Nike’s Knight, Wife Pledge $500 Million to Cancer Research

Nike Inc. Chairman Philip Knight and his wife Penny Knight pledged $500 million to jumpstart a $1 billion cancer research initiative at Oregon Health & Science University.

“It is incumbent on every one of us to do what he or she can to keep the miracles coming,” Knight said in remarks announcing the challenge at a gala for the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU on Sept. 20. The gift is contingent on the university raising an additional $500 million for cancer within two years.

In 2008, the Knights contributed $100 million to OHSU. At the time, it was the largest gift in the Portland, Oregon, school’s history and the existing cancer center was subsequently renamed the Knight Cancer Institute.

In 2006, Knight gave $105 million to the Stanford Graduate School of Business to begin construction of a complex now known as the Knight Management Center. He earned his master’s degree in business administration at the university.

The Knights also pledged $100 million in 2007 to the University of Oregon in Eugene, at that time the largest donation in the school’s history. Knight was a track athlete at the school, from which he graduated in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

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