Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates receives Silver Buffalo Award

He cofounded Microsoft and, with his wife, chairs one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the world.

And today, Bill Gates added another impressive feat to his list of accomplishments: the Silver Buffalo Award.

The Silver Buffalo, the highest award given to adults in the Boy Scouts of America, honors men and women who have made significant contributions in improving the lives of youth. Gates received the award today at a special ceremony in Seattle.

Gates grew up in Scouting. He was a member of Pack 144 and finished as a Life Scout in Troop 186 in north Seattle. His Scoutmaster, Don Van Wieringen, noticed from an early age that Gates was special.

"I knew he was a very, very busy kid," Van Wieringen said. "His time was occupied with school, and Scouting and, of course, family."

Gates is quite busy now, too. In addition to his continuing duties at Microsoft, Gates spends much of his time with his wife, Melinda, working with the foundation they lead together. 

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's mission is improving lives globally and here in the United States. The foundation's international efforts include health care and alleviating hunger and poverty. Domestically, the foundation seeks to provide opportunities to Americans to help them succeed in school and in life.

BSA Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca was impressed with this former Scout's legacy.

“Our country and its young people need great leaders and visionaries like Bill Gates,” Mazzuca said. “Service to others is at the core of what it means to be a Scout. The Silver Buffalo Award is our way of honoring individuals like Mr. Gates, who, through his incredible success, has provided tremendous opportunity and help to inspire others.”

For the complete story of Bill Gates' involvement in Scouting, watch the excellent video above. It was prepared by the Garrigan Lyman Group specifically for this event.

To see the complete list of 2010 Silver Buffalo Award recipients, click here.

About Bryan Wendell 3282 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.