Melinda French Gates graduated from Duke University in 1986 with a BS in computer science and economics; in 1987, she earned an MBA. She worked for Microsoft for a while (reportedly working on the ill-fated Microsoft BOB project) and married Bill Gates in 1994. She ultimately resigned from Microsoft to take care of her daughter and run the Gates Foundation.
In 1996, Melinda Gates was named a Duke trustee. Cynics speculated that she was elected to the board solely because she was married to a guy with deep pockets; although it's a hard proposition to prove, she and Billy-boy did give $20 million to the university in 1998.