At the 10th anniversary celebration of the Stanford University Center bearing his name, philanthropist and entrepreneur Jim Clark announced an additional gift of $60 million to support interdisciplinary research in the intersection between the life sciences, technology, and engineering. (Read Jim Clark's IP profile.)
Clark began his relationship with Stanford University in 1979, when he became an associate professor of electrical engineering. After founding Silicon Graphics with several Stanford graduate students, and moving on to make more than $2 billion as a founder of Netscape, he decided to give back. His first major donation came in 1999 with a lead gift of $90 million, which was used to establish the James H. Clark Center for Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, and launch the Bio-X research initiative. This gift has enabled researchers at Stanford to make many significant contributions in their fields, including work modeling the chemical processes of molecules that earned structural biology professor and Bio-X faculty member Michael Levitt a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2013.
"The research and technology that have been produced in the Clark Center over the past ten years have exceeded my wildest expectations and, it is clear, will continue to make a big impact on human health going forward," said Clark in his speech at the celebration. "My gift to Stanford is one of the best things I have ever done."
Clark has long praised Stanford for fostering an academic environment that encourages cross-disciplinary work, and he credits this atmosphere with being instrumental in his success. "My most interesting and profound insights have come when I changed fields and was able to look at things in new ways," Clark told the crowd at the event. "Stanford's academic environment encourages this way of tackling problems, and I look forward to the great innovations that it will produce."