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Our Donors

We express our deep gratitude for our donors’ foresight in ensuring a solid foundation for the study of Islam and Muslim societies at Stanford University, and invite you to explore ways to support our activities.

Sohaib and Sara Abbasi

Stanford University’s School of Humanities and Sciences announced in September 2003 a gift of $2.5 million from Sohaib and Sara Abbasi to establish and endow a new Program in Islamic Studies. With matching funds from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s gift to the school, the program’s core endowment totalled $5 million.

Sohaib and Sara Abbasi
“Our decision to endow this program at Stanford is based on a desire to see expanded opportunities for the study of Islam in Stanford’s curriculum,” stated Sohaib Abbasi, a former executive at Oracle. “We are privileged to participate in the formation of the Islamic Studies Program at Stanford that will foster a better understanding of Islam, Muslims and the Islamic civilization. We look forward to Stanford becoming one of the pre-eminent institutions for Islamic studies in North America.”


Stanford University is recognized as one of the premier institutions of higher learning in the world. By significantly expanding the university’s existing curriculum, the university plans to create a center of excellence in Islamic studies that will provide both a core understanding of Islam – its tenets, culture and history – and an understanding of the relationship of Islam to contemporary politics and society.

Lysbeth Warren Anderson

The Lysbeth Warren Anderson professorship in Islamic Studies has been established with a gift from Lysbeth Warren Anderson (Lysbeth Warren Anderson is also known, since her 2002 marriage to John Working, as Lysbeth Working; she retains her previous name in Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences communications) and with matching funds from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The chair holder will be a faculty member specializing in Islam in the Department of Religious Studies and a leader in the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies within the School of Humanities and Sciences.

Lysbeth Warren Anderson

An alumna of the School of Humanities and Sciences, Lysbeth earned her bachelor’s degree in 1954, majoring in social science and social thought. Her many interests include population problems, environmental protection, community healthcare, and educational policy issues. Extensive world travel allows her to blend interests in adventure, anthropology, geology, history, religion, and birding.


Lysbeth has been a long-time supporter and volunteer for Stanford. Her past gifts include the school’s endowed deanship, the Vernon R. and Lysbeth Warren Anderson Dean of Humanities and Sciences.


For questions, please contact Associate Director Dr. Zack Al-Witri at or (650) 736 8169.