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October 25, 2016

Daily News Roundup: $210 Million Gates Gift Boosts U. of Washington Health Venture

Gates Foundation Gives $210 Million for Community-Health Research: The funds will go toward building a home for the University of Washington's new Population Health Initiative, The Seattle Times reports. The program will conduct interdisciplinary research into how to improve the health of entire communities using data, design, policy, and education. The university is seeking to raise an additional $20 million to construct a center of between 265,000 and 290,000 square feet on the Seattle campus.

U.S. Collectors Pledge Art Trove to Paris Museum: The bequeathment by Texas couple Marlene and Spencer Hays to the Musée d’Orsay includes more than 600 late-19th- and early-20th-century works and is the largest foreign art collection donated to a to a French institution in more than 70 years, reports The New York Times. The collection — valued at $381 million, according to Artforum — includes works by Edgar Degas, Amedeo Modigliani, and Henri Matisse and will pass to the museum upon the couple's deaths. Mr. Hays is the founder of bespoke-clothing maker the Tom James Company.

Indian Philanthropy Donates to New Disease-Fighting Research: The Tata Trusts of Mumbai announced a $70 million donation to the University of California at San Diego for research on editing genes to fight disease, The San Diego Union-Tribune writes. The field, called “active genetics,” allows scientists to alter genes in living organisms, a technique that could, for example, breed mosquitos that don’t spread malaria. Half of the money will be used at the university for research and training Indian scientists; the remainder will fund work by the scientists to develop practical applications when they return to India. 

Former Andrew M. Mellon Foundation President Dies: William G. Bowen, who also served as president of Princeton University, died last week at age 83, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education. An expert on the economics of nonprofits, education, and the arts, he headed the Mellon fund from 1988 to 2006. During his tenure, the foundation sponsored the creation of online archives JSTOR and Artstor and higher-education nonprofit Ithaka.  

Prince’s Minn. House Cleared for Museum Visitors: Paisley Park, the estate outside Minneapolis where the superstar musician lived and recorded until his death earlier this year, has been rezoned by local officials so that it can operate as a permanent museum, reports the Star Tribune. The facility is expected to attract 600,000 visitors a year.

Fundraising Campaign Seeks Money for Emmett Till Memorial: The Emmett Till Memorial Commission in Mississippi has raised more than $18,000 for a campaign to replace a sign commemorating the 1955 lynching of an African-American youth, an event that galvanized the civil-rights movement, The New York Times reports. For eight years, the old sign has been punctured with bullet holes. Plans for a replacement memorial include a park with a gazebo where visitors can reflect on the Till murder and its implications.