Climate change really matters to Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist John Doerr and his wife, Ann. The couple has donated $1.1 billion to Stanford University to fund a new school dedicated to climate change and sustainability studies.
In an announcement from the university, the institution said that other donors have contributed a combined $590 million, making the school’s starting endowment $1.69 billion. The gift from the billionaire couple is the largest ever given to a university for the establishment of a new school. It is the second largest donation ever made to an institution of higher education, after former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s $1.8 billion gift to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, in 2018.
The school, which is to be named the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, is Stanford’s first new school in 70 years and will be home to a range of interdisciplinary institutes related to climate change. The inaugural Dean of the school will be Arun Majumdar, Founding Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and current Chair of DOE’s Advisory Board to the Secretary of Energy.
Doerr chairs well-known venture firm Kleiner Perkins.