Stanford gets $150 million gift | November 4, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - November 4, 2011

Stanford gets $150 million gift

Menlo Park couple donates to spur entrepreneurship in poor countries

by Sue Dremann

Stanford University's Graduate School of Business has received a $150 million gift — one of the largest in the university's history — to create an institute to alleviate poverty through entrepreneurship, officials have announced.

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Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at


1 person likes this
Posted by Adri
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 4, 2011 at 8:20 am

Wow! This is so awesome! Can they also provide a part of those funds to support "developing" cities around the Bay Area? Like E. Palo Alto, E. Menlo Park and such? Wouldn't mind contributing some volunteer time to assist.

1 person likes this
Posted by local parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 4, 2011 at 9:57 am

A friend in Switzerland told me that their elementary school kids learn about the chocolate business the way ours learn about the California missions. It would be awesome if the business school could look into augmenting our elementary curriculum with entrepreneurship education as well. My sibling who got into trouble buying gum and other candy wholesale and selling it on the playground at a mark up is now the business tycoon in the family...

1 person likes this
Posted by KD
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 4, 2011 at 2:09 pm

BizWorld, a nonprofit foundation, offers business education for elementary kids. The program can be brought to any elementary school. I recommend that you check it out. it's roughly a week-long program and the kids enjoy it while learning a lot.

1 person likes this
Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2011 at 5:41 am

Perspective is a registered user.

Wow..what a novel concept...decrease poverty through ENTREPENEURship?? Who would have ever thought that one could risk, work and sweat through a new business in the hopes it would pay off for the one who did it..while employing many more? Sounds like horrid capitalism to me.

I am pleased with the intent, and grateful to the donor, but saddened that such a concept need to even have an Institute to promote it in the what was the Country that founded the cradle of opportunity.

1 person likes this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2011 at 8:34 am

Note that the $150 million gift has a specific purpose/guidelines. It is not for local projects.

From the SU GSB website:
"The Kings' donation will start the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, which will seek to stimulate and spread research and management techniques for healthcare, transportation, agriculture, banking, communications and other sectors in poor countries. Faculty and students are expected to work in the field to support local groups in Africa, Asia, Latin America and other regions."

1 person likes this
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 5, 2011 at 8:56 pm

Real heroes. Such a relief amongst so many self-indulgent wealthy people. Examples for all.

1 person likes this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 5, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Stanford's $16 billion endowment grows. Another example of the economic imperative that big piles of wealth get added to bigger piles. (See Gates/Buffet.) How else can you assure that your legacy is spent wisely rather than just vanishes? I wonder where the 99% would have deployed $150 million. Could have made each of themselves 50 cents richer.

1 person likes this
Posted by stan
a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 6, 2011 at 9:17 am

More wealth piled upon an even larger mountain of wealth. It seems to me that the GSB is great at promoting kumbaya business practices at the school, which is great for PR. However, once those students graduate, it's pretty much business as usual:
Maximize other peoples effort, and exploit
other peoples money for your personal gain.
Extract maximum value out of a company, leave, and claim 'success'.
Rock bottom wages for your employees,
maximum stock option for the executives.

How many MBA's do you suppose have had a hand in the mortgage melt down, the global economic crisis, and in general, just about every disastrous, but otherwise GREAT! business plan in recent memory? Something to be real proud of for sure.

1 person likes this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Nov 6, 2011 at 9:42 am

Once again the PA "community" twists some very nice news about a philanthropic gift into something nasty and selfish. They didn't get any King$$, or get to tell the Kings how to spend theirs.

Dorothy and Robert King gave a huge sum in the hopes of making a lasting difference in the futures of people with no real chances in Life who live is the worst poverty on earth.

1 person likes this
Posted by Jim
a resident of Mountain View
on Nov 8, 2011 at 11:52 am

To Stan "College Terrace" resident:

If you go to the mall and expect to see old people, when you go to the mall you will see old people.

Check out Web Link for a Stanford MBA who is doing something useful. Every once in awhile things are different than you are expecting.

1 person likes this
Posted by Amadu Massally
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Nov 8, 2011 at 6:08 pm

This is great! I wonder if my country (Sierra Leone) with the most arable of land in the world, arguably, can be a host nation to the agricultural students/department at Stanford. Being one of the poorest countries in the world, with strong historic ties to the US, it will be a worthy cause and a win-win situation.

FYI, Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world in spite of our many natural resources and where many people live on less that $1 a day. If you want to make a real difference with poverty in developing countries, you need not look any further.

Can Palo Alto Online and Stanford University make that happen?