of Duke University.
Bill and Melinda have gone on to support our program in countless impactful ways in subsequent decades.
Holders of the Bill & Melinda Gates Chair
Ed Lazowska, 2000-2020