News and analysis
February 08, 2015

No. 21: John and Tashia Morgridge

Amount donated in 2014: $102-million

Top beneficiary: University of Wisconsin at Madison

Background: Mr. Morgridge is chairman emeritus of Cisco Systems, a company that designs networking and communications technology and services.

The Morgridges pledged $100-million to their alma mater, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, to endow professorships and to match such gifts from other donors. The couple said cuts in government support to state universities prompted them to commit the money.

"I think it’s incumbent upon some part of the population to step forward and fund the public institutions," Mr. Morgridge told The Chronicle.

The Morgridges, who are in their 80s, are co-chairs of the university’s forthcoming capital campaign and said they hope the matching portion of their gift will encourage other alumni to donate.

"I think a lot of people will be very pleased that there will be a way they can have their money matched," said Ms. Morgridge, who graduated in 1955 from the university’s School of Education.

Mr. Morgridge graduated that same year from the university’s business school.

The couple also gave $1.5-million to the Wisconsin Technology Initiative for programs in Wisconsin public elementary, middle, and high schools and a total of $500,000 to other education, environmental, and human-services groups.

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