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Microsoft Co-Founder Allen Gives $26 Million to Washington State

Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp., will give Washington State University $26 million for its School for Global Animal Health.

Allen attended the university based in Pullman, Washington, for two years and the gift is his largest to any educational institution, said David Postman, a spokesman for Vulcan Inc., a company Allen founded in 1986. The donation will be given in stages and will fund a building and support programs in Africa, Postman said in a phone interview today.

Allen, 57, has a fortune valued at $13.5 billion, according to Forbes magazine. Allen founded Microsoft in 1975 with Bill Gates before leaving in 1983 and is the owner of the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team and the Seattle Seahawks football team. The gift to Washington State follows Allen’s interest in African wildlife, Postman said.

“He’s always been interested in wildlife conservation,” Postman said. “He’s become focused in the interaction between people and animals and this is a way to promote research at Pullman and on the ground in Africa.”

Washington State was founded in 1890 and has about 24,000 students at four campuses. Graduates include the late Edward R. Murrow, a broadcaster, and Gary Larson, who created the Far Side cartoon.

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