Melvin came to Willamette as a freshman from the inner city environment of Los Angeles. He majored in the social sciences and served as editor of the Wallulah, earning his bachelor of arts degree in 1974. Between 1983 and 2002, he served as program manager for small business opportunities for Microsoft. He has been a generous donor to WITS, WU scholarships and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. In 2001, he set up terms of the MHR Trust, which will benefit minorities and provide additional support for Cathedral High School in Los Angeles.
Besides his many involvements at Cathedral High School, he is a member of Willamette’s Board of Trustees. He is a major supporter of the fine arts and provides major funding for the Smithsonian’s National Art Gallery in Washington, D.C. He has helped the Christian Brothers’ Lasallian Education Opportunities (LEO) program that was founded by his high school math teacher, the late Br. Christopher Bassen (now staffed by his old tennis coach, Br. Anthony Lenz). The LEO program provides after school tutoring and enrichment classes to at-risk students in Oakland. It also provides adult education classes. Melvin has also supported programs of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department designed to help at-risk young people to stay in school.