Posted on Dec 11, 2018 in Alumni News and News
When Brad Garlinghouse was promoted to senior vice president at Yahoo! in 2006, he was already known for his industry connections. Having previously served in management roles at SBC Communications, AOL and Hightail, a file-sharing service, Garlinghouse’s new position, which put him in charge of “Communications, Communities, and Front Doors,” seemed a perfect fit for the Topeka native.
More than a decade later, Garlinghouse, now CEO of San Francisco-based cryptocurrency and digital-payment processing firm Ripple, continues to foster critical connections. In 2017, he generously donated $250,000 to the Alumni Association to help launch the Jayhawk Career Network, a multifaceted program that links students and alumni and provides career resources for Jayhawks at every life stage.
“KU helped my career take flight, and there is no doubt that I still highly value and lean on my KU network,” says Garlinghouse, c’94, a Life member. “I think the Jayhawk Career Network can replicate and expand upon my fortunate experience for lots of current and future Jayhawks. I’m pleased to be able to lend a hand in its success.”
Thanks to Garlinghouse’s significant investment, the Association hired Kristi Durkin Laclé, c’99, to oversee the new initiative, and in 2018 launched KU Mentoring, an online, career-focused platform that connects students and alumni through long-term and one-time mentorships. The program also hosts networking events across the country and will introduce opportunities for job shadowing, internships and employment in the coming months.
Garlinghouse has a strong history of supporting student interests and development. This past spring, Ripple donated a whopping $29 million to fund every campaign on the education-crowdfunding platform DonorsChoose.org. It was the largest single donation since the site launched in 2000, and it fulfilled more than 35,000 school and classroom projects nationwide.
Despite his overwhelming success in Silicon Valley, Garlinghouse, a 2015 recipient of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences’ Distinguished Alumni Award, remains true to his Kansas roots and serves as an inspiration to all Jayhawks—on the Hill and beyond.
“Good ideas can come from anywhere,” Garlinghouse says. “I mean, brilliant people come from every walk of life. And that talent can come from anywhere geographically.”
For more stories on Jayhawks like Garlinghouse and to learn more about the successes of the Alumni Association this year, read our annual report.