Nike co-founder and chairman Phil Knight has donated $400 million to create a scholarship program at Stanford University.
In an announcement from the college made on his 78th birthday, Knight will be partnering with?the college’s outgoing president, John L. Hennessy, to create?the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, which touts a goal of grooming global leaders. ?This program is co-named with?Hennessy, who\’s stepping down as president to run the new program as the inaugural director, writes Ahiza Garcia for CNN Money.
The gift makes the total endowment for the program $750 million, causing it to become the largest fully-endowed scholarship enter in the world.
“John and I dream of a future 20, 30 or 50 years from now, when a large number of graduates – who are able to think outside the box as skilled problem-solvers – is going to be working together for a more peaceful, habitable world,” Knight said in a statement from Stanford.
The scholarship will be given to 100 high-achieving individuals each year from a number of backgrounds. ?The money is expected to allow these students to pursue graduate?or professional programs “made to develop scholars’ capacity to lead ambitious alternation in a complex world.”
More than 80% of the endowment will be put toward covering students’ bills and education at among the seven graduate and professional schools in the university?for three consecutive years, reports Alessandra Stanley for The New York Times.
The donation is the largest gift from any individual to the college, and matches the biggest amount ever given to Harvard this past year by Wall Street hedge fund billionaire John Paulson, writes Alexander Smith for CNBC. ?The largest donation given to any school?is made in 2013, also by Knight, in the amount of $500 million towards the University of Oregon.
\”We wanted to create something enduring, that might be unlike anything else currently available to the world\’s brightest minds, which would make the largest impact possible toward solving global challenges affecting the environment, health, education and human rights,\” Hennessy said in the statement.
The previous highest gift, $100 million, came from?website investor Robert King and his wife, Dorothy.
Knight earned his MBA from Stanford in 1962 and it is currently worth $25.7 billion. ?He has been a supporter of the school in the past years, having given money to the graduate school of business in addition to offering professorships and athletics.
The college will start to?accept applications in the summer of 2017 with the first class expected to be admitted in the fall of 2018.
Stanford works hard at fundraising, having raised an archive $1.6 billion previously year alone through June 30, based on the Council for Aid to Education, which tracks giving to universities. ?A record $40.3 billion was collectively raised by colleges and universities in the United States, with a disproportionate amount going to the wealthiest colleges.
Nike was co-founded by Knight within the 1960s and it has functioned under his leadership since that time. ?He is currently ranked among the richest on the planet, with a value of $25.8 billion, based on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
A frequent and generous?philanthropist, Knight?has made sizable donations towards the University of Oregon and its health-care affiliate.