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Hewlett Foundation announces $400 million gift to Stanford University

STANFORD, CA.--The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation today announced a $400 million gift to Stanford University to help build Stanford's endowment for the humanities and sciences and for undergraduate education.

"This gift is a tribute to my father," said Foundation Chairman Walter B. Hewlett. "It honors his lifetime of philanthropy, his lifelong devotion to Stanford and his passionate belief in the value of a liberal arts education. Had he lived, I am certain this is something he would have done himself." William R. Hewlett, who established the foundation in 1966, died January 12 at the age of 87.

Foundation director James C. Gaither said, "During his life, Bill Hewlett set a philanthropic example for all of us--not only in his generosity to Stanford, but also in creating and sustaining the Public Policy Institute of California and the Bay Area School Reform Collaborative, not to mention establishing the foundation itself. This gift reflects the desire of his family and the foundation to honor him by continuing his work of enabling Stanford to fulfill its promise of expanding our base of knowledge and of helping young people prepare for useful, productive and meaningful lives."

"We hope, too," continued Gaither, "that this gift will encourage others in the philanthropic world--individuals as well as foundations--to think boldly about making major commitments to the universities and other institutions that are important to our future. It harkens back to an earlier time when philanthropists--such as Rockefeller, Carnegie, the Stanfords, and more recently Packard and Hewlett--focused much of their generosity in building the institutions that support the infrastructure of our society. It's a model we hope others will emulate."

Paul Brest, the President of the Foundation, said, "As a former dean at Stanford, I take special pleasure in announcing this gift. The vitality of the entire university depends on the strength of its core--the School of Humanities and Sciences. I hope this gift will inspire the university, its faculty and its alumni to work to meet the full needs of the school."

John Hennessy, Stanford's president, said, "This magnificent gift is very much in the tradition of Bill Hewlett--a strategic investment in the university he loved, addressing its most compelling and immediate needs. As Bill himself did so often during his lifetime, it uses the power of philanthropy to encourage support from others. It is now part of Bill's legacy at Stanford.

"It is also fitting that it will help the university fulfill a different legacy--that of its founders, Jane and Leland Stanford, who were so committed to the ideal of creating a 'university of high degree.' That vision was clearly articulated by the university's first president, David Starr Jordan, who wanted Stanford to be a place where 'work in applied science is to be carried out side by side with the pure sciences and humanities.' On behalf of the university, I would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the Hewlett Foundation and the Hewlett family for their support."

$300 million of the foundation's gift will be directed to Stanford's School of Humanities and Sciences, the largest of Stanford's seven schools, for unrestricted endowment and for other objectives such as endowed professorships and endowed graduate fellowships. The school has identified needs totaling more than $1 billion, and Stanford will use this portion of the foundation's gift to generate even greater resources to help meet these needs.

"This is a moment of great pride and happiness for the School of Humanities and Sciences," said Malcolm R. Beasley, the Vernon R. and Lysbeth Warren Anderson Dean of Humanities and Sciences and the Theodore and Sydney Rosenberg Professor in Applied Physics. "The awesome generosity of the gift speaks for itself. What is less apparent to those on the outside, perhaps, is the power this gift will have in terms of strengthening the teaching, learning and research that goes on at Stanford in disciplines that we believe are at the very core of the university's mission."

Sharon R. Long, the William C. Steere, Jr.--Pfizer Inc. Professor in Biological Sciences, who will become dean September 1, said, "The irreplaceable role of the School of Humanities and Sciences is to embody the ideals of scholarship. These ideals are disinterested inquiry, devotion to discovering truth rather than confirming pre-conceived ideas or serving already-formed agendas, superb care in research and rigorous self-criticism. These ideals were born in schools of humanities and sciences, and it is in such schools, in our school, that these ideals continue to be tested and given new life. It is with inspiration from these ideals that our school takes its place at the heart of Stanford undergraduate education, passing along to the next generation the love of learning and the capacity for critical and original thought.

"For the faculty of this school, it is now our challenge, and our duty, to use this extraordinary gift to achieve extraordinary things. Among these, one of the first will be to raise the additional gifts needed to help realize the full value of this gift for Stanford and for American higher education. In the near future, I will assemble a group of colleagues to help me plan priorities and strategies for the use and growth of this gift. To the Hewlett Foundation, I express our school's thanks, for your generosity and your confidence in us. We accept the challenge to use this gift well and to create an exciting future for the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford."

While the School of Humanities and Sciences is the largest of Stanford's schools, it is also the youngest. Although many of its departments have existed since the university's beginning, it was organized as a school only 50 years ago. This gift will help the school build a stronger financial infrastructure for the long term.

David M. Kennedy, the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History and Pulitzer Prize winning author, said "The School of Humanities and Sciences is the historic heart of Stanford University. It is responsible for the lion's share of undergraduate education, and its graduate programs are committed to training the next generation's scholarly leaders in fields ranging from history and philosophy to economics and astrophysics. The Hewlett Foundation has dramatically demonstrated its confidence in the importance, vigor and quality of Stanford's core educational missions. I know I speak for all my faculty colleagues when I say that we are committed to be energetic and creative stewards of this visionary gift."

The remaining $100 million of the foundation's gift will be invested in two key components of Stanford's $1 billion Campaign for Undergraduate Education, half designated for endowed undergraduate scholarships, the other half to directly enhance undergraduate education, including new programs that encourage undergraduates to work with faculty mentors in small seminars and independent research projects.

"Bill Hewlett was a great proponent of undergraduate education," said Hennessy. "The goals of the Campaign for Undergraduate Education maintaining need-blind admissions, giving undergraduates access to the process of discovery that defines Stanford, fostering close relationships between students and faculty mentors, and providing a dynamic liberal arts education in the context of a research university were very much his goals for Stanford. Bill understood that at Stanford undergraduate education and the School of Humanities and Sciences share a common future. This gift couldn't be more timely or more fundamentally important to that future."

William R. Hewlett graduated from Stanford with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1934. At Stanford, he met his lifelong friend, David Packard, with whom he co-founded Hewlett-Packard in 1936. The two were also partners in service and support of Stanford for more than 60 years. Together, they strengthened the university by helping build and sustain the School of Engineering, supporting young faculty through the Terman Fellowships and helping make the new Science and Engineering Quadrangle a reality. Prior to this gift, Hewlett, Packard and their family foundations had altogether donated close to $400 million to the university, according to John B. Ford, Stanford's vice president for development. "Only Leland and Jane Stanford," said Ford, "have played a larger role in Stanford's success."

Hewlett's support of Stanford reached far beyond the science and engineering gifts for which many remember him. As the lead donor in each of Stanford's three university-wide campaigns, he provided matching funds to help the university draw broad support for the many professorships, graduate fellowships, and undergraduate scholarships that bear the names of other donors. Said John Etchemendy, Stanford's provost, "Through his own generosity and the generosity he encouraged in others, Bill Hewlett has supported hundreds of faculty members and thousands of undergraduate and graduate students in departments all over campus. There is no one at Stanford who has not benefited from his legacy."



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