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Stanford University Fundraising Campaign Nets $6.2 Billion In Five Years

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Stanford University's latest five-year fundraising drive netted $6.2 billion, the largest amount ever raised in a higher education campaign, school officials said Wednesday.

Money from the Stanford Challenge is being used to fund an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research on areas such as education, environment, human health and international affairs, officials said.

"We've undertaken a new model in higher education, with experts from different fields joining together," school president John Hennessy said in a statement. "This kind of collaboration has enabled Stanford to assume a larger role in addressing global problems."

The money is providing funding for more than 160 endowed faculty positions, 360 graduate student fellowships, the construction or renovation of 38 campus buildings, $27 million in seed grants for innovative research and more than $250 million for need-based undergraduate scholarships.

The $6.2 billion raised by the Stanford Challenge is the most collected by a university in a single fundraising campaign, said spokeswoman Lisa Lapin, citing the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. That total surpasses the $4.3 billion goal set when the campaign was launched in October 2006.

During the campaign that ended Dec. 31, the university received donations from more than 166,000 alumni, parents and community members.

The university received contributions of more than $50 million from Stanford alumni such as Yahoo Inc. co-founder Jerry Yang, Nike Inc. co-founder Phil Knight and Silicon Valley venture capitalist Robert King.

Stanford is the latest university to announce a successful multibillion fundraising campaign. Last year, Yale University said it had raised $3.9 billion, and the University of Pennsylvania said it collected $3.5 billion.

"It's an impressive drive for funds that most public universities can only dream to eventually match," said John Aubrey Douglass, a researcher at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley. "Donors are attracted to the big-name universities, but I worry some that the rich keep getting richer."

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