News

New Arrillaga gift to Stanford tops all others

University announces donation of $151 million from Silicon Valley landowner, developer

Stanford University today announced a new gift of $151 million from Silicon Valley landowner and developer John Arrillaga, a member of Stanford's class of 1960.

The largest single gift ever from a living individual will be used over time on a wide variety of projects, university officials said.

In 2011, Robert King, a Silicon Valley investor who earned a Stanford MBA in 1960, and his wife, Dottie, donated $150 million to create the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies. King was an early investor in what became the Chinese search company Baidu.

Arrillaga's new gift is the latest in a long history of contributions to Stanford from him and his family, for whom numerous campus buildings are named, including the Arrillaga Family Sports Center, the Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation, the Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center and the Arrillaga Family Dining Commons.

Arrillaga gifts also made possible other buildings that do not bear his name, including the Graduate Community Center, the Physics and Astrophysics Building, the rebuilt Stanford Stadium and other facilities to which he contributed anonymously, according to the university.

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Scholarships endowed by the Arrillaga family also support nearly 50 Stanford students each year.

A previous Arrillaga gift of $100 million in 2006 was the university's largest single gift from a living individual at that time.

Arrillaga, who grew up in southern California, came to Stanford in 1955 on a basketball scholarship. He made his fortune, along with his business partner, Richard Peery, developing commercial real estate in Silicon Valley.

In reflections published today by the university, philanthropist and lecturer Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, John Arrillaga's daughter, discusses her father and his relationship with Stanford.

"Perhaps driven by the competitive spirit that led him to All-American basketball fame, he is constantly out-giving himself, and his new gift to Stanford is no exception," Arrillaga-Andreessen wrote.

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"It is his second nine-figure donation -- the first was also at the time Stanford's largest gift from a living donor."

Her father's interest in Stanford's projects extends well beyond check-writing, she wrote.

During construction of the new stadium, he "made high-level decisions on stadium design and landscaping while paying attention to detail, overseeing 24-hour construction crews, picking out every tree, selecting seat materials and tasting countless hot dogs before choosing which brand to serve," she said.

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New Arrillaga gift to Stanford tops all others

University announces donation of $151 million from Silicon Valley landowner, developer

Uploaded: Mon, Jul 1, 2013, 9:34 am

Stanford University today announced a new gift of $151 million from Silicon Valley landowner and developer John Arrillaga, a member of Stanford's class of 1960.

The largest single gift ever from a living individual will be used over time on a wide variety of projects, university officials said.

In 2011, Robert King, a Silicon Valley investor who earned a Stanford MBA in 1960, and his wife, Dottie, donated $150 million to create the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies. King was an early investor in what became the Chinese search company Baidu.

Arrillaga's new gift is the latest in a long history of contributions to Stanford from him and his family, for whom numerous campus buildings are named, including the Arrillaga Family Sports Center, the Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation, the Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center and the Arrillaga Family Dining Commons.

Arrillaga gifts also made possible other buildings that do not bear his name, including the Graduate Community Center, the Physics and Astrophysics Building, the rebuilt Stanford Stadium and other facilities to which he contributed anonymously, according to the university.

Scholarships endowed by the Arrillaga family also support nearly 50 Stanford students each year.

A previous Arrillaga gift of $100 million in 2006 was the university's largest single gift from a living individual at that time.

Arrillaga, who grew up in southern California, came to Stanford in 1955 on a basketball scholarship. He made his fortune, along with his business partner, Richard Peery, developing commercial real estate in Silicon Valley.

In reflections published today by the university, philanthropist and lecturer Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, John Arrillaga's daughter, discusses her father and his relationship with Stanford.

"Perhaps driven by the competitive spirit that led him to All-American basketball fame, he is constantly out-giving himself, and his new gift to Stanford is no exception," Arrillaga-Andreessen wrote.

"It is his second nine-figure donation -- the first was also at the time Stanford's largest gift from a living donor."

Her father's interest in Stanford's projects extends well beyond check-writing, she wrote.

During construction of the new stadium, he "made high-level decisions on stadium design and landscaping while paying attention to detail, overseeing 24-hour construction crews, picking out every tree, selecting seat materials and tasting countless hot dogs before choosing which brand to serve," she said.

Chris Kenrick

Comments

grant
College Terrace
on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:34 am
grant, College Terrace
on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:34 am
Like this comment

a big thank you once again from all of us who benefit both city and school


Bruce
Barron Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:46 am
Bruce, Barron Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:46 am
Like this comment

We attended a Menlo School event over the weekend and saw an Arrillaga building there.

Community benefactors like the Arrillaga's and Peery's are ushering in a new era of philanthropy which enrich our entire area.

Thanks.


Just don't get it...
another community
on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:51 am
Just don't get it..., another community
on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:51 am
Like this comment

Pretty soon it will be known as Arrillaga University.... next to the downtown area known as Arrillaga Commons!! Watch out!!


