Founders and former owners of Sunstate Equipment Co. Mike and Cindy Watts donated $30 million to Arizona State University, which renamed its public service college to the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions. The Watts College is one of ASU’s transdisciplinary schools dedicated to an educational and learning environment that trains students to serve their communities.
Emerging innovative new programs will be funded because of the Watts’ generosity including building communities, including efforts to revitalize Maryvale, Ariz., the community where both Mike and Cindy Watts grew up. Programs also include increasing access to higher education and enhancing student engagement opportunities through scholarships, service learning, study abroad programs and internships. Also offered will be academic excellence in service of the community through five endowed professorships across the spectrum of public service and funding for the testing and deployment of service programs to address community needs.
Mike Watts recently retired from Sunstate Equipment Co., which he founded in 1977. The Watts’ son Chris is now CEO of the company, now owned by Sumitomo Corp.