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Arrillaga's latest gift to Stanford tops all others

Original post made on Jul 1, 2013

Stanford University today announced a new gift of $151 million from Silicon Valley landowner and developer John Arrillaga, a member of Stanford's class of 1960. The largest single gift ever from a living individual will be used over time on a wide variety of projects, the university said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, July 1, 2013, 10:20 AM

Comments (13)

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Posted by follow the money
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:54 am

"Her father's interest in Stanford's projects extends well beyond check-writing, she wrote."

We can think of the "donation" as a $151mm investment in projects in Palo Alto and Menlo Park that are potentially worth billions.

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Posted by su
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm

This is nearly laughable, on the greedy, ego-driven scale - 1m more - wow! And his name is on everything he's made. Hmmmm, Stanford, so smart? Yet, available to be bought...

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Posted by Sam Tyler
a resident of another community
on Jul 1, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I am the father of Stanford student. We do not come from an affluent community like Palo Alto or Menlo Park, and my son would not be able to attend Stanford (or any other major institution)without the gifts from Arrillaga and other like him that fund so many programs. My son's freshman roommates were both first generation college students and they also wouldn't be there without significant private aid. Just consider the sad state of UC Berkeley across the bay. Cal has been on the verge of collapsing under the strain of underfunded programs while growing the student body. We have all benefited from having Stanford as our neighbor. I wish more people would look around and recognize that fact.

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Posted by unmitigated greed
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm

I was a poor, first gen student who attended Stanford on a full scholarship. Stanford was/is a terrific school, but it is a greedy neighbor. It generates some taxes for Palo Alto, but the "benefits" to Menlo Park are primarily of the traffic kind.

No, we would not be a vast wasteland without Stanford. Menlo Park would be a pleasant community, like many others in the Bay Area that do not have the sublime misfortune to be located next door to an avaricious institution.

Make no mistake: this donation is about enriching some already rich people. Plus a thin veneer of do-goodery, in hopes that most of you don't notice what's really going on. With major projects pending in Palo Alto and Menlo Park, Arrillaga will be happy to sugarcoat this deal...all the way to the bank.

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 1, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"we would not be a vast wasteland without Stanford."

Correct - without Stanford Menlo Park and Palo Alto would just be Gilroy without the garlic.

And without people like Dave Packard, Bill Hewlett and John Arrillaga both Palo Alto and Menlo Park would be bedroom communities without character, excitement and opportunity.

It is so easy on this forum for anonymous people who have never done anything for their community to criticize those who have made these communities great.

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Posted by been there
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 1, 2013 at 4:57 pm

The demeanor in the above comments sure smacks of unhappy discontents. To say that the presence of Stanford is not a financial windfall for both Palo Alto and Menlo Park is unfounded. The students alone pour millions of dollars into this economy by shopping and eating at the numerous restaurants not including the well paid employees of Stanford.
John Arrillaga's gift to Stanford and the numerous donations he has given to Menlo Park as well Palo Alto and Stanford is commendable.
There is little doubt that he derives satisfaction from his charities. Giving to others less fortunate feels good.
The prior commenters should appreciate what others are doing for the communities here and not whine that they resent other who are more fortunate financially. Wither you are rich or poor, follow the lead of John Arrillaga and give to the community yourself however small.

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Posted by Amazing
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 1, 2013 at 5:50 pm

I think it's pretty amazing what he has contributed to the local community. I hope (but doubt) to be able to do the same in 30 years :)

It would be nice to see that kind of money going to the underfunded schools and communities, or students with fewer resources, instead of to the "haves" but it is certainly any philanthropist's choice.

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Posted by MP resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Mr. Carpenter and Mr. Tyler, in my opinion, are correct about the immense value and enrichment opportunities that philanthropists like Mr. Arrillaga contribute to a community. Students, faculty, local residents, and the business community are the beneficiaries of his generosity as well as the institution itself. Stanford remains a top university because donations from their successful alumni provide some extra funds that help it afford the possibility to pursue and discover the latest in research, technology, and educational practices. This is also one of the reasons that PA and MP are vibrant communities that attract people who value the positive influence of a fine educational institution nearby. The strong property values are influenced, in no small measure, because of the dynamism of Stanford as a neighbor too.

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Posted by su
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Holy cow. Do people these days really think this is the value of life?

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Posted by MP resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Having a dynamic University nearby, by no means, describes the complete value of life but having a world recognized institution, such as Stanford, in our vicinity does enrich the intellectual, cultural aspects of the lives of the citizenry along with benefitting the economy, etc. These are all, in my opinion, desirable aspects that add to a more stimulating, interesting life today and in the future. It's a big plus for the community and I'm grateful to those who are supportive of fine institutions of learning like Stanford.

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Posted by slick
a resident of Portola Valley: Los Trancos Woods/Vista Verde
on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:40 pm

nice tax write off.

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Posted by follow the money
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jul 1, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Lots of assumptions being made here about the motives of those of us who question this "donation."

Fact is, this area is home to many philanthropists who each give away millions of dollars each year. Without their generosity, hundreds of unglamorous nonprofits would not be able to help underserved members of our community. Few of those donors are well known. For example, Arrillaga's partner Peery is among these generous donors -- he's not plastering his name on everything, just trying to help where he can.

Because Arrillaga only donates in a manner that seems self-serving, and always insists on putting his name on everything(including three public Menlo Park buildings that were mostly funded by taxpayers -- we're still paying off those bonds!) he has earned the cynicism evoked by this latest gesture.

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Posted by Scholar
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jul 2, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Gilroy without the garlic -- LOL

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