Benefactors of the Knight Initiative

Penny and Philip Knight

The Knight Initiative for Brain Resilience was launched in April, 2022 by a $75 million gift from Nike founder Philip H. Knight, MBA ’62, and his wife, Penny.

The Phil and Penny Knight Initiative for Brain Resilience will leverage Stanford’s interdisciplinary expertise in medicine, neurosciences, engineering, human biology, chemistry, psychology, and many other fields to foster first-of-their-kind collaborations among researchers, clinicians, and scholars. The goal is to spark new ideas and innovations and take knowledge to a point where it is possible to promote brain rejuvenation and stave off certain brain disorders, as well as prevent and treat cognitive decline.

“As Phil and I get older, we are seeing the devastating impact of neurodegeneration on our friends and loved ones,” Penny Knight said. “We are calling it the ‘Initiative for Brain Resilience’ because we want to focus on the positive outcomes this important research may yield – healthy aging and the possibility of helping all people live fuller, more vibrant lives late into life. We are excited to invest behind our belief that Stanford is the place to make this happen, and we feel privileged to have the opportunity to do so.”

The Knights have long been supporters of Stanford. Their 2016 gift launched the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, a graduate-level scholarship to prepare a new generation of global leaders with the skills to address the increasingly complex challenges facing the world. They also made a major gift to construct the Knight Management Center of Stanford Graduate School of Business and have provided substantial support for endowed professorships and Stanford Athletics.

Read the full gift announcement