A Tech Guy in Boston: Here's How Gardner Hendrie Does His Philanthropy

In 1980, Gardner C. Hendrie was one of the three founders of Stratus Computer, where he led hardware development for the first commercial fault-tolerant computer system. Hendrie later joined Sigma + Partners, a venture capital company where he currently serves as special limited partner based out of Boston. In the early 1990s, Hendrie and his wife Karen founded the Fannie Cox Foundation, whose grantmaking has concentrated on the Boston area. Despite being around for quite some time, the foundation doesn't have much of a web presence or a clear way to get in touch.

Hendrie is a graduate of Friends' Central School, in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, which he's supported through the Fannie Cox Foundation. Several million-dollar gifts went to Friends' Centralin the last decade alone. The school is the site of the the Fannie Cox Center for Science, Math and Technology. Recent grants have also supported a scholarship program at the school, as well as a visiting science program. Hendrie has a degree from Harvard University, where the couple established the Fannie Cox Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching. The prize is awarded annually in recognition of exceptional teaching and carries a $10,000 personal award and $40,000 in unrestricted support for teaching and research. In 2014, one prize winner was Kiran Musunuru, an assistant professor of stem cell and regenerative biology at Harvard University and an associate physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Other education philanthropy has involved Clark University, Hill for Literacy, and New England Conservatory of Music.

The Fannie Cox Foundation gave a $2 million gift to Massachusetts General Hospital toward the Fannie Cox Global Health Fund in 2013. Unfortunately, information on the exact mandate of the fund is hard to come by, but a rundown of some of the couple's other recent grants in this area might be helpful. One longtime grantee is Fraxxa Research Foundation, "an international nonprofit organization finding a cure for Fragile X Syndrome, the leading inherited cause of autism and intellectual disabilities." Fraxxa Research Foundation received support since at least last decade. Support has also gone to Marcel's Way Family Fund, "a program that offers a helping hand in the way of direct financial support to those suffering from mitochondrial disease," a rare disorder that occurs when structures that produce energy for a cell malfunction.

In addition, Hendrie supports arts and culture outfits such as American Repertory Theater, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Museum of Fine Arts, The Huntington Theater, and Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, where he serves on the board. He also supports environmental outfits such as Save Buzzards Bay Coalition and Southborough Open Land Foundation, and human services outfits such as Samaritans. Hendrie has also donated to local public station WGBH.

Related: Gardner C. Hendrie