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March 8, 2006

Financial aid program for Latin American students established

A $10 million financial aid program has been established for Latin American students at Stanford in honor of a Silicon Valley businessman and his wife.

The Alejandro and Lida Zaffaroni Scholarship and Fellowship Program will provide undergraduate scholarships and graduate student fellowships. The program is funded by gifts from a group of more than 35 donors who credit Alejandro Zaffaroni with providing inspiration, mentorship and friendship during the course of their careers.

Gifts made to the undergraduate scholarship fund within the Zaffaroni Program were matched by Stanford's Campaign for Undergraduate Education. Gifts to the graduate fellowship fund were matched by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which in 2001 made a $300 million challenge grant to the School of Humanities and Sciences in an effort to encourage gifts of endowment to the school. The program will be administered by the Financial Aid Office and the School of Humanities and Sciences, which will distribute a predetermined level of funding annually from the endowment to an eligible pool of students based on need.

Alejandro Zaffaroni is the founder of a number of companies, including ALZA, Affymax, Affymetrix, Alexza, DNAX, Maxygen and Symyx. He is widely considered a pioneer in drug delivery and the field of biotechnology and has had a significant impact on the development of Silicon Valley through the many companies built by him and those he mentored.

"Over the past five decades, a generation of individuals has been inspired by Alex Zaffaroni's values," said Isaac Stein, former chair of the Stanford University Board of Trustees and a longtime business partner of Zaffaroni's. "Those he has mentored have seen and felt his determination, and learned from him that a team of dedicated, intelligent people with a clear vision can accomplish amazing things. A group of those individuals now have come together to establish this program, to help create an enduring recognition of Alex's core values at Stanford University."

A native of Uruguay and a graduate of the University of Montevideo, Zaffaroni first came to the United States on a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Rochester, where he earned a doctorate in biochemistry. In 1995, President Clinton awarded Zaffaroni the National Medal of Technology in recognition of his contributions to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.



Ray Delgado, News Service: (650) 724-5708,


Isaac Stein, former chair of Stanford's Board of Trustees: (650) 324-1245,


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