NET WORTH: $2.5 billion
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Sequoia Capital, former managing partner
FUNDING AREAS: Higher education, Health
OVERVIEW: Mark Stevens and his wife Mary state in their Giving Pledge letter that supporting their alma maters--USC and Santa Clarita University, that received millions--has been a high priority of their early philanthropy. The couple has shown an interest in health philanthropy, Stevens mentioning his "burgeoning interest in neuroscience."
BACKGROUND: Mark Stevens' first job was at a Jack in the Box in Culver City, California. He paid for most of his USC undergraduate degree with a combination of merit scholarships and savings from work. He also holds a masters degree from USC, and an MBA from Harvard. After stints at Intel and Hughes Aircraft, Stevens joined the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital in 1989, where he spent two decades. He still serves as special limited partner at Sequoia and was once a managing partner at the firm.
HIGHER EDUCATION: The Stevenses are longtime supporters of USC, where Stevens is a trustee. They made $22 million in grants to the university’s Viterbi School of Engineering in 2004, and other donations over the years. In a past year, the couple gave $50 million to endow the University of Southern California’s, which will be named after them. The family has also supported Mary's alma mater, Santa Clara University where she's a trustee. Past grants from the couple include $7 million to build the Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Student Activity Center, and a $500,000 scholarship for St. Mary’s Academy alumnae to attend Santa Clara. The couple also gave $7.7 million to Santa Clara to build an athletic center. The couple has also directed millions to Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton in the Bay Area. It is also worth mentioning that Stevens has taught at Stanford Business School.
HEALTH: Neuroscience is a major interest of the Stevenses demonstrated by their $50 million grant to endow and name the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute. The Stevenses state in their Giving Pledge letter that while education has been a priority, "more recently, we have extended our support to other areas including health care research (cancer and neurological diseases), local health care delivery, the environment and community organizations." It is worth noting that Stevens' father has Alzheimer’s and one of the couple's sons is dyslexic. The couple also recently gave $1.5 million to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) towards a cancer research center named in memory of their late friend, Father Paul Locatelli, S.J. They've also supported neuroscience at Stanford.
LOOKING FORWARD: The Stevenses also have interests in the environmental sciences and sustainability. The couple's giving is still early, but expect much greater giving down the line.