News and analysis
December 19, 2016

Gifts Roundup: Craigslist Founder Backs Journalism-Ethics Program

Rick E. Martin/San Jose Mercury News/Newscom

Internet mogul Craig Newmark donated $1 million to the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, in part to support a program focused on fact-checking and journalistic accountability.

A roundup of notable gifts compiled by The Chronicle:

University of California at San Francisco

Bill Bowes, the founder of biopharmaceutical company Amgen, pledged $50 million through his William K. Bowes Jr. Foundation to establish the Bowes Biomedical Investigator Program.

The program will provide annual $250,000 awards to early and mid-career faculty members. Recipients will be selected based on the quality of their scientific contributions, the significance of their work’s potential impact, and the novelty of their research approaches.

Mr. Bowes also founded the investment firm U.S. Venture Partners. With this gift, he has now given nearly $100 million to the university.

Indiana University School of Medicine

Physician and tech entrepreneur Donald Brown donated $30 million to establish the Brown Center for Immunotherapy, which will aim to find new treatments for cancer and other diseases on individual patients’ immune systems. The gift will also support efforts to make such therapies accessible to large numbers of patients.

Of the total, $13 million will be used to establish five endowed professorships. The rest will back infrastructure and technology to support the research.

Dr. Brown earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Indiana University at Bloomington in 1978, a master’s degree in 1982, and an M.D. in 1985. He co-founded software companies Dealership Programming and Software Artistry and founded Interactive Intelligence, a software and cloud-services firm. IBM acquired Software Artistry in 1998, and Mr. Brown recently sold Interactive Intelligence to Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories for $1.4 billion.

Vanderbilt University

Jeffrey Rothschild, an engineer who headed the development of Facebook’s platform, and his wife, Marieke, gave $20 million to support the university’s ongoing construction of new residential colleges.

The funding will accelerate development of Vanderbilt’s College Halls, at which students live alongside faculty mentors and work together to create educational and other programs.

Mr. Rothschild earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Vanderbilt in 1977 and a master’s in computer science in 1979. He went on to found Veritas Software and was Facebook’s first vice president for engineering, a post he held from 2005 to 2015. He is a member of the university’s Board of Trustees.

Carthage College

Jan Tarble gave $15 million for a new career center and associated programs. The money will also go toward hiring more career-development professionals and endowing internships and other experiential-learning programs.

Ms. Tarble’s late father, Newton Tarble, co-founded toolmaker Snap-on. The family has given more than $50 million to the college since the 1960s.

Stevens Institute of Technology

Greg and Susan Gianforte gave $10 million to build a new academic and research facility dedicated to technological innovation. The building is scheduled to open in 2019 and will house academic and laboratory space for the study of health care and medicine, sustainable energy, financial-systems defense and security, and STEM education.

Mr. Gianforte earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in computer science from Stevens in 1983. He founded RightNow Technologies, a cloud-based customer-services company that was sold to Oracle for $1.8 billion in 2012. The Gianfortes gave the Stevens Institute $10 million that year.

Edmonds Senior Center

Travel expert and television personality Rick Steves pledged $3 million to help the Seattle-area organization build the new Edmonds Waterfront Center. One-third of the donation is earmarked to match up to $1 million in gifts from others.

Mr. Steves has written numerous travel guides and hosts the American Public Television series Rick Steves’ Europe as well as the public-radio program Travel with Rick Steves.

Poynter Institute for Media Studies

Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, gave the institute $1 million through his Craig Newmark Foundation.

The money will endow a professorship in journalism ethics and support a five-year program at Poynter focused on verification, fact-checking, and accountability in journalism.

To learn about other big donations, see our database of gifts of $1 million or more, which is updated throughout the week.

Send an email to Maria Di Mento.