Slowly, the Packard children are focusing on bolder missions. "I'm suspicious about too much process," says 57-year-old David Woodley Packard. Often, Packard underwrites initiatives that other donors won't touch. Global birth rates were rising so fast, he asserted, that they could lead to "utter chaos for humanity." Researchers have used the money to study everything from ice cores in Greenland to the neuroscience of flies.

Packard wrote that letter a decade ago and died in 1996. In those years, David Packard poured his energies into business, ranching and politics.

Her gift will support programs at UC Santa Cruz that help underrepresented minority students excel in the sciences and mathematics. To her older brother, this flurry of meetings has been excruciating at times. While Packard was alive, the foundation gave money to a project in Colombia to treat septic shock in women who had abortions.

Packard's Republican politics didn't sit well with his liberal daughters. "With our growth in assets, it's appropriate that we take a fresh look at everything," says her sister Julie.

Orr wanted to make the foundation more democratic. In June 1996, Orr became the foundation's chairwoman. This year, the foundation plans to spend $35 million on population programs, more than any other private foundation tracked by the United Nations. She has served on many other boards and committees related to conservation, including the California Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund. Most of all, the foundation is pouring money into population control. Packard's children now plan to widen the program to cover about 36 projects, with grants of $625,000 or more. (Packard wisely kept the foundation assets in company stock. He feels a filial duty to carry out his father's wishes, despite some reservations about abortion. Mostly at Duke's urgings, foundation leaders revamped a tiny population program aimed largely at California and Mexico and turned it into a multimillion-dollar initiative active on three continents. Based on her work as a board member of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, in the late 1970s she helped found the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the nation’s first major public aquarium dedicated to interpreting a single region—the Monterey Bay.

He grew interested in classic films and urged his father to underwrite restoration of a movie theater in Palo Alto, Calif., that would show Fred Astaire and Humphrey Bogart movies.

Julie Packard is the executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and has served in that position since the Aquarium opened in 1984. What did Packard want done with the money? Nancy, the oldest, became a professional photographer after training as a marine biologist. The new era started slowly.



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