Nike's Phil Knight gives $400 million to Stanford University

phil knight stanford university
Phil Knight's donation is one of the largest ever to a university by an individual donor.

Phil Knight went to the University of Oregon and the Stanford Graduate School of Business and he likes to give back. Millions.

The Nike (NKE) co-founder donated $400 million to Stanford University to fund graduate school scholarships, according to a statement released by the university on Wednesday.

Knight's gift, which was announced on his 78th birthday Wednesday, is one of the largest ever made to a university by an individual donor.

The largest was a 2013 donation of $500 million to the University of Oregon -- also made by Knight.

The endowment to Stanford will help fund the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, which is aimed at preparing the next "generation of global leaders."

Related: A stranger pledged $1 million to put these kindergartners through college

The program is co-named for John L. Hennessy, Stanford's current president, who is stepping down to run the new scholars program.

"John and I dream of a future 20, 30 or 50 years from now when thousands of graduates -- who can think outside the box as skilled problem-solvers -- will be working together for a more peaceful, habitable world," Knight said

Over 80% of the endowment will cover students' living expenses and education at one of Stanford's seven graduate and professional schools.

Every year 100 students will be admitted to the program.

Stanford will accept applications beginning in the summer of 2017 and the first class will be admitted in the fall of 2018.

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