Mary Maxwell Gates (born 1929)
Gordon Calvin Culp (born 1926) (University of Washington Regents )
Daniel Jackson Evans (born 1925) (College friend, bridge partner; Gov Evans assigned Mary gates to ta UW Regents role in 1975)
Introduced to husband by Brockman Adams - See book "Hard Drive"
"Their daughter Mary was born in Seattle in 1929. A vivacious young beauty she grew up among some of the most prominent families in the Northwest. Like her mother before her, Mary Maxwell met her future husband, a tall, athletic, prelaw student by the name of Bill Gates, Jr., while she was a co-ed at the University of Washington. A school cheerleader, Mary was as outgoing and gregarious as Bill was shy and reserved. A mutual friend, [Brockman Adams (Born 1927) ] , had introduced the couple while Adams was student body president, and Mary was an officer in the student government association. (Adams went on to a career in politics, serving as secretary of transportation under 7 President Jimmy Carter. He is currently one of Washington’s U.S. senators and remains a close friend of the Gates family.)"
The Seattle civic activist and philanthropist Mary Gates and her husband William H. Gates strived to create a quality environment for their children inside their home, as well as outside in the community. The son and daughters of Mary and Bill Gates have all been active as volunteers in civic organizations within their communities. The Seattle-King County Association of Realtors named Mary Gates and her family First Citizens of 1995 for their community service and philanthropy. It was the first time in the 57 years of the award that the Association honored an entire family
Mary Maxwell Gates (1929-1994)
Mary Gates grew up in Seattle's North End and graduated from Roosevelt High School where she was class valedictorian and a star forward on the girls' high school basketball team. She received a degree in education from the University of Washington 1950. While at the UW, she met law student William H. Gates Jr. (as he was then known) and they married. While he worked as a Bremerton Assistant City Attorney in the early 1950s, she taught school there.
The Gates family moved to Seattle where William practiced law. Mary involved herself in a wide array of civic activities in Seattle, volunteering as a lecturer at the Museum of History and Industry, serving on boards for the Seattle-King County United Way, KIRO, Inc., Washington Gives, and Leadership Tomorrow. She was the first female president of King County's United Way, the first woman to chair the national United Way's executive committee, and the first woman to be a director of First Interstate Bank of Washington. A national United Way award was established in her name for "exemplary projects" typifying Gates' emphasis on cooperation between staff and volunteers.
In 1972, she joined the Board of Trustees at Children's Orthopedic Hospital and worked on a variety of committees before heading up the board's legislative affairs committee. She lobbied officials in Olympia and in Washington, D.C. on issues that affected the hospital and children. It was Gates who proposed to the trustees at Children's that they form a foundation to manage the hospital's investments and giving programs. When the Children's Hospital Foundation was organized in 1985, Gates chaired that board. She also chaired the committee that drew up a strategic plan for the board, which had been formed in 1907.
In 1975, Governor Dan Evans (b. 1925), a former bridge partner of Bill and Mary Gates, appointed Mary Gates to the University of Washington Board of Regents. In the mid 1980s, she led a movement on the board to cut, and then divest, the University's investments in South Africa to pressure the government there to change its racist and oppressive system of apartheid. She served more than 18 years on the Board of Regents. In 1993, the First Interstate Bank named Gates to its board of directors.
Mary Gates died on June 9, 1994, the day before she was to be honored by the Seattle Municipal League of King County as Citizen of the Year. "One of Seattle's greatest treasures has passed from the scene," said Mayor Norm Rice, who called her "an extraordinary civic leader and philanthropist, a champion for social justice and a remarkable human being."
William H. Gates Sr. (b. 1927)
Known then as William H. Gates Jr., Gates received his bachelor's degree (1949) and his law degree (1950) from the University of Washington. After working as an assistant Bremerton City Attorney, he moved to Seattle where he practiced law. He joined the firm of Shidler, McBroom, Gates, and Lucas as a partner in 1964. In 1990, this became Preston Gates & Ellis.
Gates served as president of the Seattle-King County and Washington State Bar Associations. In 1991 he received the University of Washington School of Law Distinguished Alumnus, and in 1992 he received the Washington Bar Award of Merit and the American Judicature Society Herbert Harley Award. He retired from the firm in 1997.
