Clark Center for Biomedical Engineering and Sciences

Linking Engineering and Medicine

  • Medicine & Health
  • 1999

Former Stanford University professor of computer science James Clark established a clutch of successful business ventures: Silicon Graphics, Netscape, Healtheon, and myCFO. Feeling indebted to Stanford as the site where he incubated many of his ideas, he approached the university in 1996 and inquired about what he might give the university to express his gratitude.

Thus was born the James H. Clark Center for Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, created with a $150 million contribution from the entrepreneur—then the single largest gift to Stanford since its founding, and the largest personal gift in higher education. The facility served as a bridge between Stanford’s engineering departments and its medical school.

The gift allowed the hiring of about 15 new faculty, the construction of a biomedical-engineering center and the purchase of extensive equipment to fill its labs, plus graduate student fellowships. Atlantic Philanthropies, the foundation created by businessman Charles Feeney, also contributed major funding to the center.