Scholarship to prepare international students for global development leadership

A new scholarship program will help prepare young leaders to fight poverty and improve quality of life around the world, UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank announced today.

The King-Morgridge Scholars Program will launch with a cohort of six students in fall 2017 and will be housed in UW–Madison’s International Division. It will support high-achieving students from Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and South Asia.

The students will receive four-year scholarships that will enable them to pursue their academic interests and engage with experts in global poverty and international development. At the conclusion of the program, King-Morgridge Scholars will be better equipped to return to their home countries and begin addressing development and poverty. The King-Morgridge Scholars will be selected for their drive, talent, and commitment to addressing poverty in their home countries.

The program is made possible by a $36 million gift from longtime friends Robert (Bob) and Dorothy (Dottie) King and John and Tashia Morgridge. Both the Kings and Morgridges have strong roots in Madison as well a passion for creating opportunities for international students and alleviating poverty worldwide.

“I am thrilled that the King and Morgridge families chose to make this investment in international education at UW–Madison. This is a phenomenal opportunity for international students to explore solutions to major world problems alongside our domestic students,” Blank says.

“UW–Madison is well positioned to administer the King-Morgridge Scholars Program given that it enrolls some 6,000 international students from more than 100 countries, sends 2,200 students abroad annually, and has a global network of over 14,000 alumni,” says Guido Podestá, dean of the International Division.

The King-Morgridge Scholars will benefit from high-impact learning practices such as internships, first-year interest groups and service learning experiences over the course of their four years. The scholars will meet with UW alumni experts in the field of global poverty and international development in Washington, D.C. and New York City. Program participants may also collaborate with students in a similar program that was established by the King family at Dartmouth College.

About the Morgridge and King families

A 1955 graduate of the UW–Madison School of Education, Tashia Frankfurth Morgridge has maintained close ties with the school, serving on its board of visitors and, with her husband, sponsoring scholarships to support students preparing to become teachers. A retired special education teacher, she has been a volunteer teacher for students with learning disabilities. John Morgridge, a 1955 graduate of the Wisconsin School of Business, has served as president, CEO, and chairman of the board of Cisco Systems, and is credited with building the company into the leading global supplier of computer networking products.

Originally from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, the Morgridges are responsible for the largest gifts in UW history, including a total of $100 million for faculty chairs, $100 million to establish the Morgridge Institute for Research, and $32 million to renovate and expand the School of Education building. Their philanthropy has also ranged across the state of Wisconsin. Separate from their UW–Madison gifts, the Morgridges donated $188 million to establish the Fund for Wisconsin Scholars, an endowment to provide grants each year to low-income students attending one of Wisconsin’s public colleges or universities.

Dottie King grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, as the daughter of a West High School coach. She attended UW–Madison, majoring in child development. She raised three children and partnered with her husband to launch R. Eliot King & Associates, an investment management company. Bob King is a business and philanthropic entrepreneur. He is the founder and former president of R. Eliot King & Associates. Together with Dottie, he launched the Thrive Foundation for Youth and King Philanthropies. Over the past 45 years, Dottie and Bob have hosted more than 50 international students studying at Stanford University.

In 2011, the Kings made a significant gift to Stanford University to establish the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, a center at the Graduate School of Business which trains business leaders in developing economies, inspires Stanford students to become globally engaged leaders, and supports critical research that can lead to breakthrough solutions in global poverty alleviation. The Kings also established a scholarship program similar to the King-Morgridge Scholars Program at Dartmouth College.