NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Applied Materials
FUNDING AREAS: Youth and children, education, environment, community stewardship.
OVERVIEW: James Morgan and his wife Becky Quinn Morgan do their grantmaking through the Morgan Family Foundation, established in 1993. The foundation prioritizes grantmaking in California. It accepts proposals by invitation only.
BACKGROUND: James C. Morgan earned a B.S.M.E. and an MBA from Cornell University. He worked at Textron, a diversified manufacturing company, and was a senior partner with WestVen Management, a private venture capital partnership. Morgan later served as chairman of the board and CEO of Applied Materials, a global leader in materials engineering solutions for the semiconductor, flat panel display and solar PV industries. He currently serves as chairman emeritus of Applied Materials.
Rebecca Quinn "Becky" Morgan is a former Republican California State Senator. She met James when she was earning her Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University. Later, she earned her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1978. After a stint as a vice president for Bank of America, Becky began a foray into politics that would last until 1993. Becky is credited with founding the Morgan Family Foundation after her resignation from the state senate, which also coincided with her becoming CEO of Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network, "a nonprofit organization composed of business, government, and education groups seeking to improve the Silicon Valley region's economic growth and quality of life the following the early 1990s recession." She has served on both the Stanford and Cornell board of trustees.
YOUTH & CHILDREN: The foundation's youth grantmaking area "supports programs that address the developmental needs of youth and their families." Recent grantees include Teen Success, whose goal is to "transform the lives of underserved teen mothers and their children by helping them become educated, self-sufficient, valued members of society." Becky chairs the organization’s board of directors and was involved with its creation. The couple has also supported organizations such as Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative (BAWSI), and Children's Chorus of Washington. (Click Here For A Full List of Recent Youth Grantees).
EDUCATION: The Morgan Family Foundation's education grantmaking includes past grantees such as Eastside College Preparatory School, Teach for America Bay Area, and Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). The couple has also supported their mutual alma mater, Cornell University, to which they made an unrestricted $10 million gift in 2011. They have also supported San Jose State University, and the foundation provided multi-year funding for the San Jose State University Collaborative for Reaching & Teaching the Whole Child’s (CRTWC). The specific goals of the project are to "prepare new teachers with an understanding of how their own social-emotional needs and skills as educators impact their responses to students," and to "prepare teachers who know how to embed social-emotional learning (SEL) skills into their curriculum and management of the classroom, helping their students become resilient and able to thrive in academic work and beyond." (Click Here For A Full List of Recent Education Grantees)
ENVIRONMENT: The couple supports environmental issues and co-founded Northern Sierra Partnership, a "collaborative initiative to preserve, restore, and enhance the magnificent natural landscape of the Northern Sierra Nevada, and build the foundation for sustainable rural economies." The Morgan Family Foundation's environment program supports "efforts to protect wilderness areas and natural resources, preserve cultural heritage, and create lifelong stewards of the environment." Apart from Northern Sierra Partnership, the couple supports the Nature Conservancy. Other grantees include Yosemite Conservancy, Feather River Land Trust, and Cornell Lab of Ornithology. (Click Here For A Full List of Recent Environment Grantees)
STEWARDSHIP: The Morgan Family Foundation also makes grants through its stewardship program area. By "stewardship," the foundation means "efforts to strengthen communities and regions through existing and new organizations." Collaboration is key here, and the couple wants to "forge collaborative, multi-sector models of stewardship for economic, environmental, social, and governance improvements." It is worth noting that Becky Morgan spent nearly two decades as an elected official, including nine years as a California state senator, where she served on several committees, including child care and development, education and transportation. In 2008, the Morgan Family Foundation launched the California Stewardship Network to "develop and support innovative regional solutions to California’s most pressing economic, environmental, and community challenges." Currently, 13 regions participate in the network, from San Diego to Northern California. (Click Here For A Full List of Recent Stewardship Grantees).
OTHER: Apart from these major program areas, assorted funds have supported health organizations such as American Heart Association, and arts and culture outfits such as Asian Art Museum. James helped create the Tech Museum Awards and inspired the program’s James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, which honors individuals whose broad vision and leadership help address humanity’s greatest challenges.
LOOKING FORWARD: James and Becky have been active philanthropists, mainly on a regional level in California. Expect this to continue.
LINKS: Morgan Family Foundation