WSU’s Dr. Universe Receives a $13,500 Grant from Microsoft

PULLMAN, Wash. — The Ask Dr. Universe program of the Office of University Relations at Washington State University received a grant of $13,500 from Microsoft Corporation to continue its question and answer service about science and research.

The grant will be used as a stipend for a graduate student to work with Dr. W.S. Universe in the summer and fall. Dr. Universe, who is branded as the world’s most curious cat, answers questions from children of all ages on her Web site at She also publishes a bi-weekly column in 25 newspapers across the Northwest.

Dr. Universe receives about 130 questions per day and tackles as many of them as possible. She mostly answers questions about science but has access to a whole campus of experts. Her Web site gets about 1,000 hits per day.

Tim Steury, director of Ask Dr. Universe, said WSU is very appreciative of the support from Microsoft. “It enabled us to do a lot more than we would otherwise have been able to do,” he said. Microsoft has also supported this service in the past.

Microsoft is excited to support Ask Dr. Universe, said Bruce Brooks, director of community affairs at Microsoft. “We believe that when people are given the tools and resources they need, they can do amazing things for themselves and their communities,” he said.

Created in 1983, Microsoft’s Community Affairs Program is one of the first philanthropic efforts in the high-tech industry. Microsoft last year gave more than $34.3 million in cash and $200 million in software to nearly 5,000 nonprofit organizations to improve technology access to underserved communities, to strengthen nonprofit organizations through technology, and to expand and diversify the technology workforce.