Nike co-founder donates big to Stanford.
Stanford University announced the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, a graduate-level scholarship to prepare a new generation of global leaders with the skills to address the increasingly complex challenges facing the world.
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The program is named for alumnus Philip H. Knight, MBA '62, philanthropist, American businessman and co-founder of Nike Inc., who is contributing $400 million, and Stanford's outgoing 10th President John L. Hennessy.
Ambitious in scope and scale, Knight-Hennessy Scholars will annually admit 100 high-achieving students with demonstrated leadership and civic commitment, who are nominated by their undergraduate universities.
"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 Stanford President John Hennessy, who will serve as the program's inaugural director after stepping down from his current role as president. "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."
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With a $750 million endowment, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars will be the largest fully endowed scholarship program in the world. More than 80 percent of the endowment will directly support the scholars, fully funding their graduate education and living expenses. The program represents the largest single increase in student financial aid in Stanford's history. The scale of funding for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars will ensure continuity for generations to come.