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Phil Knight Science Center: Nike Co-Founder Gives $500M to University

Image: Phil Knight Science Center: Nike Co-Founder Gives $500M to University

Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike, looks on before the game between the Oregon Ducks and Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on Sept. 12, 2015, in East Lansing, Michigan. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
 

By    |   Thursday, 20 Oct 2016 05:04 PM

Phil Knight has pledged $500 million for a new science center, the University of Oregon announced Monday, a major gift from the Nike co-founder alumnus and his wife and relargest ever to a public flagship university.

The Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact will consist of three buildings and will create 750 family-wage jobs when it is fully operational, according to a news release from the school. The campus will provide research opportunities for 150 additional students yearly as well.

More than one-third of Oregon undergraduates are considered low-income, and this gift will help those students get a top-notch education, The Wall Street Journal reported.

"We believe the potential to arm our talented young people with the skills and tools they will need to have a lasting impact on the world and to pursue rewarding careers makes such investments essential," Knight said in the release.

University of Oregon president Michael Schill approached the Knights about a gift for the science center, but was stunned by what they offered, calling it a "breathtaking" act of philanthropy.

"This is a seminal moment for the University of Oregon, an inflection point that will shape the trajectory of the university for the next century and beyond," he said in the news release.

The gift will be given in $50 million per year increments to fund the center, which hopes to open in three years and reach final completion within 10 years.

Knight graduated from the university in 1959. He later co-founded Nike with his track coach Bill Bowerman.

Knight’s net worth is estimated at $24.2 billion. He retired as chairman of the board in June 2016 and still owns 26 percent of the shoe company’s shares.

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Phil Knight has pledged $500 million for a new science center, the University of Oregon announced Monday, a major gift from the Nike co-founder alumnus and his wife and reportedly the largest ever to a public flagship university.
phil knight, science, center, 500m, university
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2016-04-20
Thursday, 20 Oct 2016 05:04 PM
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