August 10, 2016

Nike co-founder Phil Knight joins anniversary celebration lineup

The Tiger Woods Foundation’s 20th anniversary party, “A Celebration of Unexpected Champions,” promises to be a night highlighting trailblazers and icons. To add to our growing list of luminaries, the Tiger Woods Foundation is pleased to announce that NIKE, Inc. co-founder and visionary Phil Knight will be a featured guest at the Oct. 20 celebration at the famed New York Public Library in New York City. Knight will join event host Tiger Woods and fellow guest, broadcast journalist Charlie Rose, on stage for an intimate conversation focusing on philanthropy. 

Knight, a longtime friend of the Tiger Woods Foundation, is the chairman emeritus of NIKE, Inc. Knight led Nike from a small partnership founded on a handshake to the world’s largest footwear, apparel and equipment company. He served as its president from 1968 to 1990 and from June 2000 to 2004. Prior to 1968, Knight was a certified public accountant with Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand, and was an assistant professor of business administration at Portland State University. 

With its ubiquitous “swoosh” sign, Nike is the leading athletic apparel company in the world. A college athlete himself, Knight built his company on the foundation of meeting the needs of his fellow athletes by offering a high-quality running shoe. Knight met that goal and soared far beyond. For over 50 years, the multibillion-dollar company has not only brought innovation to athletics, but Knight and his team have been true advocates of promoting the idea that greatness lies within everyone, a philosophy shared by Woods himself. 

Through his generous philanthropy over the years, Knight has been a steadfast supporter of both education and athletics. A graduate of the University of Oregon and Stanford Graduate School of Business, he has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to both schools. With his most recent donation, Knight pledged $400 million to Stanford’s scholars program, with the goal of recruiting top graduate students to the institution to tackle social and environmental challenges. To date, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program is one of the world’s largest fully funded scholarship endowments. 

Knight’s generosity was recognized by the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, which inducted him in 2000 for his vast contributions to sports in Oregon. In 2012, Knight was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, where he was recognized for Nike’s support of U.S. basketball and its players. Most recently, Knight was welcomed into the 2015 American Academy of the Arts and Sciences membership class for his many contributions to business and philanthropic leadership. 

At our “Celebration of Unexpected Champions,” guests will have the pleasure of learning more about Nike’s origin story, Knight’s innovation and leadership, and his deep-seated commitment to educating our children. By bringing together unique voices and stories from a broad group of changemakers and visionaries, our 20th anniversary celebration is surely an event that cannot be missed. We hope you’ll join us. 

Join us for a Celebration of Unexpected Champions.