12/6/2005

Gates birthday gift is the kind that will keep on giving

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 6:38 pm

t’s the sort of gift that Bill Gates Sr. wanted from his son.

Nothing gaudy or flashy, nothing stylish or sleek. In fact, nothing for himself at all. Instead, something to inspire public service in others, something to give back. Something he has insisted on long before his son became the world’s richest man.

So when Bill Gates Sr. turned 80 Wednesday, his son surprised him with this: an 80-year scholarship program for the University of Washington School of Law in the elder Gates’ name.

The length of the scholarship is a nod to Bill Gates Sr.’s age; the law school is his alma mater.

The cost: $33.3 million. The deal: Five students get a full-ride scholarship each year. In exchange, they commit to working seven years in public service after graduation — for instance, for a legal aid or advocacy agency, a nonprofit, as a public defender or prosecutor.

The idea behind the scholarship is to encourage young lawyers to pursue public-service careers without the burden of huge student debt. The scholarship is unusual in that it goes beyond paying tuition and also covers room and board, academic supplies and internship costs. It’s estimated that the scholarship will be worth about $100,000 over three years of study for students entering the school next year.

Source: The Seattle Times

 

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