David
Midtown
on Jul 1, 2013 at 11:19 am
David, Midtown
on Jul 1, 2013 at 11:19 am
Like this comment

The successful developers make obscene profits, even accounting for the risks they take, but this individual at least generously is giving back to the community at large, and for that, I say, thank you!


musical
Palo Verde
on Jul 1, 2013 at 11:51 am
musical, Palo Verde
on Jul 1, 2013 at 11:51 am
Like this comment

Certainly cuts out a big chunk that would otherwise go to the IRS and be frittered away by Congress.


Bill Gates philanthropy is better
Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 1, 2013 at 11:55 am
Bill Gates philanthropy is better, Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 1, 2013 at 11:55 am
Like this comment

Some philanthropists give to the poor, Arrillaga gives to the already rich.
Stanford is already obscenely rich.
I prefer Bill Gates' conception of philanthropy.


Hannah
Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm
Hannah, Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm
Like this comment

Bill Gates gives his $$$ to poor nations with no accountability. He made his millions here. Maybe he should park some here. We bought his products so he could live in the style he is accustomed to.

At least give Arrillaga credit for that he has his priorities straight and in order!


JA3+
Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 1:23 pm
JA3+, Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 1:23 pm
Like this comment

Thank you, Mr. Arrillaga, very much.


Ken
Barron Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm
Ken, Barron Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm
Like this comment

Well, that's mighty generous and should be a nice tax write-off. I suppose it's only appropriate the his obscene development profits go back to their source--unlike Bill Gates whose obscene profits made off our backs are sent in the millions overseas. Meanwhile, children and families in the USA are homeless, bankrupted, and jobless. Nice going guys.


great moniker!
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2013 at 2:29 pm
great moniker!, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2013 at 2:29 pm
Like this comment

Yes - Arrillaga University.

I can think of numerous more deserving, needy charities.
I can think of numerous other educational institutions that are more deserving.

Stanford is already one of the world's weatlthiest universities, very cognizant of it's powers.

I dislike people or institutions who buy their way into things.


just wow
Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm
just wow, Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm
Like this comment

In this case, the motive is clear. Arrillaga is depending on Stanford's complicity as he railroads Menlo Park and Palo Alto into allowing him to erect more monuments to himself. Or has everyone already forgotten about that? His profits on those projects will vastly exceed the pittance he's donating.

If Arrillaga truly wants to make a difference in this community, he could send just a fraction of that $150mm to transform form the Ravenswood district from one of the lowest performing in the state to a district that actually educates kids. They probably wouldn't even object to putting his name on every school!

Stanford is rich and greedy. It doesn't need that money. I stopped sending them my checks long ago.


Tina Peak
Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2013 at 7:09 pm
Tina Peak, Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2013 at 7:09 pm
Like this comment

It is Mr. Arrillaga's money to be donated however he wants. Others can donate their money where they want. Comments about his choice of recipient are uncalled for. We all have our own priorities when it comes to who or what we think is most deserving and we are free to put our money towards those causes.


james
Community Center
on Jul 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm
james, Community Center
on Jul 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm
Like this comment

Those Arrillaga's are something else....and they are up to something not good. Arrillaga's go away pls.


abdul
Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 9:28 pm
abdul, Crescent Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 9:28 pm
Like this comment

It doesn't make sense to say that the money should go to the lowest performing students at "ravenswood school district". Stanford University vs. Ravenswood? Anyways, giving them money won't make them better students. Even Palo Alto schools can't attract perfect teachers. You really want all of the kindergartners to have Ipads?


Gail
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2013 at 9:39 pm
Gail, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 1, 2013 at 9:39 pm
Like this comment

Thank you Arrillaga family, for all your generosity to our community.


bill
Barron Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:22 pm
bill, Barron Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:22 pm
Like this comment

I'm sure Stanford appreciates his generosity - for whatever reason(s) he chooses to give his money. I notice the gift is $151M which tops the previous high of $150M.

Do you suppose there is a reason for the extra $1M? It does now make his donation the largest. What a coincidence.


Boscoli
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 2, 2013 at 6:44 am
Boscoli, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 2, 2013 at 6:44 am
Like this comment

Cui Bono?


Sick of Him
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2013 at 7:50 am
Sick of Him, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2013 at 7:50 am
Like this comment

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


bob
Woodside
on Jul 2, 2013 at 10:43 am
bob, Woodside
on Jul 2, 2013 at 10:43 am
Like this comment

Having been around Palo Alto for years, along with attending Stanford football games and interacting with Stanford alumni in general, I believe it is a good thing for the old boys club (hakujin) to give to the new diverse demographic that comprises this world class university.


resident
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2013 at 11:22 am
resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2013 at 11:22 am
Like this comment

Bill Gates made his money off of Xerox PARC in Palo Alto and Apple Computer - the Windows Graphical User Interface.


businessdecision
another community
on Jul 2, 2013 at 12:10 pm
businessdecision, another community
on Jul 2, 2013 at 12:10 pm
Like this comment

Stanford is not treating its undergraduates with respect. JA should forget about it being the Stanford he went to and worry about the world that might result from the University treating its students the way it does now. Wish he could see this.


