It is believed to be among the largest bequests to an individual station in public-radio history.

By Seattle Times staff columnist

 

Here’s all we know: Her name was Suzanne. She was generous with her money. She wanted to remain anonymous. And she loved music.

So much so, that before she died, Suzanne made the largest-ever philanthropic gift — just under $10 million — to Seattle radio station 90.3 KEXP FM.

It is believed to be among the largest bequests to an individual station in public-radio history, save for a $200 million donation made to National Public Radio by Joan Kroc, the widow of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc. (That donation included $5 million to her local NPR station in San Diego.)

“It’s pretty intense,” said Betsy Troutman, KEXP director of development, who was called to Suzanne’s attorney’s office and told the news.

“But she was young and I said, ‘Oh, that’s amazing. Thank you very much.’ I didn’t think that it would come when I was here.”

Troutman called the gift “transformational. It changes our whole landscape. I still get goose bumps every time I think about it.”

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