Mark Zuckerberg wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, had opted to avoid the limelight. She has broken that silence on Today.
The Facebook CEO’s better half gave her first ever TV interview to Today’s Savannah Guthrie, announcing Friday that she and Zuckerberg are donating $120 million to the San Francisco Bay Area school system through their education foundation, Startup: Education.
Chan, the first in her family to attend college, explained that education is “an incredibly personal issue” to her and Zuckerberg. She credits her public school teachers growing up for “getting me excited about learning” and providing “those opportunities to attend college, to go to medical school, and to be able to give back as a doctor today.”
“We live in Palo Alto, which has, fortunately, one of the greatest school districts in the country,” Chan told NBC’s “Today.”
“But right next door, actually within walking distance of our home, is East Palo Alto that has a K-8 system that has a lot of unmet needs that the public school district is struggling to make up the difference for at this time.”
Zuckerberg’s “type of learning is different than my approach to learning,” Chan said of her hubby, who dropped out of Harvard University to focus full-time on growing his Facebook empire. She recalled laughingly how, on their first date, “he told me that he’d rather go on a date with me than finish his take-home midterm. The type-A first child in me was appalled…Turns out he was just trying to convince me to spend more time with him…And I’ve since learned that he’s very bright.”
Chan told Guthrie she wished others could also see beyond Zuckerberg’s exterior, saying, “I think it’s a shame when people don’t see the funny, thoughtful Mark that I know…He is incredibly sensitive and really cares about what other people need and want and really wants to be able to make someone else’s day. And that’s the Mark that I see.”
Chan told the news station that she and her billionaire husband hope their donation improves the educations of underprivileged children.
“We want to continue to be involved in helping improve equality for all our local kids,” she said.
Chan, a recent medical school graduate who is training to become a pediatrician, told the morning show that little has changed since she first met Zuckerberg while waiting in line for the bathroom at a Harvard University fraternity party more than 10 years ago.
“He has graduated to a nicer hoodie,” she said.
“He wears a fresh hoodie every day, so that pretty much meets my lowest barrier for him…I’m more concerned that he eats regularly.”