The University of Oregon announced that it has received a lead gift of $500 million from Nike's co-founder and his spouse, Phil and Penny Knight. The university said it was creating the Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, which is meant to fast-track scientific discoveries and to the turn them into innovations that improve the quality of life for people in Oregon and beyond. Knight earned his business degree at the university while forming part of the track team led by Bill Bowerman, the other Nike founder. The Knights have already supported the university over the years but the latest gift enables the university to invest in research on another scale. The University of Oregon said in a report on its website that the $500 million lead gift is the largest ever for a public flagship institution, while a few other mega-gifts have gone to private institutions, medical schools or multi-university partnerships. The vision for the Knight Campus, estimated at more than $1 billion and to be largely donor-funded, is to fully develop over the next decade.

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