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June 28, 2011

Stanford launches the Pigott Scholars Program for humanities graduate students

Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences has launched a $4 million scholarship program to support exceptional students pursuing doctorates in the humanities.

"We are pleased to announce that the school has received a $2 million gift from the family of alumnus Mark Pigott to support exceptional graduate students as they begin their doctoral dissertations," said Richard Saller, dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences. "The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation will match the gift to create a $4 million endowment.

"The establishment of a leadership program like the Pigott Scholars provides our brightest young scholars with support and recognition during a critical period of their academic careers," Saller said.  Students use the dissertation-writing period to synthesize what they have learned while pursuing original research.

"The Pigott Scholars Program will celebrate the importance of the humanities by encouraging students who bring new vision and commitment to their roles as future leaders and teachers," Saller said.

Every year, selected department chairs will nominate one outstanding third-year student for the program.  During the 2011-12 academic year, the Office of the Dean will select two of the nominees as the inaugural Pigott Scholars. The number of Scholars is expected to increase to five or more annually as the fund grows.

Mark Pigott, chairman and chief executive officer of PACCAR Inc, recognizes the importance of a comprehensive educational program to support the next generation of leaders and teachers. "For over 100 years, my family has championed education," Pigott shared. "Young men and women are the future and by providing them with the opportunity to learn about the world, all of society benefits. My family is pleased to contribute to the outstanding research of bright, motivated graduate students as they examine pressing issues facing an increasingly complex world."

The Pigott Scholars Program builds upon earlier gifts that the family has made to Stanford. These include the Pigott Family School of Education Professorship, the Pigott OBE Professorship in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and the Pigott Theater.

In 2006, Mark Pigott served as co-chair for his 30-year Stanford class reunion. To honor his three decades of support, the Stanford Alumni Association presented him with the Governors' Award for "exemplary volunteer service to the university over an extended period." Mr. Pigott is also co-chairing his 35th reunion this year.

Mr. Pigott's philanthropic and professional accomplishments have garnered broad recognition. Honors include being named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, a Commander of the Order of the Crown in Belgium, and an Officer of the Orange-Nassau in the Netherlands. He also was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit in Hungary.

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Contact

Debra Satz, senior associate dean, School of Humanities and Sciences: dsatz@stanford.edu

Adam Gorlick, Stanford News Service: (650) 725-0224, agorlick@stanford.edu

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