Nike co-founder donates $400m to Stanford University

Stanford Image copyright Getty Images

Nike co-founder Phil Knight has donated $400m (£287m) to his former college, Stanford University.

His donation is part of a $750m fund to help post-graduate students.

Called the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, each year it will fund 100 new students in masters, doctoral or professional degree programs.

It was modelled on Oxford University's Rhodes Scholarship. Stanford describes it as the world's biggest fully endowed university scholarship program.

Fully endowed means the scholarships can be paid for by returns from the $750 investment pot, so Stanford will not have to raise funds for the programme each year.

John Hennessy, who will step down as Stanford's president later this year, will become the programme's director.

Mr Knight said the scholarships would create a new generation of "skilled problem-solvers".

"John and I dream of a future 20, 30 or 50 years from now, when thousands of graduates - who can think outside the box as skilled problem-solvers - will be working together for a more peaceful, habitable world," said Mr Knight.

Mr Knight received his MBA from Stanford in 1962 before he started Nike.

Since then he has regularly donated to the university.

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