Letter from the President

A LONG-TERM INVESTMENT

By Gerhard Casper


W
 hile devoting a great deal of time and attention to undergraduate education over the last four years, the Stanford faculty and I have not forgotten that one-half of our students are in graduate and professional programs. One of Stanford’s greatest strengths is our balanced combination of undergraduate studies, graduate studies and research. That is why we now begin to raise funds for a major initiative titled Stanford Graduate Fellowships. Next fall, the first of an eventual complement of at least 300 fellows at any one time will be awarded tuition grants and stipends for three years. Starting with a grant of $2 million from the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust, our goal is to raise at least $200 million in permanent endowment ­ generating support equal to roughly one-half of our current federal funding for research assistantships.

Gerhard Casper Stanford Graduate Fellowships will go to the best graduate students, regardless of discipline, in departments that depend heavily on federal sources of funding: the sciences and engineering, mathematics, statistics, basic sciences in the School of Medicine, and several disciplines in the social sciences. (In the humanities, Stanford already funds most teaching assistantships and fellowships.)

Such support will make Stanford even more attractive to graduate students by giving them full freedom to pursue their own course of research rather than having to select a project based on the availability of increasingly tight federal funding. And knowledge that such graduate-student funding is available also should prove attractive to young faculty we wish to recruit.

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 1996

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