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$1.1 billion gift to Stanford from John and Ann Doerr
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$1.1 billion gift to Stanford from John and Ann Doerr

Stanford’s first new school in 70 years will launch in the fall of 2022 as the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, recognizing a $1.1 billion gift from John and Ann Doerr, the largest in the university’s history.

The commitment, together with gifts from other generous donors, will extend the university’s scholarship and dramatically amplify its impact in tackling the urgent climate and sustainability challenges facing all people.

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.

The choice of the word “Sustainability” in the school’s name signals the urgent need for scholarship and new, high-impact solutions to foster a sustainable future.

The school will focus on three broad areas: Earth, Climate and Society. Its creation reflects the Stanford community’s deep ambition to lead in this domain, building on the university’s decades of foundational work. Hundreds of people in the Stanford community contributed ideas, participated in town halls, worked on committees, and responded to surveys that led to the creation of this school.

Funding will also drive initiatives in essential areas of study including energy, behavior, and communications, and bring in new, expert faculty.

John Doerr is an engineer, venture capitalist, chair of Kleiner Perkins, and author of bestsellers Measure What Matters and Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now.

Doerr serves entrepreneurs with ingenuity and optimism, helping them build bold teams and disruptive companies. As a pioneer of Silicon Valley’s cleantech movement, John has invested in zero-emissions technologies since 2006. At Stanford, he has been a guest speaker at the schools of Engineering, Business, and Law.

Ann Doerr is chair of Khan Academy, (whose founder was previously featured on the cover of Lifestyles Magazine/Meaningful Influence.)

She is a former board member and current advisory board member of the Environmental Defense Fund, and former trustee of Rice University.

At Stanford, she has served as a member of Stanford Medicine’s Cancer Council and Under One Umbrella Steering Committee.

Together, the Doerrs have generously supported Stanford priorities including Stanford Medicine, Stanford Cancer Center, School of Engineering, Athletics, the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and Stanford Live.

Photo: Ann and John Doerr provided $1.1 billion to create the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, which will have a focus on tackling sustainability challenges facing people worldwide.


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