Mark Stevens

NET WORTH: $1.92 billion

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Sequoia Capital, former managing partner

FUNDING AREAS: Higher education, health

OVERVIEW: Mark Stevens and his wife Mary mention 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." (Stevens' father has Alzheimer’s and one of the couple's sons is dyslexic.) 

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.

Stevens has served on the Board of Trustees of USC since 2001 and is also a member of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Board of Councilors and is the founder and chairman of the USC Stevens Center for Innovation. In addition, Stevens is a trustee at Menlo School and serves on the investment committee for Santa Clara University, from which Mary graduated and where she serves as a trustee.

ISSUES:

HIGHER EDUCATION: The Stevenses are longtime supporters of USC. They gave $22 million to the university’s Viterbi School of Engineering in 2004, and other donations over the years. In a recent year, the couple gave $50 million to endow the University of Southern California’s, which will be named after them. Large sums have also gone to Mary's alma mater, Santa Clara University. Past gifts 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. Millions have also gone to Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton in the Bay Area. It's 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 dollars gift 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." In a recent year, the couple 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.

Starups: Now a special limited partner at Sequoia, Stevens is investing in startups through his firm S-Cubed Capital. Apart from health and education, the firm's philanthropy revolves around environment and community issues funding entities like the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Habitat for Humanity.