Alumni and Friends Help Build a Better GSB: The Knight Management Center

Richard Rainwater, MBA ’68, made a $50 million commitment to the school’s new campus if Stanford GSB can raise an additional $50 million by June 2008.

April 15, 2008

Stanford GSB offers a wealth of experiential learning opportunities that inspire men and women to put their leadership skills into action. Richard Rainwater, MBA ’68, embraced that spirit when he issued a challenge to the school in fall 2007. Rainwater will make a $50 million commitment to the school’s new campus if Stanford GSB can raise an additional $50 million by June 2008.

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Artist's rendering of the Knight Management Center's main entrance along Serra Street.

Artist’s rendering of the Knight Management Center’s main entrance along Serra Street.

“By motivating others to invest in this once-in-a-lifetime effort, we will transform the business school and keep it at the forefront of management education,” says Rainwater.

Rainwater realizes time is of the essence. Stanford GSB needs to demonstrate significant fundraising progress to the university’s Board of Trustees before the anticipated construction approval this summer. His magnanimous gesture will be recognized by naming the central Serra Street classroom building the Class of 1968 Hall.

Rainwater is not the first Stanford GSB graduate to lead by example with a generous campus gift. The new campus will be named the Knight Management Center in honor of a $100 million gift from Phil Knight, MBA ’62, the founder and chairman of Nike.

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"By motivating others to invest in this once-in-a-lifetime effort, we will transform the business school and keep it at the forefront of management education."
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Richard Rainwater, MBA ’68

The 450,000-square foot Knight Management Center at the corner of Campus Drive and Serra Street will support the growing diversity of learning methods and technologies that today’s curriculum and collaborations demand. In addition to providing more flexible learning spaces, the design calls for an auditorium, amphitheater, and large plazas, which will serve as gathering places for Stanford GSB community. Another key feature of the new campus will be its “green” construction, which is expected to dramatically reduce environmental impacts while only slightly increasing, or even reducing, lifetime cost.

Rainwater’s call to action has prompted many other alumni to invest in Stanford GSB’s new campus. Among them are Stephanie Palmer McClelland, BS ’70, MS ’72, and Carter McClelland, BS ’67, MBA ’73. They made a leadership commitment that will be recognized by the naming of the western Serra Street classroom building.

“This new business school campus will enable the school to deliver enhanced teaching and learning experiences,” says Carter McClelland. Susan Oberndorf, BA ’78, and William Oberndorf, MBA ’78, were among the early investors in the campus fundraising effort and included Stanford GSB’s capital effort in their generous philanthropic activities across Stanford University.

“We view our gift to Stanford GSB’s new campus as a wise investment in the business leaders of tomorrow,” says William Oberndorf.

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