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Trustees elect new chair
STANFORD -- Robert M. Bass, 48, was elected the 22nd chair of the Stanford University Board of Trustees on June 14.
Bass succeeds John Freidenrich, who has served as chair of the board since 1992. Freidenrich steps down as chair next fall, but remains a trustee.
"I am honored and pleased to be elected. This is an auspicious time in Stanford University's history," Bass said. "The recently announced initiatives in undergraduate and graduate fellowships will enhance Stanford's attraction for the best and the brightest. The transformation of the science and engineering facilities into a real Quad has begun, and once constructed, it will provide a physical space that will match the stature and excellence of Stanford's science and engineering programs. At the same time, we're completing the earthquake recovery and seismic strengthening program that will restore the Main Quad and the rest of the campus.
"I look forward to working closely with Gerhard Casper and Condoleezza Rice, the best management team in higher education. Their commitment, skills, creativity and vision are unmatched. With their leadership the university has made tremendous progress in increasing efficiency and squeezing out unnecessary costs. This is an unending process in any enterprise, including research universities."
Bass spent his undergraduate years at Yale University and earned his MBA at Stanford in 1974. "I came to Stanford 24 years ago as a student and quickly fell in love with this idyllic and vibrant community," Bass said. He was first elected to the Board of Trustees in 1989 and now serves as chair of the Land and Buildings Committee and as a director of the Stanford Management Company. He also has served as a member of the Business School Advisory Council and as a director of the Business School Trust.
A generous Stanford volunteer and donor, Bass and his wife, Anne, made a $25 million gift to the university in June 1992. The Bass gift came during Stanford's $1.26 billion Centennial campaign, then the most successful fundraising effort in higher education history. The Basses also endowed five professorships in the School of Humanities and Sciences, funded four fellowships at the Graduate School of Business and made numerous gifts of equities to the university.
"Bob and Anne made a major gift at a low point for the university," Freidenrich said. "Stepping forward at just the right time with a major gift says a lot about Bob. As chair of the Land and Buildings Committee, he has helped the university to reorganize and re-think how we build new structures. He has been an extremely positive force in that regard."
Bass's business interests include investments in the financial services, manufacturing, information services, real estate, and gas and oil industries. He is president of Keystone Inc., a diversified investment company based in Fort Worth, Texas.
Bass also serves as a trustee of many organizations, including Rockefeller University, Cook-Fort Worth Children's Medical Center, the Amon Carter Museum, Groton School, Middlesex School and the U.S. Capitol Preservation Commission Advisory Board.
He is chairman emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and former commissioner of the Texas Highway and Public Transportation Commission.
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