William Gates has worked hard for many area organizations, including the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the Municipal League, the Seattle Foundation, and the Seattle Repertory Theatre. He also is a supporter of United Way and was chair of the Seattle-King County United Way Campaign in 1989.
He served on the University of Washington College of Arts and Sciences Visiting Committee (1966-1975) and the School of Law Visiting Committee (1983-1986). He has been a director of the UW Foundation since 1995 and a member of the Board of Regents since 1997.
In 1999 Gates took over the newly formed Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which was endowed by his son, William H. "Bill" Gates III, and his daughter-in-law Melinda French Gates. It is the largest philanthropic organization in the world and it focuses on Third World health, online learning, and education. Because of the prominence of his son who shares the name William H. "Bill" Gates, the elder Gates came to use "Sr." rather than "Jr." following his name.
Mary Gates, one of Seattle's most prominent civic figures and the mother of Microsoft magnate Bill Gates, died at her Laurelhurst home early this morning after a months-long bout with breast cancer. She was 64.
Years before her son gained international prominence, Mrs. Gates was widely respected as a tireless community-service advocate, a prominent role model for women seeking corporate advancement, and a skilled behind-the-scenes negotiator. But when it came to accepting credit, she was careful to deflect the spotlight away from herself and onto her many causes.
"Mary is the perfect example of being able to get a whole lot done if you don't worry about who gets the credit," said the Rev. Dale Turner, a longtime family friend, in an interview earlier this year.
The granddaughter of a prominent Seattle banker and civic figure, J.W. Maxwell, Mrs. Gates liked to describe herself as "a Seattleite through and through." She was proudest of her 18 years as a University of Washington regent. But she was at least as well-known for having opened doors of corporate boardrooms and executive suites to women during the 1970s.
"There were very few women involved in government affairs, and I was determined to change that," said former Gov. Dan Evans in an interview earlier this year. Evans, a onetime bridge partner, named Mrs. Gates as a regent in 1975, only to succeed her on the board last year. He said Mrs. Gates had "broad community experience" and knew the inner workings of "some pretty big enterprises."
She was to be honored today by the Municipal League of King County as Citizen of the Year for her long career and successes in community service. In a press release on its annual awards luncheon, the League cited Mrs. Gates' efforts as a "judicious, exceptionally talented civic-minded citizen."
Last night, the UW Alumni Association honored Mrs. Gates with its annual recognition award. Her husband and three children attended the ceremony on the UW campus and accepted the award in her behalf.
Born in then-rural North Seattle in 1929, Mrs. Gates attended Bryant Elementary and Roosevelt High schools. She enrolled in the University of Washington, graduating in 1950 with thoughts of a teaching career. After marrying Bremerton assistant city attorney Bill Gates Jr., whom she had met as a law student at the UW, she taught junior high school in Bremerton and at Seattle's Jane Addams before the birth of daughter Kristianne in 1954.
After son Bill, born in 1955, and daughter Libby, in 1964, completed her family, Mrs. Gates turned to volunteerism with the Junior League, Children's Orthopedic Hospital and United Way.
In 1975, the year her son co-founded Microsoft, Mrs. Gates became the first woman president of United Way of King County, the first woman director of First Interstate Bank of Washington, and only the fifth woman regent. In 1983 she was named the first woman to chair the national United Way's executive committee.
Thoughtful and questioning in the Socratic method, Mrs. Gates was a steadying influence on the regents board during turbulent times. When the university's South African investments drew protest in the early 1980s, Mrs. Gates pushed first for adoption of the Sullivan human-rights principles and later for divestiture. She also steered the regent's fiscally strategic Metropolitan Tract Committee, in charge of the university's 11-acre property downtown, through critical lease negotiations during major building renovations in the 1980s.
Mrs. Gates was "a source of balance, wisdom and stability on the regents - its center of gravity," said UW President William Gerberding, in a recent interview.
Mrs. Gates also figured in her son's success. She helped cement Microsoft's early connection with IBM, which led to development of the IBM PC with DOS, an operating system supplied by Microsoft. When someone mentioned Microsoft to IBM President John Opel in 1980, Opel responded, "Oh, that's run by Bill Gates, Mary Gates' son." Opel served with Mrs. Gates on United Way's national board at the time.
