For a new computer science and engineering building.

By Natasha Bach
October 13, 2017

Bill Gates’ friends must really like him.

The University of Washington has named the school’s newest $110 million building after Gates and his wife Melinda. But they weren’t the ones to contribute the funds for the building—a group, calling themselves “the friends of Bill and Melinda,” donated $30 million toward the project in the couple’s name.

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The group is a Who’s Who in tech, including Satya and Anu Nadella (Microsoft CEO), Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos (Amazon), Lloyd and Janet Frink (Zillow), and Jim and Catherine Allchin (Microsoft)—13 couples in all.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Center for Computer Science & Engineering will be built across the street from the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering, named after Gates’ Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The Seattle Times points out the beautiful irony of these buildings being named after Allen and Gates, as forty-six years ago the two had been kicked out of the computer science lab as high schoolers for “hogging the teletype machines and swiping an acoustic coupler.”

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Gates and Allen have since made up for their ‘misbehavior.’ The Gates family and foundation have donated more than $1.25 billion to the University of Washington to date and Allen donated money toward the Allen library on campus.

The new facility will include a 3,000 square foot robotics laboratory, a wet lab space for molecular information system research, an undergraduate commons, and a 250 seat auditorium. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.

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