Stanford alum makes record donation of $151 million


A Stanford University alum has donated $151 million to the university, the largest gift ever made to the school by a living individual, according to school officials.

John Arrillaga enrolled in Stanford on a basketball scholarship in 1955 and worked six part-time jobs, including delivering mail and washing dishes, to pay his living expenses, according to a statement from his daughter. After graduating with a degree in geography, he made his fortune in real estate and is worth $1.9 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

Arrillaga gave $100 million to the school in 2006, and his name is on several buildings, including the student gym, alumni center and dining area. The latest donation will be used to support a variety of university projects.


The Arrillaga family also has a scholarship program that supports about 50 students each year.

Arrillaga’s gift beats the previous largest gift made by living donors, a $150-million donation in 2011. Stanford’s largest gift was $400 million from the Hewlett Foundation in 2001.

Stanford has a $17-billion endowment, one of the highest in the nation. Harvard University has the largest at just more than $32 billion.

In other donation news, Caltech announced a $10-million gift. The gift, from the Otis Booth Foundation, will fund “time-sensitive research that is too high risk for most traditional grants,” according to a statement from the university.


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