Steve Ballmer, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers and former CEO of Microsoft, is donating $425 million for children’s behavioral health.
Ballmer is the estimated 9th-richest person in the word, with a personal net worth somewhere around $111 billion. He joined Microsoft when it was merely a startup in 1980, and by 1981 owned 8% of the newly fledged company. In the tech world, his claim to fame is the invention of the Blue Screen of Death. When he sold half of his ownership in 2003, it was worth $955 million, and he has since invested that into his current astounding fortune.
Ballmer has a history of charitable contributions, possibly the largest in the league of NBA owners. Ballmer Group, his philanthropic foundation, is focused around ensuing economic equity and mobility for children in the United States, particularly those in disadvantaged classes.
Steve Ballmer and his wife Connie Ballmer announced the $425 million donation to University of Oregon on March 1st, a donation which creates the Ballmer Instiute for Children’s Behavioral Health.
“Right now, the need for behavioral health services across our country is at critical levels, and there is an opportunity to strengthen and enhance the behavioral health system so that it is set up to address every child’s needs – now and in the future,” said Connie Ballmer, who graduated from the University of Oregon and has served on its Board of Trustees.
“The institute establishes a new national model for behavioral and mental health care by uniting the UO’s top-ranked research programs, Oregon public schools and families, and community support groups in the creation and delivery of intervention and treatment programs that can be part of the daily lives of K-12 students. The UO will propose a new degree program and launch a certificate program to empower a new workforce eager to meet children’s needs within schools and organizations,” reads the Ballmer Institute’s website.
$100 million of the donation will become an endowment, providing funding in the future to cover more than 20 new faculty members and dozens of scholarships yearly.
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