Elon Musk, the visionary entrepreneur and CEO of companies like Tesla and SpaceX, is set to make another mark on Austin, Texas, with his ambitious plan to launch a university. The revelation comes from tax filings related to Musk’s newly established charity, “The Foundation,” as reported by Bloomberg.
Musk’s philanthropic endeavor begins with a substantial donation of over $100 million to establish a STEM-focused K-12 school in Austin. However, the long-term vision outlined in the filing indicates that the school aims to evolve into a university dedicated to providing education at the highest levels. The intention is to seek accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, a significant step towards establishing a credible institution.
This move is part of Musk’s broader initiative to shape Central Texas according to his vision. Having relocated to Austin during the pandemic, Musk has been actively involved in transformative projects, including the construction of a town named Snailbrook in Bastrop, intended to house employees from Tesla, SpaceX, and his tunneling venture, Boring Company.
The STEM school, a precursor to Musk’s university, is projected to begin with an inaugural class of 50 students. The application process reveals the need for key hires, including an executive director, teachers, and administrators.
Notably, Musk’s charitable foundation includes trustees such as Jared Birchall, head of Musk’s family office, and Steven Chidester, a tax attorney at Withersworldwide. This diverse group is tasked with overseeing the realization of Musk’s educational vision.
Musk’s commitment to education is not a new venture. In 2014, he established a small, private school in Los Angeles for his children and the children of his employees. Correspondence obtained by the Wall Street Journal indicates his plans to convert a Bastrop residence into a Montessori school for up to 15 students.
This announcement follows the recent launch of the University of Austin, a new institution founded to counter perceived “illiberalism” on college campuses. With Musk’s foray into education, Austin is becoming a focal point for innovative and influential educational initiatives, shaping the future of learning in the region.