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Stanford launches Knight-Hennessy scholarship
25
Feb '16
Stanford President John Hennessy and philanthropist Philip Knight.
Stanford President John Hennessy and philanthropist Philip Knight.
America’s Stanford University has announced the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Programme, a graduate-level scholarship to prepare a new generation of global leaders with the skills to address the increasingly complex challenges facing the world.

The programme is named for alumnus Philip H. Knight, philanthropist, American businessman and co-founder of Nike Inc., who is contributing $400 million, and Stanford's outgoing 10th President John L. Hennessy. The programme builds on Stanford's preeminent position in higher education, with seven globally ranked multidisciplinary graduate schools that foster service, collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship, the University said on its website.

The ambitious programme will annually admit 100 high-achieving students with demonstrated leadership and civic commitment, who are nominated by their undergraduate universities. The goal is to select students from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities. Upon admittance to Stanford's graduate programs, scholars will receive funding for three years to pursue master's or doctorate level degrees, or professional programs along with education in leadership, innovation and other curricula designed to develop scholars' capacity to lead ambitious change in a complex world.

"We wanted to create something enduring, that would be unlike anything else currently available to the world's brightest minds, and that would make the biggest impact possible toward solving global challenges affecting the environment, health, education and human rights," said Stanford President John Hennessy, who will serve as the programme's inaugural director after stepping down from his current role as president. "We will bring together outstanding, courageous scholars to benefit from Stanford's innovative educational environment, who then go on to lead governments, businesses, nonprofits and other complex organizations and develop creative solutions to effect positive change."

With a $750 million endowment, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars will be the largest fully endowed scholarship programme in the world. More than 80 per cent of the endowment will directly support the scholars, fully funding their graduate education and living expenses.
The programme represents the largest single increase in student financial aid in Stanford's history. The scale of funding for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars will ensure continuity for generations to come.

A faculty advisory committee will help guide admission and curriculum criteria that will be available in the winter of 2017. Stanford will begin accepting applications from prospective scholars – students who have completed at least three years of undergraduate education – in summer 2017 and admit its first scholars for fall 2018.

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