Stanford Announces First Climate Change School With $1.1B From Venture Capitalist

Stanford University is launching a new school focused on climate change, with funding from John Doerr, a renowned Silicon Valley venture capitalist.

Doerr and his wife Ann donated $1.1 billion to fund the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, the largest gift ever given to the university, it said in a news release. It is the second-largest donation ever given to establish an academic institution, next to Michael R. Bloomberg’s $1.8 billion donation to his alma mater Johns Hopkins University.

In a message to the university, Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said the school will focus on three broad areas: earth, climate, and society.

“The new school will build fundamental knowledge of the Earth and its systems, accelerate the development of solutions to the climate crisis at the scale that is needed, and educate tomorrow’s problem solvers and change makers in this urgent area,” Tessier-Lavigne wrote.

Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences will transition to the new school, the release noted. It will offer disciplines in climate change, earth and planetary sciences, energy technology, sustainable cities, and food and water security, among others.

The total funding for the school is $1.6 billion, including the Doerrs’ donation and contributions from other people. The school is set to officially launch on September 1.

Arun Majumdar was chosen as the school’s inaugural dean, whom Tessier-Lavigne described as “an internationally recognized expert in sustainable energy solutions and policy.”

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