There are donations and then there are donations. Stanford University has received a $1.1 billion gift — yes, that’s billion with a b — from John and Ann Doerr. It marks the largest gift in the university’s long history, significantly eclipsing even Nike founder Phil Knight’s $400 million gift back in 2016. The $1.1 billion gift will be used to start the institution’s first new school in 70 years: aptly named the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability. The school will aim to address the pressing climate change issues of our time.
As Amy Adams and Anneke Cole write for Stanford News in a release entitled “Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, university’s first new school in 70 years, will accelerate solutions to global climate crisis,” “The combined gifts, totaling $1.69 billion, will shepherd the creation of a new kind of school focused on cultivating deep knowledge and high-impact solutions to pressing planetary challenges. The school will have academic departments that advance subject understanding, interdisciplinary institutes that innovate across fields, and an accelerator focused on developing near-term policy and technology solutions. New faculty, new facilities, and a new institute will round out the school, bringing exceptional breadth and scale to the university’s work in addressing the future of the planet.”
So Stanford has received a donation of over $1 billion. We sure do wonder what Malcolm Gladwell’s thinking about this gift. Oh, let’s just say it. We already know what he’s thinking. After all, remember his podcast on Rowan University in which he sat down with Stanford’s then-president? He’s thinking: the rich get richer. And so they do, so they do.
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