Stanford University raises record-breaking $1bn

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Stanford University has become the first US college to raise more than $1bn (£650m) in a year.

The California institution ranked first in the 2012 Council for Aid to Education's survey, for the eighth straight year.

The report found that 3,500 US universities raised a total of $31bn, 2.3% more than the previous year.

The top 10 schools, including Harvard and Yale, accounted for 17% of the total fundraising efforts.

But the total was just short of the all-time record in 2008.

Top 10 fundraising universities

1. Stanford University, $1.035bn

2. Harvard University, $650m

3. Yale University, $544m

4. University of Southern California, $492m

5. Columbia University, $490m

6. Johns Hopkins University, $480m

7. University of Pennsylvania, $441m

8. University of California, Berkeley, $405m

9. New York University, $396m

10. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, $379m

"We're climbing out of the doldrums," said survey director Ann Kaplan. "We haven't returned to the high point of 2008, but we're approaching it. I think you can say that about a lot of industries."

Stanford's record-breaking number was helped by a surge of donations at the end of a multi-year fundraising campaign, as well as a new campaign for its hospitals and medical schools.

The school's alumni list includes the founders of major tech companies such as Yahoo who have donated to the school in recent years.

The university received donations from nearly 79,000 donors, including $100m from Robert King, a Silicon Valley investor, to establish a centre on developing economies.

Martin Shell, Stanford's vice-president for development, called it a "remarkable showing of generosity".

"Higher education for most people represents hope for a better future, and donors want to invest in that."

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