Mrs. Gates was recalled as a gracious hostess by early Microsoft executives on visits to her Laurelhurst home after the company moved to Bellevue from Albuquerque in 1979. Later the Gates clan, under her stewardship, sponsored annual Microgames, Olympics-like summer competitions drawing local community leaders, software-industry executives and Microsoft employees to the family compound on Hood Canal.
The mother-son connection clicked in luring nationally known bioengineer Lee Hood to the UW from Caltech two years ago. The Microsoft magnate contributed $12 million to UW biotech research. And Mrs. Gates nudged her usually apolitical son to fight state budget Initiatives 601 and 602 last fall.
Throughout her career, Mrs. Gates promoted philanthropic causes. After the death of Ned Skinner in 1988, she took over Washington Gives, the civic volunteer project that urges people to donate 5 percent of their income and 5 hours a week of their time.
In 1991 the Gateses were named philanthropic family of the year by Washington Gives.
Mrs. Gates also helped launch Leadership Tomorrow, the future executives and entrepreneurs program, and served on the boards of Unigard Security, US West, Seattle Symphony, KIRO and the Children's Hospital Foundation.
Mrs. Gates is survived by her husband, Bill, a senior partner with the law firm of Preston Gates & Ellis; three children, Kristianne Blake of Spokane, Libby Armintrout and Bill, both of Seattle, and four grandchildren.
A memorial service will be at 4 p.m. next Thursday at University Congregational Church in Seattle.
The family has suggested remembrances be sent to the United Way Endowment Fund, 107 Cherry St., Seattle 98104-2223; or Cancer Lifeline, Suite 680, 1191 Second Ave., Seattle 98101.
Mary Gates -- She's Much More Than Just The Mother Of Billionaire Bill; This Former UW Regent Has Made A Career Of Community Service
Jan 9, 1994
If it is possible for someone at a wedding to be happier than the bride and groom, it was a beaming Mary Gates at her son's Hawaiian nuptials New Year's Day.
For Gates, 64, whose credentials in civic and corporate circles were cemented years before her now-famous son built Microsoft into a software megapower, Bill Gates' marriage to Melinda French represented a coming of full circle.
The mother of two daughters with families, Gates, now battling cancer, has long looked forward to her son's matrimony. He may be the fiercely competitive, fiercely independent billionaire mogul of the world's No. 1 personal-computer software company.
But he is still a son, and she a mother.
So much has her son achieved that Gates seems forever to be cast as "the mother of." Those who know Seattle, and know the Gates family, understand the paucity of the description. Only a little more than a decade ago, Microsoft Bill was known as "the son of."
In 1980, IBM President John Opel had already spent a couple of years on the national board of United Way with Mary. When the head of IBM's fledgling personal-computer project mentioned Microsoft to Opel, his response was, "Oh, that's run by Bill Gates, Mary Gates' son."
Gates came to her station partly by being a "supermom" long before the term was coined, juggling family and homemaking in Wedgwood and Laurelhurst with boardships on United Way, First Interstate Bank, US West and Children's Hospital, to cite a few.
"Mary never neglected her family responsibilities, even with all her other activities," said Seattle attorney Jim Ellis, who served with Gates on the University of Washington Board of Regents and on the editorial board at KIRO. "She proved you could have it all."
Gates says she was lucky: "The career I had was not 9-to-5 oriented, so I had more flexibility than a 40-hour-a-week job. Bill (her husband and a local attorney) really encouraged me to do interesting things in the community - he thought it was more fun to come home if I had something interesting to say at the dinner table. And my mother (Adelle Maxwell) spent a lot of time at our home."
In any case, supermomhood is only one dimension of Gates' contribution. From the regents' boardroom to the Children's Hospital Foundation, from KIRO to the Redmond halls of Microsoft, her impact radiates among multiple spheres of influence.
She herself is proudest of her 18-year tenure with the regents - third longest in its history - which saw the UW emerge from a big if unexceptional regional institution into an internationally known center of biotechnology, computer science, medicine and Asian studies.
"I felt it was really important at that time of anti-Vietnam and campus turmoil to get the university back on track," said Dan Evans, who as governor appointed Gates in 1975 and, in another coming of full circle, was recently named by Gov. Mike Lowry to replace her. "We needed a board whose members really understood how to reach out and connect with the community."
