News

Stanford reaps $6.2B in 'transformative' campaign

Hennessy says money raised will create 'new model in higher education'

Stanford University raised $6.2 billion in a five-year fundraising campaign that ended in October, the university announced Wednesday, Feb. 8.

The Stanford Challenge campaign was aimed at financing and promoting cross-disciplinary collaboration to address complex global problems in the environment, health and international affairs.

Stanford President John Hennessy said the funds have "transformed" the university.

"We've undertaken a new model in higher education, with experts from different fields joining together not only in research, but also in teaching. This kind of collaboration has enabled Stanford to assume a larger role in addressing global problems," Hennessy said.

The funds will provide more than 130 new endowed faculty appointments; more than 360 new graduate fellowships; 38 new or renovated buildings; $250 million for need-based undergraduate scholarships and $27 million for grants that encourage faculty and students from different fields to team up on research.

The premise of the campaign was that "many of society's most formidable problems do not present themselves in conventional academic categories around which universities have been organized for centuries," Stanford said in announcing results of the campaign.

"Rather, issues like climate change, cancer and global security have become too complex to be addressed by scholars working in silos; they require a multidisciplinary approach."

Campaign-financed initiatives so far have resulted in a multi-year collaboration with the Chinese government that examines obstacles faced by students from poor, rural households; formation of a new field, "optogenetics," which uses pulses of light to manipulate brain cells and provides potential for insight into conditions such as depression and Alzheimer's; a new biodegradable building material that could save trees and reduce landfill; endowed funding for a training program for leaders of "countries in transition;" and a new quad housing much of the engineering school, replacing buildings that were 40 to 50 years old.

"The Stanford Challenge was about the problem-solving capacity of the university and the graduates we send into the world," said campaign co-chairman and Stanford trustee Isaac Stein of Atherton.

"That capacity is greater than ever. And it's not just about the problems we have now. It's about the future. We have changed the way that the university can help society deal with everything that comes our way."

Hennessy kicked off The Stanford Challenge in October 2006, announcing a five-year goal of $4.3 billion.

The campaign drew more than 166,000 alumni, parents, students and friends, who made more than 560,000 gifts.

Top donors, each giving $50 million or more, were: John Arrillaga; Anne T. and Robert M. Bass; Helen and Peter Bing; the estate of Dudley Chambers; Bradford Freeman; the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; Dorothy and Robert King; Philip H. Knight; Lorry I. Lokey; the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Fund; Tashia and John Morgridge; Jay A. Precourt; Richard Rainwater; Ronald Spogli; Kat Taylor and Thomas Steyer; the estate of Richard W. Weiland, Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang, and six anonymous donors.

Chris Kenrick

Comments

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Posted by Hey-Stanford--How-About-Helping-Your-Neighbors-A-Little?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Maybe it's time for Stanford to share some of that money by helping to build some grade separations here in Palo Alto, and possibly pay for the hardware to install adaptive signal controllers in Palo Alto, and those sections of Menlo Park that need them.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by svatoid
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Hey-Stanford--How-About-Helping-Your-Neighbors-A-Little?--I think you will find that the people who donated had the expectation that the money would be used for Stanford and not repair PA crumbling infrastructure.
However if there will be any money used for Palo Alto--it will be for College Terrace, to alleviate their decades of suffering due to Stanford.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hey-Stanford--How-About-Helping-Your-Neighbors-A-Little?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2012 at 1:43 pm

> I think you will find that the people who donated had
> the expectation that the money would be used for Stanford

Maybe .. but what about Stanford's asking them? Stanford could open a fund for mitigating local impacts. It's big on fighting world-wide "environmental problems", so what not admit that its operation here in Palo Alto and Menlo Park has created certain local "environmental problems". It's not hard to enumerate quite a list of issues, from water draining to San Francisco Creek that helped to create the Flood of '98, to traffic, to driving up the price of housing. There are a lot of wealthy people living in the local area that might see the rationale of giving the money to Stanford, which in turn used it to fund some of the mitigation projects that no doubt could be identified where Stanford is a significant contributor to the problems.

