The University of Washington has received a $10 million gift from a California businessman and his wife to support the school's endeavors in both academics and athletics.
The gift by Neal Dempsey, class of '64, and his wife Janet is the largest alumni gift ever to the university, and follows on the heels of a $3 million donation the couple made to the school earlier this year.
Half of the $10 million will go to the business school's Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation (PEI), which will use the money to launch major research into the nature of innovation and to boost interaction between students of business and science.
The other $5 million will be used to provide athletic scholarships, refurbish the Conibear Shellhouse, and help fund a multi-sport indoor practice facility to be called Dempsey Indoor.
"[The Dempseys} believe so strongly in what this university means for our students, and they know the value of investing in their future," said UW president Richard L. McCormick. "Their support for new ventures in business and in intercollegiate athletics reflects the broad spectrum of their interests and the university's needs."
Neal Dempsey, who serves on four campus bodies — the UW Foundation Board, the Business School Advisory Board, the Program for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Board, and the Tyee Board (which advises the athletic department) — said he hopes to encourage other alumni to support the university with their time as well as financially.
Raised in Tacoma, Dempsey attented UW on scholarship and earned his business degree there. Since 1989, he has been with Bay Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm.