Check Out Stanford University's Throng of Individual Donors

Stanford University receives more private funding than any university in the country. They raked in $4.22 billion in private donations since 2000, beating out second place Cornell by hundreds of millions. In the fiscal year 2011-12 alone, the university announced $1.2 billion in new pledges and gifts. The Cardinal loves philanthropy so much that they've got their own center dedicated to its study, but who are the kind deities responsible for loving them back and pumping the financial stuffings into our country's most popular private research institution?

As usual, the biggest chunks of money come from individual donors.

In November of 2011, Robert and Dorothy King gave Stanford $150 million, the largest single gift in the university's history, to found the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies. The Institute will be housed at their Graduate School of Business and will concentrate its research on reducing poverty in struggling countries through strategic entrepreneurship.

The Kings' money sits on top of $105 million given to the university in 2006 by Nike Corporation founder Philip Knight. Knight's gift built the Knight Management Center, a series of eight buildings on Stanford's campus, that provide "more flexible classroom space for the greater number of small classes and seminars the school will offer," relieving some alleged campus cramping issues.

James J. Spilker Jr., one of those responsible for inventing GPS systems, gave $28 million to Stanford University in October of 2012 along with his wife, Anna Marie. The gift will endow a new professorship in their School of Engineering and fund the construction of the James and Anna Marie Spilker Engineering and Applied Sciences Building. When completed, the 100,000-square-foot structure will house "research at the atomic scale with applications that range from new drugs to novel semiconductors to improved communications networks to water purification."

Businesswire founder Lorry I. Lokey gave Stanford $33 million to create the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine in 2007. The Institute conducts stem-cell research focused on fighting disease. Lokey has given lavishly in the biotech field and believes it will "be very, very hot for the next generation."