What makes you think that giving away money to help people thousands of miles away is more desirable than helping people who live in the shadow of Stanford?


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Posted by svatoid
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm

"Stanford could open a fund for mitigating local impacts. "
No they should not. Palo Alto has a budget--the fact that it cannot manage it's money well is not Stanford's problem. Plus Stanford has done plenty for Palo Alto.
Some people think that Stanford is a cash cow to be milked whenever Palo Alto needs money.
If you are so eager to get money why not approach these wealthy people living in the area and ask them for money to mitigate Palo Alto's suffering.

" where Stanford is a significant contributor to the problems."
which problems are you referring to?? Traffic??? the non-existent issue that Kishimoto and others have harped about for years????? driving up the price of housing???? How many people are sorry that there houses are worth millions??? Think it was all Stanford? Why not hit up Apple for some money as well.
Get real--Stanford should not have to pay for Palo Alto's financial incompetence.


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Posted by Hey-Stanford--How-About-Helping-Your-Neighbors-A-Little?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm

> No they should not

The comment, as written, was "could" .. which implies an action with a future time component. (Stanford grad, you?)

> driving up the price of housing????

Stanford has contributed to this. With homes already over 1M and doubling every decade or so--it's only a matter of time that very few people will be able to move into Palo Alto. This will force the price of housing to come down, which is probably a good thing, given the grand scheme of things.

> Why not hit up Apple for some money as well.

Apple doesn't have a campus with 25K people on it. However, there is probably be a time that some sort of impact fee that will be allocated throughout the county.

Stanford does not pay property taxes. So, it does not directly contribute to the costs of maintaining the infrastructure that it needs for its operations. Perhaps it would be better to just terminate its exemption of $4+B dollars. That exemption is costing Santa Clara Count/Palo Alto some $400M dollars a year.


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Posted by Hey-Stanford--How-About-Helping-Your-Neighbors-A-Little?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2012 at 2:06 pm

> some $400M dollars a year.

Sorry, make that $40M a year.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 9, 2012 at 10:56 pm

What?! I thought Stanford did directly pay for its infrastructure. What part of their $456M capital budget don't I understand? And their operations go through another $4B annually. Palo Alto's capital budget looks like $70M, and operating budget $146M (though I find the documentation somewhat confusing).

I suspect the City could solicit and raise tax-deductible contributions for anything necessary or useful we might want to do if we could trust the money would be spent wisely. For something like library construction people will only lend money, not give it away. I know PAUSD raises millions in outright donations each year to supplement the school budgets. Obviously people see value worth supporting there, on top of the taxes already paid. And Stanford's donors see something worth supporting, with enough faith and trust to make most of those donations "unrestricted". There really is plenty of money around, but the people who have it got that way by learning not to throw it down a rat hole. (E.g. Warren Buffett wishing he could pay more taxes, but decidedly not donating anything to the US government.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hey-Stanford--How-About-Helping-Your-Neighbors-A-Little?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2012 at 9:11 am

> What part of their $456M capital budget don't I understand?

Perhaps the term "infrastructure" is used a little too loosely here. There is city infrastructure, country infrastructure, state infrastructure and Stanford infrastructure. Stanford pays for its own infrastructure (often with the help of US taxpayers), but the school does not operate in a bubble. It dumps water into San Francisquito Creek during heavy rains..water that works its way into Palo Alto and East Palo Alto. Sometimes, the water contributed by Stanford overbanks the Creek, and ends up in Palto Alto streets and homes.

All of the vehicular traffic that Stanford generates moves through the public roadways (hereafter referred to as "infrastructure"). Any sewerage that is generated and not totally processed, and disposed of, on the Stanford lands--no doubt works its way into Palo Alto and Menlo Park sewerage systems--public infrastructure.

Hopefully, this will clarify the use of the term "infrastructure".


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