|Born||Jon Lloyd Stryker
1958 (age 56–57)
New York, New York
Garrison, New York
President and Founder of the Arcus Foundation
Jon Lloyd Stryker (born ca. 1958) is an American architect, philanthropist and activist for social and environmental causes. He is a billionaire stockholder and heir to the Stryker Corporation medical supply company fortune of grandfather Homer Stryker alongside sisters Pat and Ronda. In 2015, his net worth was estimated at $2 billion.
Stryker is the founder and President of Arcus Foundation, a private international philanthropic organization primarily supporting Great Ape conservation efforts and LGBT causes. The threatened colobine species Rhinopithecus strykeri is named for him.
Stryker was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is the youngest grandchild of Homer Hartmen Stryker, founder of the medical supply company Stryker Corporation. Jon's father, Lee Stryker, died in an airplane crash in 1976.
Stryker earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Kalamazoo College in 1982. He now serves on the college's Board of Trustees and was the recipient of the college's 2010 Distinguished Service Award. He also has a Master of Architecture degree from the University of California at Berkeley.
Stryker serves on the Board of Directors for the nonprofit Friends of the High Line, a private partner organization to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation that funds virtually all of the High Line (New York City) park's maintenance and operations through private contributions.
Philanthropy and Activism
Stryker is the founder and president of the Arcus Foundation, a private international philanthropic organization primarily supporting Great Ape conservation efforts and LGBT causes, as well as other social justice endeavors.
He has donated more than $247 million to charitable organizations.
Speaking to Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors in 2008, Stryker explained that the Arcus Foundation’s two primary areas of focus, while seemingly unrelated, are bound by the common themes of compassion and justice:
"Great apes are under huge threat. They are becoming extinct in the wild, and they are being used in the biomedical and entertainment industry then just being thrown away. We don’t use the language of animal rights — it’s more of a compassion and conservation language. That’s one common ground — the compassion side. Another connection is justice. In our work for human rights, we are among those trying to expand traditional ideas of social justice to include sexuality and gender. In our great apes work, we often see a link between economic development for people and ape conservation — social justice for people can truly enable conservation."
Stryker, who is openly gay, is one of the world’s leading philanthropic donors to the LGBT community. His Arcus Foundation is the top LGBT-specific grant-making organization in the United States, giving more than $17 million a year to organizations working toward social justice for LGBT people in 2013.
Stryker is a Platinum Council donor (giving $50,000 USD or more in annual contributions) to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a national organization that works to support the candidacies of openly LGBT officials at all levels of government.
He received the 2014 Global Vision Award from Immigration Equality, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to LGBT and HIV-positive asylum seekers, detainees, and binational couples.
He received the 2015 Visionary Award from the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network.
Great Ape Conservation
Stryker is one of the leading funders of Great Ape conservation efforts around the world. Though the Arcus Foundation, Stryker gave more than $10 million in 2013 to support Great Ape conservation efforts.
Stryker is a founding board member of the Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy, a 90,000-acre not-for-profit wildlife conservancy in central Kenya's Laikipia County. The land, formerly a game reserve and ranching area, was purchased in 2003 by U.K-based conservation organization Fauna and Flora International through a major donation by Stryker’s Arcus Foundation.
He is also the co-founder of Save the Chimps, the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary located in Fort Pierce, Florida. Stryker funded the purchase of a 190-acre abandoned grapefruit grove in 1997 and oversaw its transformation into a modern sanctuary, which today provides lifetime care for more than 250 chimpanzees rescued from biomedical research laboratories.
- Naming of Rhinopithecus strykeri
- In 2010, the newly discovered Myanmar Snub-nosed Monkey was named Rhinopithecus strykeri in Stryker's honor. Stryker's Arcus Foundation supported the primate research teams who discovered the colobine species (already known and hunted for food by natives in Northern Myanmar on the Maw River) during the course of a survey of Hoolock Gibbons.
Support of Kalamazoo College
Stryker has made significant contributions in the name of social justice causes to his alma mater Kalamazoo College.
In 2009, Stryker's Arcus Foundation awarded a $200,000 planning grant and a $2.1 million project grant to Kalamazoo College to develop a social leadership center on campus. The Arcus Foundation also donated $5 million to cover the construction costs of the 10,000-square-foot building, now called the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. In January 2012, Stryker's foundation awarded a $23 million endowment grant to support the center's operations and programming into the future. The endowment was the largest donation in the college's 182-year history and one of the largest given to any undergraduate institution in the United States for a social justice purpose. Opened in 2014, the center’s mission is to support the pursuit of human rights and social justice by developing emerging leaders and sustaining existing leaders in the field of human rights and social justice.
The center’s modern design has been noted for being "nonhierarchical, open and inclusive" in a reflection of its social justice purpose. It was described as a "log cabin the Jetsons ordered from the 2062 Whole Earth Catalog" and "laudable simply for being eloquent and humane," in a 2014 New York Times architectural review. The building was designed by Jeanne Gang of the Chicago-based firm Studio Gang Architects.
Stryker also makes contributions in support of the college’s study abroad programs and enrollment diversity efforts. In 2008, he established a $5.6 million grant to fund the tuition and financial support of 50 Posse Scholars from the Los Angeles Unified School District. The grant, which supported the enrollment of 10 Posse Scholars in five consecutive academic classes at Kalamazoo College, was made in partnership with the Posse Foundation, a national organization that pairs high-performing public high school students from underrepresented groups in higher education with full, four-year academic scholarships at colleges and universities throughout the country. In 2001, Stryker made a $5 million grant in support of the college’s highly ranked study abroad programs.
In August 2006, Stryker formed the political action committee Coalition for Progress to fund the election campaigns of Michigan Senate and Michigan House of Representatives district candidates, particularly from the Democratic Party. Stryker personally contributed $4.7 million to the PAC.
The Coalition for Progress paid for significant advertising in the 2006 Michigan gubernatorial election in support of Jennifer Granholm, who was re-elected as Governor of Michigan over Republican opponent Dick DeVos.
In August 2012, Stryker donated $325,000 to the nonprofit group Freedom to Marry Minnesota, which helped to organize the defeat of a referendum that would have placed a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Minnesota. In 2013, Minnesota became the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States.
He previously owned a Mediterranean-style house in Palm Beach, Florida, designed by famed American architect Marion Sims Wyeth. The house, built in 1924, features a west-facing facade that has been designated a historic landmark since 1990. In June 2010, Stryker expanded the property where the house sits by purchasing an adjoining ocean-access lot that included the former residence of Jimmy Buffett and Jane Buffett for $18.5 million.
Stryker also owns multiple properties in his native Kalamazoo, and is credited with built-space revitalization efforts in the city. He unknowingly purchased the commercial building that once housed his grandfather's Orthopedic Frame Co., which eventually became Stryker Corp., before learning of the building's origins in 2003.
Stryker maintains a home in Garrison, New York, along the Hudson River. In June 2013, Stryker purchased the 129-acre property and placed it under a conservation easement to protect against any future development of the riverfront land. The property’s parking area and extensive network of trails, including on-foot access to the Hudson River, is managed by the Open Space Institute and is open to the public, with the exception of a 21-acre residential area.
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