Vidalakis Family Gives Back with Capital Gift

Nick Vidalakis, MBA ’55, Sloan ’60, PhD ’61, recently rallied his family foundation to make one of its largest gifts, this time to Stanford GSB’s new home, the Knight Management Center.

April 15, 2010

Ten academic degrees. Nearly 20 volunteer roles. Gifts to 25 funds across the university. The Vidalakis family has a long history with Stanford University and, specifically, with the Graduate School of Business. The patriarch of the family, Nick Vidalakis, MBA ’55, Sloan ’60, PhD ’61, is one of Stanford’s biggest champions. He recently rallied his family foundation to make one of its largest gifts, this time to Stanford GSB’s new home, the Knight Management Center.

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An aerial view of the Knight Management Center

An aerial view of the Knight Management Center. With its eight buildings and open spaces, the 12.5 acre site opened during the 2010-2011 academic year.

In recognition of the investment of $1 million, the Vidalakis Family Foundation will name a classroom dedicated to the Stanford Sloan Master’s Program. With the gift, “Dr. Nick,” as he’s fondly known, wants to inspire other Sloan alumni to give back to Stanford GSB by supporting the new center, which was designed to fully implement the school’s revamped curriculum.

Vidalakis felt it was important to support Stanford GSB’s new home because Stanford has meant so much to him and his family during their association with the university.

“Stanford was my mentor. It gave me the tools that allowed me to succeed in my endeavor of building a special type of shopping center called ‘a family center,’” he said. “We feel strongly that you have to give back, and there was no place we felt more strongly about giving back to.”

The Vidalakis Sloan classroom will be located in the southeastern part of the new site at the intersection of Serra Street and Campus Drive. The tiered classroom will seat an entire Sloan class and more, and will be designed to encourage student< interaction and allow the instructor or presenter to move around the room and engage the audience.

The Sloan classroom will mark the second time the Vidalakis family has left its mark on the school’s physical facilities. In 1996 they made a gift that was recognized by the naming of the Vidalakis Dining Hall and Courtyard in the Schwab Residential Center. When the Knight Management Center is completed, the family’s name will be on both sides of Serra Street, linking both parts of Stanford GSB.

While Stanford instilled a sense of business savvy in Dr. Nick that paved the road for his future success, he is most thankful to the university for another reason.

“The greatest gift that Stanford gave me was my wife, Nancy. I applied to a number of places and got in, and it was the good Lord’s will that I went to Stanford and met Nancy,” he said. “She’s the greatest human being I’ve ever met.”

In addition to Nancy Vidalakis, who has supported the school both financially and in a volunteer capacity, the Vidalakis family includes son George, BS ’94, MS ’95, MBA ’00; son John, BS ’87, MS ’88; daughter Nicole, PhD ’03; and son Perry, AB ’85.

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