There really is no easy answer for this. It really depends on what your students will be doing, how you set up the operating system, etc.
But here is an "easy answer" for you to tell your boss: Dual Xeon 3.4Ghz processors, 4Gb RAM.
Disclaimer: this is not a requirement for Moodle, and most sites will never need this much, it's just a machine that will give you the least problems under the load of 1000 simultaneous students.
Hardware and performance
what are the h/w configurations required for 1000 users
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