Twin Cities Public Television has received a $9 million gift that should bolster its reputation as a leader in educating children about science.

The donation from the estate of Dr. William D. Wells is the largest philanthropic gift in the station's 64-year-old history.

"We are beyond grateful for this generous and thoughtful gift from Dr. Wells, and we plan on using it as a catalyst for change, sustainability and growth of TPT's STEM programming," said Sylvia Strobel, TPT's president and CEO. "We hope his focused philanthropy will serve as a powerful example of what can be achieved with planned gifts and endowments and the immense impact they can make."

Wells, who died last September, had previously been an anonymous supporter of such TPT programs as "SciGirls" and "Hero Elementary." Before teaching at the University of Minnesota, he had established himself as one of the country's leading authorities on the advertising industry

"Education was important to my father at all levels. He recognized the power of formal and informal educational opportunities alike. In TPT he saw his interests in the worlds of media and academia coming together in numerous ways that support STEM education," Wells' daughter, Marie Sloane, said in a statement. "We are very proud that our father's legacy will live on through the millions of children that will be served by TPT's learning initiatives."