Million-Dollar Gifts from Evergreen Grads Fund the Future

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January 26, 2021
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OLYMPIA, WA–An unprecedented pair of million-dollar gifts to The Evergreen State College Foundation will fund a new center for climate action, and help the college connect with graduates and donors eager to contribute to Evergreen’s future, the college announced January 26.

Evergreen graduates Christy Holz and Tim Ball have donated $1 million to fuel Evergreen’s work on climate action and sustainability. With this support, the college will launch the Evergreen Center for Climate Action and Sustainability, a campus hub to help students gain the knowledge and abilities they need to be climate leaders. The center will offer hands-on learning opportunities for students, such as internships and undergraduate research.

Environmental entrepreneurs Holz and Ball have been business founders, partners, and board members in solar energy companies since the early 1980s.

“Climate action is the greatest opportunity for entrepreneurship, leadership, and purposeful endeavor of our time,” said Holz. “Transformative change requires transformative education to understand and ultimately solve the challenges ahead. Evergreen is uniquely prepared to educate tomorrow’s leaders who can tackle this very real crisis.”

Evergreen graduate John Hennessey’s $1 million gift will help the help the college reach out to other friends and graduates who wish to leave legacies to fund scholarships and other college programs. A nationally known management consultant and investor, Hennessey has held high-level positions at leading firms and government agencies.

“I came to Evergreen in the 1970s because it offered optimists like me an education to help make the world a better place,” Hennessey said. “Evergreen has held on to those values, and the kind of opportunities it provides students are needed more than ever.”

By focusing part of his gift on creating a planned giving program, Hennessey added, “I am honored not only to be a part of Evergreen’s history, but to help ensure its vibrant future by inspiring others to join me.”

Launching Evergreen’s next 50 years

Holz and Hennessey serve on the Evergreen foundation’s board of governors, which encourages support for Evergreen’s mission, students, and strategic initiatives.

“These gifts bring much needed support for students today,” said board of governors’ chair Chris Meserve. “They anchor Evergreen’s growth and sustainability as we embark on our next 50 years of making a difference. I am especially pleased that these remarkable gifts came from Evergreen graduates in support of future generations of Greeners.”

About The Evergreen State College Foundation

The Evergreen State College Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to building an outstanding future for The Evergreen State College. Since 1976 the Foundation has supported this goal by raising private gifts from our remarkable and generous donors. While public funds maintain the college, private gifts provide donor-funded scholarships, program endowments, and other opportunities that enrich the Evergreen experience.