Gates said she had decided to step down from the regents even before her recent diagnosis of cancer. She is presently undergoing therapy "which is showing excellent results," her husband said.
"The opportunity to serve on the board of regents was a rare privilege for me," she said. "I care about education, it's a fine school, I have a lot of respect for Bill Gerberding. I'm going to miss it."
But Gates' most indelible imprint may stand as a "first woman to . . ." role model emerging from the feminist era of the 1970s. In 1975, a watershed year for her, Gates became the first woman president of King County's United Way and the first woman director of First Interstate Bank of Washington, and only the second woman regent at the University of Washington (Dorothy Bullitt, founder of KING Broadcasting, became the first in 1958). By 1983 she'd become the first woman to chair the national United Way's executive committee.
"It was a time when there was lots of pressure from women's groups to be included in officer and board positions," Gates said. "I was relatively well-known to a lot of business people through my United Way work."
Although sympathetic to feminist causes, Gates said she was "never a leader in that movement. But I certainly was the beneficiary of the women who were willing to be more out front and aggressive."
What she did do was help introduce values of consensus and compromise to reflexively competitive male bastions.
"Mary has been a source of balance, wisdom and stability on the regents - its center of gravity," said William Gerberding, whom Gates as regents president helped hire in 1979. "Whenever there's been controversy, her rational presence was felt."
A "Seattleite through and through" who attended Bryant Elementary and Roosevelt High schools, Gates planned a career as a schoolteacher. In 1946 she entered the University of Washington, later serving her senior year as ASUW secretary to student-body President Brock Adams (later the U.S. senator) and as president of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
"She was a bundle of energy - very well-liked, popular and involved in a lot of outside activities," recalls Gordon Culp, a classmate who later joined Gates on the board of regents.
As the daughter and granddaughter of prominent bankers, Gates seemed destined for the role of young 1950s socialite.
A 1954 Seattle Times photo of her instructing three teenage daughters of Women's University Club members on hostessing was captioned, "Tea first, next cream and sugar and then the cookies and mints."
Serving on the ASUW budget and finance committee, she met a tall, thoughtful ex-GI law student from Bremerton named Bill Gates. The two wed in 1951. Bill served as assistant city attorney in Bremerton while Mary taught junior-high school there. When her husband moved to the Seattle law firm of Skeel, McKelvy, Henke, Evenson & Uhlmann, Mary taught at Jane Addams Junior High in North Seattle.
Then it was time to start a family with the birth of Kristianne in 1954, young Bill in 1955 and daughter Libby in 1964.
With Gates' mother, Adelle Maxwell, handling backup rearing chores, Mary supplemented momhood with a widening plate of volunteer and charity activities.
The biggest beneficiaries: Children's Hospital (then Children's Orthopedic), whose board she joined in 1972, and United Way (then United Good Neighbors), for which her father, Willard Maxwell, had served as treasurer in the late 1950s while vice president of Pacific National Bank (today First Interstate).
"When I first met her in 1958 as a new Junior League member, I remember saying afterward, `There's a real comer. She's going to go far in the community,' " said Kate Webster, who later was on the Children's board with Gates. "She wouldn't say, `This is a good idea' and leave it at that. She had great follow-through."
Gates has exercised countless deft, behind-the-scenes interlinkages of power over the years:
-- Nudging her fiercely apolitical son into outspoken opposition to state budget Initiatives 601 and 602 last fall.
-- Helping launch Leadership Tomorrow, responsible for seeding the area with hundreds of budding entrepreneurs and community leaders.
-- Helping get the Seattle Symphony and Children's Hospital on sound footing financially with smart, plugged-in fund-raising programs run by spun-off foundations.
-- Raising corporate community consciousness through Washington Gives, the 5-percent-a-year of income and 5-hours-a-week-of-time project she took over after Ned Skinner's death in 1988.
-- In 1991 the entire Gates clan was named philanthropic family of the year by Washington Gives.
-- And the mother-son connection, responsible for the latter's $12 million contribution to UW biotech research two years ago and luring of bioengineer Lee Hood from Caltech.
