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Our History

Through a generous endowment from Charles and Helen Schwab, the Schwab Learning Center (SLC) at Stanford University opened its doors to academically gifted students with Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) during the 2001-2002 academic year.  From its inception, the SLC was designed to be a supportive learning environment offering comprehensive, innovative programs and services enabling students to not only succeed but also to flourish at the University. The goal of the program is to provide services that go above and beyond those required by law.

Mr. Schwab received both his undergraduate degree and MBA at Stanford before going on to found the nation’s first and largest discount brokerage firm. Growing up in the Sacramento Valley, Mr. Schwab was unaware that he is dyslexic (a language-related learning disability that makes reading difficult).  He relied on Classic Comic Books to struggle through reading assignments in elementary school.  College courses in English and French were extremely challenging but Mr. Schwab excelled in math, science, economics, and athletics. It was only as an adult that Mr. Schwab learned that he is dyslexic and finally understood the reason for his reading and writing difficulties.

Current and future generations of Stanford students who have learning and/or attention disorders are fortunate to benefit directly from Mr. Schwab’s acknowledgment publicly of his personal experience with dyslexia along with his affiliation with the University.  The creation of the Schwab Learning Center, along with a need-based scholarship program, is an enduring gift to ensure that talented students with learning differences enjoy a successful, rewarding educational experience at Stanford, and now throughout life.