Stanford concludes transformative campaign

February 08, 2012

The Stanford Challenge fundraising campaign raises $6.2 billion for a new model of research and teaching on the environment, human health, international affairs and other issues.
Stanford University today announced the successful conclusion of The Stanford Challenge, having raised $6.2 billion to seek solutions to global problems and educate leaders for a more complex world.

The five-year fundraising campaign was launched in October 2006 with a goal of $4.3 billion.  The effort ended Dec. 31, with the final tally of gifts completed this month.

Although the campus-wide campaign benefited every school and every part of the university, a key priority for The Stanford Challenge was to reduce traditional disciplinary and organizational boundaries to bring together experts from all across campus.

"The Stanford Challenge has transformed the way our faculty and students work," said Stanford President John L. Hennessy.  "We've undertaken a new model in higher education, with experts from different fields joining together not only in research, but also in teaching.  This kind of collaboration has enabled Stanford to assume a larger role in addressing global problems.  We are already making a greater difference."

The Stanford Challenge provided funding for:

  • More than 130 new endowed faculty appointments, including innovative professorships that enable scholars to operate across school and department boundaries
  • More than 360 new fellowships for graduate students, including traditional school-based fellowships as well as new fellowships to encourage interdisciplinary study
  • $27 million in seed grants that allow faculty and students from different fields to team up on innovative research
  • More than $250 million for need-based undergraduate scholarships
  • 38 new or renovated buildings that enhance the student experience; provide modern, sustainable and leading-edge space for teaching and research; and encourage experts from multiple fields to work side by side on problem-solving

A new website with results of the campaign, including highlights by initiative and by school, is now available at
The campaign attracted an unprecedented number of donors and gifts, with more than 166,000 alumni, parents, students and friends making more than 560,000 gifts.  More than 10,000 volunteers also played a pivotal role, reaching out to alumni and others to win support. Also noteworthy is that more than 80 percent of campaign commitments – totaling more than $5 billion – has already been fulfilled.
"The response from the extended Stanford family was tremendous.  This was a community joining together for something they believe in," Hennessy said.
The campaign also allowed Stanford to significantly enhance its financial aid program. Stanford remains one of the few private American universities to offer need-blind undergraduate admission, even during challenging economic times.