Widgets Magazine

Trustees elect new chair, Steven Denning MBA ’78

The University Board of Trustees elected a new chair at its February meeting, current chair Leslie Hume ‘71 Ph.D. ‘79 announced in a press briefing Monday. Steven A. Denning MBA ‘78, current vice chair, will replace Hume on July 1. Hume praised the work of Denning, chairman of General Atlantic Partners LLC, a worldwide private equity firm he co-founded in 1980.


“I could not be more pleased that Steve is willing to take on this leadership role,” Hume said, referencing his impressive and varied leadership roles, including his work co-chairing The Stanford Challenge, the Endowment Strategic Review Committee and President Hennessy’s advisory committee on the University’s proposal for a New York City applied sciences campus. Denning also chaired the Stanford Task Force on Globalization.


Prior to his time at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), Denning served six years in the U.S. Navy and received an M.S. from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. Denning earned his B.S. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1970. He lives in Greenwich, Conn., with his wife Roberta Bowman ‘75 MBA ‘78, and their two children: Robert MBA ‘11 and Carrie ‘08 MA ‘09. Denning has served on the Board since his 2004 appointment.


In 2008, the Dennings gifted $13 million to the University to endow the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SICA) directorship and to provide endowed funds for SICA programming, in addition to establishing MFA fellowships for graduate students in the fine arts.


Distance learning


Another significant discussion topic of the Board’s February meetings was distance learning. Hume characterized a panel on the topic as the chance for the trustees to entertain three issues: the history of distance learning at Stanford and elsewhere, the experience of three courses offered online this past fall and what Stanford’s mission regarding distance learning will be in the future.


The trustees also heard a panel on entrepreneurship and took a moment to “celebrate and savor” the successful conclusion of The Stanford Challenge, a five-year, all-inclusive fundraising drive that raised $6.2 billion in pledges to the University, Hume said.


The Board also passed project and construction approval for several campus renovations, including the Stanford Research Computing Facility at SLAC.


–Margaret Rawson