Feb 25, 2016
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Phil Knight donates $400 million to Stanford

Feb 25, 2016

Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike, has donated $400 million to Stanford University to launch a new graduate studies program to help students become global leaders.

Stanford President John Hennessy and Phil Knight - photo: Stanford University

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program also pays tribute to outgoing university president John L. Hennessey. Knight’s $400 million dollar gift boosts the program fund to $750 million, the largest fully endowed scholarship program in the world.

In addition to co-founding and running Nike, Knight attended Stanford and received his MBA there in 1962. Throughout the years, he has made philanthropic donations to the university, giving to the Graduate School of Business in 2006, and also personally contributing to the Stanford Athletics program.

"John [Hennessy] and I dream of a future 20, 30 or 50 years from now, when thousands of graduates – who can think outside the box as skilled problem-solvers – will be working together for a more peaceful, habitable world," said Knight.

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program will help students in interdisciplinary studies truly make a difference in the future.

"We wanted to create something enduring, that would be unlike anything else currently available to the world's brightest minds, and that would make the biggest impact possible toward solving global challenges affecting the environment, health, education and human rights," said Hennessey, who will serve as the program’s director after stepping down from his role as president.

Hennessey forecasted, "We will bring together outstanding, courageous scholars to benefit from Stanford's innovative educational environment, who then go on to lead governments, businesses, nonprofits and other complex organizations and develop creative solutions to effect positive change."

With Nike’s mission statement being focused on bringing innovation to every athlete, and Stanford sitting in the cradle of innovation in Silicon Valley, this program promises to help drive the future of global business.

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