"Mary is the perfect example of being able to get a whole lot done if you don't worry about who gets the credit," said the Rev. Dale Turner, whose University Congregational Church the Gates family attended.
Gates decided to retire from the board of regents after she and her husband, a prominent attorney for years with Preston Thorgrimson, conducted a "trial retirement" last winter in Palm Springs, Calif., and found they enjoyed lighter duty.
But the Gates years were pivotal.
As chief of the fiscally strategic Metropolitan Tract Committee she helped oversee crucial leases of 11 downtown acres during a downtown construction era that, with construction of the Rainier Tower and renovation of the Four Seasons Olympic, brought Seattle to world-class status. The university kept the lucrative downtown property after moving north of the Ship Canal in 1895.
When the issue of South African investments tore apart the campus in the early 1980s, Gates pushed first for adoption of the Sullivan principles - written by a General Motors director in support of human-rights standards on investment - and later for divestiture, more as a means of keeping the campus from tearing itself apart than as a path clearly beneficial to the country itself.
"We grappled with the question, what was going to happen to the black people of South Africa if there were no employment?" Gates said. "There were sound arguments on both sides."
Gates is keeping busy. Just last month she was elected to the board of Independent Sector, a Washington, D.C.-based coalition for volunteerism and philanthropy, two Mary Gates touchstones.
Not all has gone smoothly for Gates in her community-service career. She got caught in the crossfire in 1984 when Children's Hospital began its own telethon fund-raiser on KOMO-TV, shifting from its traditional beneficiary, the annual Variety Club event on KIRO-TV, where Gates is a board member.
"The numbers were night and day," said Doug Picha, foundation director. "Mary did what was appropriate," even though it temporarily cost her support from KIRO President Ken Hatch.
"The decision to go to KOMO made me very unhappy, but Mary was caught in the middle," said Hatch, who calls the matter water under the bridge today.
The incident showed Gates' steeliness under fire, a characteristic those close to her say is consistently, albeit, sparingly deployed. As a freshman president of United Way in 1975, Gates had to face the moral indignation of community activists when the agency cut off funding for the Central Seattle Community Council Federation. Among other things, the Council lobbied against construction of the new I-90 tunnel and bridge.
To Mary, the action in retrospect seems as right as it did then. "They were more interested in social issues than they were in providing services," she said. Her mettle in an unexpected baptism of fire caught the attention of community and business leaders.
As a member of KIRO's editorial board, Gates lets her opinions be known, including her opposition to tax-limiting Initiatives 601 and 602. She's taken an active interest in the news side of KIRO, getting to know the staff and observing the news-gathering process.
Some KIRO staffers privately grumble that Gates goes so far as to interfere, as in two years ago when her name came up after Hatch killed a Channel 7 report concerning UW football players with arrest warrants for minor violations.
Hatch said Gates had nothing to do with his action: "Mary believes in separation of church and state and is sophisticated enough to know it comes at great penalty to fool around in the (news) arena."
Gates adamantly denies she played any role in the flap: "It was a clear conflict of interest."
Nonintervention has its drawbacks, too, as Channel 7 staffers discovered in trying to cover the Gates wedding on the island of Lanai. In that contest between mom and board executive, the mom side won. KIRO got no better access than the rest of the news media, which were kicked off the island.
Despite her contributions, Gates is disappointed women haven't cracked more glass ceilings.
"I'm surprised and disappointed that the progress that started in the mid-'70s hasn't continued at the same rate," she said. At the CEO level, she mentions Edmark's Sally Narodick "and then who else? I'm mystified. Whether it's because there isn't as much pressure now from women's groups, or whether it's because change takes a longer time than some of us want it to take, I don't know."
Microsoft hasn't done much better, she acknowledged, "although that kind of business probably isn't as conducive to including women, just because it has been a male-dominated field."
And Gates worries that United Way, which has had trouble meeting its goals despite offering more flexibility in giving, is losing its charter.
"The whole theory of United Way is that there's this citizen group that looks at the needs of the community, undertakes studies, and then allocates the money based on their expertise that none of the rest of us could have as individual citizens," she said. "And when the money starts getting 20 or 25 percent or more designated, the whole planning-allocations process really is invalidated. If you don't have that, what happens to United Way?"
