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In 2002, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust awarded its first grant to Arizona State University, a gift to ASU’s Infant Child Research Programs to support at-risk preschoolers.
The impact of that gift was “dramatic,” says Mary Jane Rynd, president and CEO of Piper Trust. The grant equipped educators to teach at-risk children in low-income schools.
The outcome would have delighted Virginia Piper, a Valley resident known for her quiet, steady generosity and a deep concern for people’s welfare.
Piper, widow of Motorola founder Paul V. Galvin and, later, Motorola Vice President Kenneth Piper, believed generosity to be her highest calling. An astute and engaged donor, she gave to causes she believed truly alleviated suffering.
Piper died in 1999, but left her trust to carry on her legacy.
That first gift to ASU from the Trust did more than yield results, Rynd says. It fueled a long, fruitful partnership between two organizations that share many core values.
Since 2002, Piper Trust has funded 19 projects at ASU for a total of nearly $56 million. Projects include research in personalized medicine, programs that improve health care delivery, initiatives that increase engagement in the arts and more.
To honor the relationship, ASU named the Trust “ASU Philanthropist of the Year” in 2019.