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Donors Support Sports Science

A new philanthropic gift is boosting support for pioneering methodology that improves student-athletes’ performance and quality of life.

Bernard Muir, Marie Shipman, '78, and Alex Shipman smile and stand together

(Left to right) Bernard Muir, Marie Shipman, ’78, and Alex Shipman

Marie, ’78, and Alex Shipman have made a gift to name the Marie and Alex Shipman Director of Sports Performance and Applied Sports Science, a position that is part of the athletics department’s Cardinal Strong program. This interdisciplinary initiative is leveraging resources across the university to provide Stanford student-athletes with services supporting their success in all aspects of their lives.

“We are incredibly grateful for Marie and Alex’s generosity, and for their passion for the Cardinal,” said Bernard Muir, the Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics. “Their gift will help our student-athletes enhance their performance and attain the level of excellence we strive for every day on the Farm.”

Marie Shipman received her bachelor’s degree in economics at Stanford in 1978 and became a commercial real estate developer and investor, focusing primarily on retail and shopping center properties. Alex Shipman is a retired real estate attorney and former CFO of an NYSE listed company. Together, they are avid sports enthusiasts and Cardinal fans; they frequently hit the road, traveling to cheer on Cardinal student-athletes both on The Farm and at away competitions around the country. When choosing how to support the Cardinal, they were intrigued by the multi-disciplinary and collaborative nature of the Cardinal Strong program, which partners with university researchers to advance sports science and benefit student-athletes.

“Alex and I believe deeply in the mission of Stanford Athletics,” Marie said. “This gift is intended to help Stanford student-athletes perform and compete at the highest levels by integrating science and performance, reflecting the collaborative approach that Stanford has embraced. We are thankful for this opportunity to be part of the outstanding sports legacy Stanford student-athletes, coaches, and donors have created.”

Tyler Friedrich, the inaugural Marie and Alex Shipman Director of Sports Performance and Applied Sports Science, oversees the strength and conditioning and sports science efforts for each of Stanford’s Olympic sports programs. Cutting-edge technology and collaboration with campus partners, including researchers at the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute, put Friedrich and his team at the forefront of research. This new knowledge helps them fulfill their objectives of improving student-athletes’ performance abilities and reduce the incidence of injury.

“It is exciting to see donors recognizing all the elements that go into performing at a championship level and investing in our student-athletes’ success,” said Friedrich. “I deeply appreciate the Shipmans’ passion for sports science and am honored to represent them as the inaugural holder of the position.”