Leaving a Mark on the Knight Management Center

Kevin Wells, a high-tech executive with three Stanford degrees, recently invested in the future of Stanford GSB by naming a classroom at the Knight Management Center.

March 17, 2012

A high-tech executive with three Stanford degrees and a history of generous support throughout the university recently invested in the future of Stanford GSB by naming a classroom at the Knight Management Center. After contributing to other areas across campus during The Stanford Challenge, Kevin Wells, BS ’84, MS ’85, MBA ’90, and his wife, Stacia, made a capital gift to the business school.

Stacia and Kevin Wells, MBA ’90, with their family.

Stacia and Kevin Wells, MBA ’90, with their family.

“The new campus is a centerpiece of the momentum that Stanford GSB has developed in the last five years beginning with the exceptional new curriculum and continuing most recently with the launch of the SEED initiative,” says Wells, a software engineering manager at Apple Inc. “Having a space that is so open, flexible, and connected to the outdoors will help the school continue that momentum and deepen the culture of open and innovative thinking and problem solving that has always represented the heart of Stanford GSB and the university overall.”

The Wells Family Class room is one of the key classrooms on the ground floor of the MBA Class of 1968 Building, one of the teaching-focused buildings that make up the front face of the Knight Center along Serra Street. The eight-building, 360,000 square-foot facility was opened in April 2011. Its diverse spaces, both indoor and outdoor, are designed to be flexible and encourage collaboration.

As a testament to his strong belief in the educational mission of Stanford, Wells made several commitments to the university during the campaign. His interest in the topic of leadership led him to invest in the Center for Leadership Development and Research at Stanford GSB. In addition, he made a gift to the School of Engineering to create a meeting space for students and faculty, endowed the directorship of the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics, and provided undergraduate scholarships. These investments reflect Wells’ academic journey at Stanford from his undergraduate study of physics, to his master’s in electrical engineering, to his business degree.

Wells not only supports Stanford GSB financially but also gives generously of his time. He is a member of the business school’s Management Board and has served as a panelist for Summer Institute for Entrepreneurship final projects. In addition, he has participated as a judge in the Executive Challenge.

“The focus on practical leadership education and training in the new curriculum is so unique and important,” said Wells. “It’s one piece that was missing for me when I walked into my first staff meeting as a new manager. Stanford GSB invented something very new with a fresh look at the problem and an immersive, 360-degree approach. This could only have happened at Stanford.”

For Kevin and Stacia Wells, the environmental sustainability of the Knight Management Center was an added bonus. As board chairman of Environment Now, Kevin leads a private foundation started by his parents that has been instrumental in preserving forests and developing independent Water Keepers to protect water quality throughout California. Stanford GSB’s home uses 40% less water than a typical building of its size, generates 12.5% of its power through rooftop solar arrays, and features 90% of interior work spaces illuminated by daylight. For its efforts the school received the highest certification, LEED Platinum,® by the U.S. Green Building Council.

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