Ann Doerr and John Doerr, chairman of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, have made the largest gift in Stanford University's 137-year history, donating $1.1 billion for a new school focusing on sustainability and climate change.
The donation will help fund Stanford's launch of a new school, the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, this fall.
"Today's real and pressing challenges — not least, solving our climate crisis — require that knowledge be channeled toward the building of practical, implementable solutions," Mr. and Ms. Doerr said in an announcement. They said the school will be a model for the "interdisciplinary collaboration required to solve this existential challenge."
Mr. Doerr is not a newcomer to the topic of sustainability and climate change. He gave a TED Talk on the topic in 2007. Kleiner Perkins was an early investor in green technology and closed its first later-stage green growth fund in 2008. In 2017, the Kleiner Perkins green growth fund team spun out, creating G2 Venture Partners to transform companies in traditional industries such as energy and agriculture by increasing their sustainability and efficiency.
And his co-worker at Kleiner Perkins is former Vice President Al Gore, a senior partner. Mr. Gore has long been active on climate change, including founding sustainable investing firm Generation Investment Management and chairing non-profit The Climate Reality Project.
This is not the Doerrs' first donation to Stanford, said Mara K. Vandlik, a Stanford spokeswoman, in an email. They have supported a number of Stanford's priorities, including Stanford Medicine, Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford School of Engineering and Stanford Athletics, Ms. Vandlik said.