Close observers bet that mother's influence eventually will emerge not only with Microsoft's maturation but with her son's closer community involvement.
"Mary was very instrumental in originally softening Microsoft's posture vis-a-vis being a good corporate citizen," said Scott Oki, ex-Microsoft vice president who has followed the Gates tradition in joining the board of regents and Children's Hospital Foundation. He attributes Microsoft's strong matching-funds program to the mother-son connection.
Her maternal charter fulfilled, Gates can watch as her son and bride finish their estate on the Lake Washington shoreline in Medina - the goal is by his 40th birthday late next year - and start, judging from floor plans, a large family of their own. Perhaps the highest tribute to Gates' parenting is that two of her three children - Bill and Libby, expecting her second child this month - have homes within a stone's throw of Mom and Dad's Laurelhurst place, and the third, Kristi, with two children of her own, visits frequently from out of town.
Gates thinks her son, who recently completed a term on the national United Way board, "is looking forward to more community involvement, once he's completed his role of building his company." One potential target: a local research institute in science or technology.
If so, it will mark yet another coming of full circle for Mary Gates.
Adelle Thompson Maxwell
1 Dec 1903
Enumclaw, King County, Washington, USA
30 Oct 1987 (aged 83)
Seattle, King County, Washington, USA
Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown
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Witness at Wedding:
Janice L. Holman
Adelle Thompson Maxwell, Washington, King CountyDelayed Births, 1941 - 1942
Name: Adelle Thompson
Event Type: Birth
Event Date: 01 Dec 1903
Event Place: Enumclaw, King, Washington, United States
Father's Name: William James Thompson
Father's Birth Place: LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND
Mother's Name: Ida Medcalf
Mother's Birth Place: Montesano, Grays Harbor County, Washington
Physician who attended to Birth: DR. H. H. Rust
Signed and Dated: Mrs. Adelle T. Maxwell 08April1942
Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) - October 31, 1987
Deceased Name: UW REGENT MARY GATES' MOTHER DIES AT 85
Adelle Thompson Maxwell , mother of University of Washington Regent Mary Gates , died yesterday. She was 85.
Mrs. Maxwell was born Jan. 12, 1902, in Enumclaw. She attended Enumclaw High School where she was a star forward on the women's basketball team and class valedictorian.
She graduated from the UW where she was a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. Active in community affairs, she was president of the Women's University Club and chairman of the Community Chest Neighborhood Drive.
Mrs. Maxwell was also an avid UW football fan and attended nearly every Husky home game for the past 40 years. Her husband, J. Willard Maxwell , preceded her in death in 1959.
In addition to her daughter, she is survived by her son-in-law, William H. Gates, a Seattle attorney and president of the Washington State Bar Association, and her grandchildren, Kristi, Libby and William Jr., co-founder of Microsoft Corp.
At her request, there will be no funeral services. Remembrances may be sent to the United Way of King County for the Willard and Adelle Maxwell Memorial Fund for Children.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA)
Date: October 31, 1987
Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) - October 31, 1987
Deceased Name: Adelle Thompson MAXWELL
Oct. 30, 1987. Dearly loved by her daughter, Mary Gates; her son-in-law, Bill; and her grandchildren, Kristi, Bill and Libby. She had many friends of all ages by whom she was affectionately know as ''Gam''. She was born in Enumclaw and attended Enumclaw High School where she was a star forward on the women's basketball team and her class valedictorian. She graduated from the University of Washington where she was a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. At the University, she met her husband, J. Willard Maxwell , with whom she shared a happy married life until his death in 1959. In addition to her devotion to her husband and family, she was active in community life, having been president of the Women's University Club and chairman of the Community Chest Neighborhood Drive. She was an avid sports fan, particularly of University of Washington football. She attended almost every Husky home game over the last 40 years. One of her great pleasures was her time on Hood Canal. The Maxwells vacationed there each summer for 50 years. In more recent years, she spent the entire summer in the family beach home and swam almost every day. At her request, there will be no services. Remembrances are suggested to the United Way of King County designated for the Willard and Adelle Maxwell Memorial Fund for Children.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA)
Date: October 31, 1987
NOTE: Delayed Birth list birthdate 01Dec1903
NOTE: Obituary list birthdate 12Jan1902