Stanford University was founded by wealthy California pioneers and founders of the Central Pacific Railroad in 1885 as a memorial to their only son, Leland Jr. The Stanfords donated their land grant to the university with the stipulation that it be used solely for educational purposes.
The university began as a coeducational school with an agricultural focus which expanded into offering degrees in aeronautics in 1905.
Today, Stanford is one of the world’s leading research universities, producing three Nobel laureates and home to 74 billionaires. The university also contributes significantly to Silicon Valley’s economy.
The Foundation of Stanford University
Stanford University is a private research university in Stanford, California. Stanford was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr., who had died of typhoid fever at age 15 the previous year.
Stanford’s 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus is one of the largest in the United States. It is located in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately 37 miles southeast of San Francisco. Stanford also has land and facilities elsewhere.
The university was founded as a coeducational and non-denominational institution, with no association with any religious denomination. Stanford opened to graduate students on October 1, 1891, making it the first large American university to have graduated classes.
The Stanfords: A Wealthy Railroad Family’s
Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane Stanford, donated their land grant to the university with the stipulation that it be used solely for educational purposes. The university is named after their only child, Leland Stanford Jr., who died of typhoid fever at the age of 15.
The original foundation document states the the university’s objective is “to qualify its students for personal success, and direct usefulness in life” and its purpose “to promote the public welfare by exercising an influence in behalf of humanity and civilization.”
The Stanfords employed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to create the designs for the campus grounds. He is best known for designing Central Park and Prospect Park in New York. He also designed the Niagara Reservation (Niagara Falls) & the University of California, Berkeley.
The Stanfords’ generous donation helped to establish Stanford as one of the leading universities in the United States.
Stanford Started as a Coeducational School with an Agricultural Focus
At the bequest of the Stanford’s the university was originally designed as a coeducational school with an agricultural focus.
The Main Quadrangle, which is the heart of the Stanford campus, was completed in 1887. Stanford enrolled its first students, 555 of which 130 were women, in 1891.
The school was originally called “the Farm” because of its location in Santa Clara County and also because the Stanford students were heavily involved in the development of California’s agriculture industry.
Stanford First University Breaking New Ground.
The university was originally conceived as a way to prepare students for careers in the railroads and other industries that were booming at the time. In 1905, Stanford became the first university in the United States to offer degrees in aeronautics.
However, when the great depression hit in 1929, Stanford was hit hard. Tuition revenue dried up, and many students were forced to drop out. The university was forced to make severe budget cuts, and several faculty members were let go.
Stanford survived the great depression due to its endowment, which was created by the sale of timberland and farmland owned by the university. The endowment allowed Stanford to maintain its operations during the economic downturn.
Even with the endowment Stanford’s president at the time, David Starr Jordan, was forced to take a pay cut. Despite these difficulties, Stanford managed to survive the great depression and went on to become one of the world’s leading universities.
How Did the World Wars Effect Stanford?
During the World Wars, Stanford served as an training ground for soldiers in the US military. In addition, the university also hosted War Research Laboratories that conducted research on behalf of the government.
Stanford’s proximity to San Francisco also made it a major hub for war production, with many companies setting up plants and facilities in the area. The wars had a major impact on Stanford, both during and after the conflict.
The Early History of Stanford University.
Stanford Sr. served as the university’s first president until his death in 1893. During his second year at Stanford he hired David Starr Jordan, the former president of Indiana University (1884 to 1891). Under Jordan’s leadership from 1891 to 1913, Stanford achieved prominence as one of the leading research universities in the United States.
A versatile naturalist, Jordan helped Stanford earn a reputation for excellence in such fields as botany, biology, zoology, geology, anthropology, archaeology, and paleontology. During this period Stanford also built its first hospital (1898) and business school (1900), established a law school (1901), and founded what is now the School of Earth Sciences (1902).
Not all of Jordan’s ideas about Stanford were successful; he once proposed that only men be allowed to attend the university.
The first African American student at Stanford was Ernest Houston Johnson, 1894. He was popular and graduted with a B.A. Economics in 1895.
7. The University has Produced Many Exceptional Graduates.
Stanford’s alumni include 17 astronauts, 18 Turing Award winners, and 225 Rhodes Scholars. The university has also produced Fulbright Scholars and Marshall Scholars. Stanford has the second-largest endowment per student in the United States.
Stanford also has a strong commitment to social responsibility and philanthropy. The university has an endowment of $37.8 billion, which it uses to support its research and educational programs.
8. World-Renowned Programs in Business, Engineering, Law, Medicine, and Education.
Stanford consistently ranks its business school among the top in the world, and Stanford Law School has produced more Supreme Court justices than any other law school in the country.
Stanford Medicine leads in cutting-edge research and patient care, while the Stanford School of Education earns renown for its innovative approaches to teaching and learning.
Stanford Universities Contributions to Silicon Valley.
Stanford University is located in the heart of Silicon Valley, and it has a long history of contributing to the area’s economy. In 1885, the founders established Stanford, which rapidly emerged as a hub for technological innovation.
In the early days of the Valley, Stanford served as a incubator for startups and established companies alike. Today, Stanford continues to be a major driver of economic growth in the region. The university is home to a number of world-class research facilities, and it attracts top talent from around the globe.
Stanford also provides substantial support to local businesses and entrepreneurs. In addition to its direct economic impact, Stanford also plays an important role in shaping the Valley’s culture and identity. As Silicon Valley’s largest and most prestigious university, Stanford helps to define what it means to be part of the region.
From its earliest days, Stanford has been integral to the growth and success of Silicon Valley.
Most people believe that in order to be creative, you have to be intelligent. This is a myth. In fact, research has shown that once you get beyond an I.Q. of about 120, intelligence and creativity are not related at all. That means anyone can be creative if they are willing to work at it.
Wealthy California pioneers and founders of the Central Pacific Railroad founded Stanford University in 1885 as a memorial to their only son, Leland Jr. The Stanfords generously donated their land grant to the university, stipulating its sole use for educational purposes.
The university began as a coeducational school with an agricultural focus which expanded into offering degrees in aeronautics in 1905. The university also contributes significantly to Silicon Valley’s economy. If you’re looking for a world-class institution with a wealth of opportunities, look no further than Stanford University.