Climate Change School To Be Built From Large Donations

Stanford University will launch a new school focused on climate change from hefty donations from a venture capitalist.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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Stanford University

Climate change is a serious and urgent issue for many Americans. According to The Nature Conservancy, some scientists believe that by 2030, Earth could face catastrophic impacts from shifting climates that could be detrimental to many communities. Understanding this concern, Stanford University in California just announced plans to launch a new school focusing on climate change, thanks to hefty donations. 

The Associated Press reported that Stanford University will launch a new climate change school next fall. To fund the institution for higher education, the university received $590 million from various donors and a hefty $1.1 million gift from billionaire venture capitalist John Doerr and his wife, Ann Doerr. According to CNN, it will be Stanford’s first new school venture in 70 years, and the school will be called the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.

Stanford University

The school’s prominent donors received much of their wealth from early investments in technology companies like Google, Amazon, and Slack. John Doerr is the chairman of Kleiner Perkins, a venture capitalist firm. As a strong supporter and activist in climate change, Mr. Doerr authored a recently published book Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now. Mrs. Doerr serves on the board of the online education provider, Khan Academy. Similarly advocating for needs such as the new Stanford University school, Ann is also an advisory trustee and former board member of the Environmental Defense Fund. 

The Stanford University climate change school was said to be in plans for years. The venture will combine the university’s existing School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences. Faculty members from this school will transition over. Furthermore, Stanford will work to hire some 60 more faculty members over the next decade. The school will focus on topics related to the global climate crisis with plans to find more solutions through a focus on earth and planetary sciences, energy technology, food and water security, and human health.

The private school outside of San Francisco, California is no stranger to the effects of climate change. Climate change is felt throughout the world, but California has been heavily damaged throughout the last decade in growing instances. Historic draughts, an ongoing water crisis, severe weather swings, and ravaging wildfires are said to be the direct result of the climate change crisis throughout Stanford University’s home state.

Stanford University

Despite the efforts made by Stanford University and its generous donors, many still believe climate change is not as doomful as scientists claim. An article published by Forbes claims that such apocalyptic outcries are often over-exaggerated. Furthermore, it claims the cause of many natural catastrophes such as California’s wildfires isn’t entirely caused by climate change. 

The Stanford University school for climate change is set to open its door on September 1st. The school announced it excepts to soon formally accept students during the 2022-2023 academic year. While it remains unclear where or when construction will begin, much of the donations will be used to build the new school, which will be the first of its kind.