Stanford University is getting a new school that will focus on addressing climate and sustainability challenges, and it received a massive donation.
The Doerr School of Sustainability, which will open in the fall, received a $1.1 billion donation from venture capitalist John Doerr and his wife Ann.
"My reaction is a big gasp," said Warner Chabot with the San Francisco Estuary Institute. "I think the size and timing of John Doerr's grant is truly nothing short of breathtaking, and that’s good because so are the Bay Area’s climate challenges."
The gift is considered the second largest to a university in United States history.
"I think we’re lucky because Stanford has some very brilliant and bold adaption thinkers, and we’re going to need them," Chabot said.
Stanford says the new school will be the first one added on campus in 70 years. Students will focus on climate change, sustainable cities, energy technology, as well as food and water technology.
The academic departments will start with 90 existing faculty and add dozens more over the next decade.
Liza Goldberg, a Stanford student studying earth systems, said she was "extraordinarily excited" to learn about the new school.
"I think the bottom line is that climate change will impact every single person on this planet within the coming decades," she said. "But I think what this new school of sustainability is really going to focus on, at least initially, is getting to those communities who are at the heart of the climate crisis right now."