The University of Oregon has announced a $50 million gift from former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie Snyder Ballmer, an alumna.
The gift, which brings to $750 million the total raised toward the university’s $2 billion fundraising campaign goal, includes a $25 million endowment for PathwayOregon, a scholarship program that covers tuition and fees for high-achieving low-income Oregonian students; $20 million for the Health Promotion, Obesity Prevention and Human Development Cluster of Excellence, a multidisciplinary Prevention Science research program with a focus on obesity prevention and health promotion; and $5 million for a comprehensive university-wide branding initiative.
Connie Snyder Ballmer, who graduated in 1984 with a degree in journalism, also is leading the university's search for a new president.
"This gift allows us to build and share our expertise in this important area of public health," said Elizabeth Stormshak, professor of counseling psychology and leader of the Health Promotion, Obesity Prevention and Human Development Cluster of Excellence. "Our goal is to positively impact the lives of children and families, in Oregon and all over the world, as we strive to understand ways to prevent childhood obesity and promote healthy development."