Woman donates almost $10 million to KEXP-FM, largest bequest to public radio station ever
SEATTLE -- A woman who is known only as Suzanne has given nearly $10 million to KEXP-FM, making it the largest bequest to a single public radio station in history, the station says.
“She was a tireless, generous, humble champion of music,” said Tom Mara, KEXP Executive Director.
The Seattle station, which specializes in alternative and indie rock, says the donor wanted to remain anonymous in her lifetime and that the station will continue to honor that request and refer to her only as Suzanne.
The woman has died and according to Mara lived outside of Seattle.
The money "will be used to implement a range of music and media education programs, accelerate KEXP’s digital content strategy, and allow for more room for experimentation with radio and online music programming. The bequest has also inspired the creation of a new planned giving initiative at KEXP, the Reverb Society," the station said on its website.
“I think we thank her by doing good work. That’s how I think we can thank her for many years to come,” said Mara.
"Suzanne was the rare and wonderful person that any of us would feel lucky to have in our lives, even if only briefly,” said Betsy Troutman, KEXP’s director of development, on the station's website. “Suzanne was a lover of music who understood her blessings, and a generous supporter of everything she found beautiful in life. I’ll never forget what she told me about her decision to make a significant gift to the KEXP New Home campaign -- ‘I'm not sure the wattage can bring the sound up to heaven so we may as well do what we can to enjoy the music today!’”
KEXP was established in 1972 at the University of Washington. It celebrated its 2-year anniversary at Seattle Center on Monday.