Social Butterfly
Green Acres
on Jul 3, 2013 at 4:54 am
Social Butterfly, Green Acres
on Jul 3, 2013 at 4:54 am
Like this comment

Ya know, he could have just buried the money in his backyard.


Bill Gates philanthropy is better
Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 3, 2013 at 11:35 am
Bill Gates philanthropy is better, Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 3, 2013 at 11:35 am
Like this comment

Stanford raises more money than any other university in the country. It is the richest of all.
Thank you Mr. Arrillaga for giving the rich even more. On behalf of very rich Stanford, and my very rich neighbors, thanks! We don't need it but hey, it's a tax deduction for you.


Antisocial Flutterby
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2013 at 2:58 pm
Antisocial Flutterby, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2013 at 2:58 pm
Like this comment

At least Bill and Melinda Gates' philanthropy does not come with strings attached. John Arrillaga always expects carte Blanche from Stanford and the cities of Palo Alto and Menlo Park to do what he wants.


boscli
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm
boscli, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm
Like this comment

This is a peculiar and interesting practice of our oligarchy. The very wealthy and privileged giving astronomical sums of money to the very wealthy and privileged in order to get exclusive access that would make them even wealthier.

Only in the USA are those who make huge donations to very wealthy institutions labeled as philanthropists. Anywhere else they are called opportunists.


Not an issue
Community Center
on Jul 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm
Not an issue, Community Center
on Jul 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm
Like this comment

Bill gates , antisocial butterfly, boscoli, sick of him et al--- arillaga is sponsoring scholarships for 50 students at Stanford. How many scholarships are you endowing?
It is not unusual for rich alumni to give money to their alma maters. BTW, Bill gates has a building named after him at Stanford because he gave a bunch of money.
Seems that many of these negative comments are driven by the hatred and jealousy that some palo alto,residents feel towards Stanford-- when someone/ something is successful, the less talented cannot cope.


boscoli
Old Palo Alto
on Jul 4, 2013 at 7:50 am
boscoli, Old Palo Alto
on Jul 4, 2013 at 7:50 am
Like this comment

Not an issue:I am a Stanford alum and I am financially secure, so you got that part wrong. If I could afford to donate 151 million dollars I would donate it, for example, to the Ravenswood school district, not to the wealthiest university in the world which is also involved in huge construction projects.


great moniker!
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 5, 2013 at 10:37 am
great moniker!, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 5, 2013 at 10:37 am
Like this comment

Pretty soon, it should be called Arrillaga University. I know the local university is always breathlessly trying to claim to be on a par with that #1 university on the East coast.
I think Bill Gates, who has been mentioned as a fellow philanthropist, in on an entirely different level, and he has quite a structure ensuring meaningful use of his billions, over in Africa and so on. Africa is a super tough challenge (read up on it...) as opposed to lavishing millions on a local, wealthy institution.
Real research to meet real needs and make an impact instead of vanity and power. Bill Gates turned out to be quite a sensible guy.


Not an issue
Community Center
on Jul 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm
Not an issue, Community Center
on Jul 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm
Like this comment

Great moniker-- Stanford is better than Harvard without a doubt . What goes on at Stanford is " real research to meet real needs". Note the number of Nobel prize winners and other distinguished alumni from Stanford. And you should read up on what happens to quite a bit of money that is sent to Africa
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


businessdecision
another community
on Jul 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm
businessdecision, another community
on Jul 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm
Like this comment

What you see might be love of Stanford, not hate. Money isn't always helpful, believe it or not, Not an issue.


Crescent Park Dad
Crescent Park
on Jul 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm
Crescent Park Dad, Crescent Park
on Jul 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm
Like this comment

Never fails to amaze me to see how many people can come out of the woodwork and criticize others on how they spend or donate their money.

The alternative is that he keeps it all and just passes it down to the next generation. How many of the critics would rather see that happen?


Not an issue
Community Center
on Jul 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm
Not an issue, Community Center
on Jul 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm
Like this comment

Well, business decision, when you label Stanford as " vanity andover" , then I take it to mean a dislike for Stanford. People are so quick to forget that this region is what it is because of Stanford.


businessdecision
another community
on Jul 5, 2013 at 4:13 pm
businessdecision, another community
on Jul 5, 2013 at 4:13 pm
Like this comment

Where did I label Stanford?

I know that this region is what it is because of Stanford. I didn't forget that.


Not an issue
Community Center
on Jul 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm
Not an issue, Community Center
on Jul 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm
Like this comment

Business decision-- I was referring to great monikers post, which I though you were referencing also.

Well, billy bob, the amount of venom directed against Stanford has become almostt pathological


businessdecision
another community
on Jul 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm
businessdecision, another community
on Jul 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm
Like this comment

O.K., thanks.

We probably need to see that Stanford is afraid to turn big donors down. Understandably afraid. Then there's the fact that the type of person who makes that much money is not the type Stanford really needs (but they can't see that).


Name hidden
Evergreen Park

on Jun 6, 2017 at 2:40 am
Name hidden, Evergreen Park

on Jun 6, 2017 at 2:40 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


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