Or: I Clearly Went to the Ursuline Christmas Dance With the Wrong Girl
In other Extremely Rich People With Dallas Connections Mentioned in The New York Times News, there's also a piece in the paper today about how Melinda French Gates is finally putting the Melinda in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Says the paper, the St. Monica Catholic School girl doesn't give many interviews and keeps pretty quiet to try to give her three kids a relatively normal life, but when she's out and about during her sojourns to Africa and India to talk to AIDS sufferers, she's much more comfortable than her husband. Also:
"In conversation and in her occasional speeches, Ms. Gates is much more likely than her husband to recount personal experiences. To point to the powerful role that teachers can make in a child's education, she cites Sister Judith Marie, who recognized her math talents as a seventh grader, and then her high school math teacher, Susan Bauer at the Ursuline Academy in Dallas, who made sure that the academy had computers in 1980, Apple II's. 'She set me on my way,' Ms. Gates said in a speech last fall."
The entirety of that speech--in which Melinda also mentions Sister Judith at St. Monica and volunteering at Dallas public schools and later at the courthouse, where it became "clear to me that the prosecutors were often dealing with people the schools hadn't been able to handle a few years before"--can be found here; it was delivered in October 2005 to the Texas Conference for Women. And last December the Gates Foundation gave Ursuline, from which Melinda graduated as valedictorian in the early 1980s, $5 million over the next six years to enhance the school's science, math and technology departments. In related news, I sent Thomas Jefferson High School a check for $100 to replace some broken light bulbs. --Robert Wilonsky