The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given Evergreen State College $1 million as seed money for a major fund-raising campaign, the college president said.

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has given Evergreen State College $1 million as seed money for a major fund-raising campaign, the college president said.

“It’s an extraordinary level of support for the college and the work we do,” said Evergreen President Les Purce. “We will use it very wisely and make sure that it comes back to us.”

College officials said they expect to spend the next two years setting fund-raising goals and strategies and reaching out to potential donors.

Purce said he expected the campaign would go toward financial aid, raising the quality of teaching at Evergreen and strengthening the school’s ties to American Indian tribes.

He said the cost of a college education puts it out of reach for many potential students.

“We want them to be able to come to Evergreen if they want to, and we want to make sure the experience that they have here is a great one,” he said.

Evergreen, which opened its doors in 1971, gives out as much as $350,000 in scholarships generated through private donations each year.