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.