Stanford alumnus John Arrillaga donates $151 million to university

July 1, 2013

A Stanford University alumnus has donated $151 million to the university, the largest gift ever made to the school by a living person, according to school officials.

John Arrillaga enrolled in Stanford on a basketball scholarship in 1955 and worked six part-time jobs, including delivering mail and washing dishes, to pay living expenses, according to a statement from his daughter. After graduating with a degree in geography, he made his fortune in real estate and is worth $1.9 billion, Forbes magazine says.

Arrillaga gave $100 million to the school in 2006, and his name is already on several buildings, including the student gym, alumni center and dining area. The latest donation will be used to support a variety of university projects.

The Arrillaga family also has a scholarship program that supports about 50 students each year.

Arrillaga’s gift beats the previous largest gift made by living donors, a $150 million donation in 2011. Stanford’s largest gift was a $400 million donation made by the Hewlett Foundation in 2001.

Stanford has a $17 billion endowment, one of the biggest in the United States. Harvard University has the largest, at just more than $32 billion.

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