- Associated Press - Thursday, October 14, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, VA. (AP) - Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates has dedicated a new $17 million learning center at United Way Worldwide headquarters that will bear his mother’s name.

Gates said at Wednesday’s event at United Way headquarters that his mother got him thinking about volunteerism at a young age in conversations over the dinner table.

Most of the center’s initial funding came from a $10 million donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Bill’s mother, Mary Gates, was a longtime United Way supporter and board member who died in 1994.

The learning center will allow United Way to use high-definition video conference and webcasting technology to train staffers and volunteers at United Way chapters worlwide. Bill Gates Sr. also attended Wednesday’s dedication in Alexandria.