Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

News: Markkula Family Gives Center $2 Million Endowment

The Santa Clara Center for Applied Ethics is now the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, honoring a $2 million gift from A. C. "Mike" and Linda Markkula in September.

Mike Markkula, founder of Echelon Corp. and founder and current chair person of the board of Apple Computer Inc., donated the original seed money to start the Center in 1986.

The current gift was part of a $5 million donation to Santa Clara University, where Markkula is vice chairperson of the Board of Trustees. He also chairs the Ethics Center's advisory board.

Markkula says he believes most of the tough problems the world faces are rooted in unused and misunderstood morals and ethics. "I wondered if anyone was doing anything about this," he says. "Then I attended an orientation for my daughter [Kristi, SCU class of 1990, currently in SCU's MBA program] at Santa Clara and heard that the school was interested in establishing an ethics center. And there I was!"

Nine years later, Markkula is pleased about the interdisciplinary approach developed by the Center he helped create. "It seems that a lot of our ethical problems don't reside in one area of business or government. It's the relationship. Without the dialogue between groups, we get bad results even though each individual constituency believes that it's behaving in an ethical way. So helping the Center is one thing we're doing about the problem."

Center Director Tom Shanks, S.J., notes that the Markkulas' commitment goes beyond monetary support. "The Markkulas have demonstrated a personal and ongoing commitment to the Center by sharing their vision for our future as a nationally recognized ethics center serving the community on campus and at large, and providing a forum for much needed dialogue around major issues having an ethical impact on our society.

"They are not only financial contributors, but also give us their time, valuable counsel, and personal energy in guiding us toward our goal of creating a center of true distinction."

The Markkula gift joined other contributions to make 1995 a "banner year" for the Center's fund-raising efforts, according to Shanks. In 1994­95, the Center launched its new annual giving program, Partners in Ethics, with the goal of raising $75,000 in expendable funds. "Through the generosity of our donors, including the Markkulas, we far exceeded our target and raised more than $98,000 in operating support for Center programs," says Center Director of Marketing and Development Carol McClory.

Because the Center continues to expand its programs to meet the demands of its constituents, this year's annual fund goal has been set at $175,000.