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Office Depot Pledges $1M Corporate Gift to The Scripps Research Institute for Its Childhood Neurological Disease Research Program in Palm Beach County

La Jolla, Calif., and Delray Beach, Fla., April 30, 2004 - The Scripps Research Institute and Office Depot, Inc., (NYSE:ODP) today announced a joint philanthropic alliance, whereby Office Depot pledged a $1 million corporate gift to Scripps Research for its Childhood Neurological Disease Research Program at its new Florida facility.

The announcement makes Office Depot the first major corporate philanthropic partner to be announced by Scripps Florida, a division of The Scripps Research Institute, dedicated to expanding its internationally recognized programs and basic research.

Today, Bruce Nelson, Chairman and CEO of Office Depot, presented the $1 million corporate gift to Richard A. Lerner, M.D., Scripps' president, at a special luncheon at the Boca Raton Marriott which was sponsored by the Boca Raton Roundtable and the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce.

Office Depot's gift will create the Office Depot Program in Childhood Neurological Disease Research and will fund research by Shelley Halpain, PhD, and Steve Kay, PhD, among other Scripps researchers in the Institute of Childhood and Neglected Diseases. The gift will be made over a period of 10 years.

Scripps Florida in Palm Beach County represents the first time that The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, will create a new center for its world-class research beyond its original campus. Scripps Research's new biomedical research facility will be built on 100 acres in northern Palm Beach County on the Mecca Farms site. Scripps Florida's permanent facilities will open in 2006.

According to Dr. Lerner, the relationship between Office Depot and The Scripps Research Institute is a mutually beneficial alliance from both a business and values perspective.

"This generous contribution from Office Depot will support research that may lead to better health and an improved quality of life for millions of children and adults, many of them in developing countries around the world," Lerner said. "It reflects the concern and good corporate citizenship of Office Depot and promotes the mission of Scripps Florida and The Scripps Research Institute."

"We are delighted to support The Scripps Research Institute," Nelson added. "It is a world-class research institution with an outstanding reputation and we are extremely fortunate to have Scripps establish a presence in Palm Beach County. The organization's world-renowned scientists and researchers have made a profound effect in the lives of so many around the world."

According to Nelson, the company's philanthropic mission is "Caring and Making a Difference." Office Depot's gift for the Childhood Neurological Disease Research Program will help fund biomedical research intended to find cures for children with neurological diseases such as malaria, epilepsy, mental retardation and cystic fibrosis.

About The Scripps Research Institute The Scripps Research Institute , one of the country's largest private nonprofit research organizations, has always stood at the forefront of basic biomedical science, a vital segment of medical research that seeks to comprehend the most fundamental processes of life. In just three decades the Institute has established a lengthy track record of major contributions to the betterment of health and the human condition.

The Institute has become internationally recognized for its basic research into immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neurosciences, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases and synthetic vaccine development. Particularly significant is the Institute's study of the basic structure and design of biological molecules; in this arena Scripps Research is among a handful of the world's leading centers. For more information, visit http://www.scripps.edu.

About Office Depot With annual sales of nearly $12 billion, no one sells more office supplies to more customers in more countries than Office Depot. Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Delray Beach, FL, the company conducts business in 23 countries and employs nearly 50,000 people worldwide.

Office Depot is an industry leader in every distribution channel - from retail stores and contract delivery to catalogs and e-commerce. The company is the world's number two online retailer - on target to generate $2.6B in sales for FY'03. In North America, Office Depot has more than 900 retail stores in addition to a national business-to-business delivery network supported by 22 delivery centers, more than 60 local sales offices and 13 regional call centers.

Recently, Office Depot was recognized in BusinessWeek as the country's 11th most generous in-kind giver as a percentage of revenues. Also, the company was one of twelve companies included in the Companies That Care Honor Roll.

The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP and is included in the S&P 500 Index. Additional press information can be found at: http://mediarelations.officedepot.com.


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