Not too long ago, venture capitalist Mark Stevens and his wife, Mary, gave a big $50 million gift to USC, Stevens' alma mater. It's the kind of gift that really typifies the philanthropy of this giving pledge signatory couple so far, while also possibly previews what's to come. Here's a quick rundown of what this Silicon Valley couple has been into:
1. They've Heavily Supporting Their Alma Maters
Stevens describes his philanthropy as still being in its "early innings." Well, in the early stages of the game, he and Mary have been heavily focused on supporting the schools where they attended. Apart from the USC $50 million to endow and name the Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute, the couple also gave $22 million to USC's Viterbi School of Engineering last decade, along with other donations over the years.
How about Mary's schools? Well, Santa Clara University, from where she graduated, has received at least $14.7 million, towards a student activity center and an athletic facility, among other things. As well, the couple has supported scholarships at Santa Clara that allow students at St. Mary’s Academy in Oregon to attend Santa Clara. Mary is an alumna of St. Mary's Academy.
Millions have also gone to Sacred Heart Schools Atherton, presumably where one of the Stevenses kids attended or attends.
2. The Couple Is Wading Into Health
In the couple's giving pledge letter, Stevens says that they've started to extend their support to other areas, including health care research. This shift helps explain the couple's most recent gift to USC in neuroimaging and informatics. There are personal forces at work here, including that Stevens' father suffers from Alzheimer's, and one of the couple's sons is dyslexic. The couple also gave $1.5 million to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) towards a cancer research center named in memory of their late friend, Father Paul Locatelli, S.J.
3. This Is Likely Just The Beginning
Stevens is worth around $1.7 billion and is only in his 50s, so there's plenty of time for a long career in philanthropy. It's worth noting that the couple doesn't appear to have a foundation for now, though this could change. Down the line, look for more funding in neurological research, given the personal elements at stake.
Related: Mark Stevens IP Guide