Phil Knight Donates $400M To New Stanford Graduate Program

Nike Phil Knight Stanford University
Nike's Phil Knight.

Nike co-founder Phil Knight has contributed $400 million to a new graduate program at Stanford University, his alma mater. Knight’s gift is the largest cash gift from an individual ever donated to Stanford.

The new Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, also named for the school’s outgoing president John L. Hennessy, is designed to “prepare a new generation of global leaders with the skills to address the increasingly complex challenges facing the world.”

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars will be selected from Stanford’s graduate programs and will receive funding for three years to pursue a master’s or doctorate degree or professional programs.

Knight received his MBA from Stanford in 1962 and founded Nike two years later. He expressed that the program is partly a tribute to President Hennessy, who will be resigning in the fall.

“John 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,” Knight said in a statement.

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