Nike Cofounder and Chairman Phil Knight to Deliver Address at Stanford
Graduate School of Business 2014 Graduation Ceremony
STANFORD, Calif. -- March 26, 2014
Nike Cofounder and Chairman Phil Knight, who graduated from Stanford Graduate
School of Business in 1962 and subsequently transformed an entire industry,
will address Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) students during their
2014 graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 14.
The GSB’s alumni speaker program was inaugurated in 2010 as a means to inspire
graduates in their future careers. “Phil’s unique ability to see opportunity
where others did not, along with his perseverance and willingness to take
risks, enabled him to transform an entire industry,” said Garth Saloner,
Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean of Stanford Graduate School of Business.
“Our students seek to follow his example as a change agent after graduation —
and Phil has actively supported their ambitions through his ongoing engagement
with the school.”
Knight currently serves as chairman of the board of directors of Nike, which
he cofounded with track and field coach Bill Bowerman in 1964. Knight
originally developed the business plan for the company during an
entrepreneurship course he took while in business school.
During a 2009 interview, he said that it was “almost certainly true that if
there was no Stanford Graduate School of Business, there would be no Nike.” He
also observed that “it was out of [that entrepreneurship course] that I really
had the courage and the enthusiasm to start this company that ultimately
After selling running shoes at track events from the back of his car and
making sales of $8,000 in the company’s first year, he eventually built Nike
into one of the world’s largest suppliers of athletic shoes, apparel, and
equipment. He served as its president for 25 years.
In 2006, Knight contributed $105 million to help establish Stanford GSB’s new
eight-building complex on the Stanford University campus. Named the Knight
Management Center in his honor, the LEED-certified complex provides an
environment that fosters collaboration both within StanfordGSBand with the
rest of the larger university.
“Stanford meant a lot to me, and it’s really my hope other students who come
to Stanford have as transformative experience as I did,” said Knight at the
time of the center’s groundbreaking.
Stanford Graduate School of Business
Katie Pandes, 650-724-9152
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