Tech billionaire gives Stanford $1.1 billion for new climate school

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Stanford University's new School of Sustainability has just received a big boost as it prepares to launch in the fall.

Tech entrepreneur John Doerr and his wife, Ann, have donated $1.1 billion to help fund the new program, according to the university.

It is the largest donation in the history of the university.

Combined with donations from other philanthropists, the school has received $1.69 billion. "Stanford is making a bold, actionable, and enduring commitment to tackle humanity's greatest challenge, and we have deep conviction in its ambition and abilities," said John and Ann Doerr. "We believe the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability will be a model for the interdisciplinary collaboration required to solve this existential challenge - and set a new standard for scholarship in the 21st century."

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Stanford first announced plans to open the School of Sustainability in 2021, saying it would focus on tackling climate and sustainability challenges around the world.

"These gifts will help Stanford bring its full effort to bear on solving the most complex problems in climate and sustainability, and on training the next generation of students who are eager and driven to address these challenges," said Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne in a statement.



The new school will focus on eight areas: climate change, earth and planetary sciences, energy technology, sustainable cities, the natural environment, food and water security, human society and behavior, and human health and environment, according to the university. It will launch with 90 existing faculty and add 60 more over the next 10 years. It will be led by dean Arun Majumdar, who is a current Stanford professor and co-chair of the George Shultz Energy and Climate Task Force.

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The School of Sustainability is the first new school to launch at Stanford in 70 years. It plans to begin operating in fall 2022.

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