NET WORTH: Unknown
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Memorex
FUNDING AREAS: Education and Youth, International Relief, Medical Research, Arts and Culture
OVERVIEW: Laurence Spitters and family move their philanthropy through the LS Foundation, which gave away a little under $700,000 in a recent year. The family, via their foundation, supports their schools. Other interests include the arts and medical research. The Bay Area is an important region of giving.
BACKGROUND: Laurence Spitters has a B.A. (1949) from Western Michigan University, a J.D. from University of Michigan Law School, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Spitters began his career as an investment banker with Blyth & Co., and later joined Ampex Corporation in Redwood City. In the early 1960s, Spitters cofounded Memorex Corporation in Santa Clara, California. Memorex produced the first read-write floppy disk drive.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: Spitters supports his alma maters University of Michigan Law, Harvard, and Western Michigan University. Other grantees include Kalamazoo College, Santa Clara University (Spitters received an honorary degree from the school and his son attended the school), East Palo Alto Tennis Foundation, Stanford University, and Foothill College.
INTERNATIONAL RELIEF: Grantees include Seed Program International, Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam America, and Save the Children.
MEDICAL RESEARCH: The family, via their foundation, support UCSF Department of Ophthalmology, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, and Breast Cancer Connections.
ARTS & CULTURE: The Spitters family supports Bay Area arts and cultural institutions including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Monterey Bay Aquarium, San Francisco Symphony, and Computer History Museum. Other grantees include The Met and MoMA.
OTHER: The LS Foundation’s grantmaking has supported The Sierra Club and Habitat for Humanity.
LOOKING FORWARD: Spitters keeps a rather low profile. His son, also on the books of the foundation, may be an important force in the coming years.
The LS Foundation accepts applications at:
L L Spitters, President
555 Byron Street
Palo Alto, CA 94301