October 14, 2010
Microsoft founder Bill Gates was in northern Virginia Wednesday for the dedication of a new $17 million learning center at United Way Worldwide headquarters that will bear his mother's name.
Most of the funding for the learning center at the Alexandria headquarters came from a $10 million donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill's mother, Mary Gates, was a longtime United Way supporter and board member. She died in 1994.
The learning center will allow United Way to use high-definition video conference and webcasting technology to train staffers and volunteers at chapters all over the world. United Way also anticipates that outside groups will use the space on a rental basis.
At Wednesday's dedication, Gates said his mother's longtime work with United Way helped teach him the importance of philanthropy.