Stanford University

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Establishment and Early Years
– Founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford
– Opened in 1891 on Stanford’s Palo Alto farm
– Modeled after Cornell University in New York
– Early faculty members were former Cornell affiliates
– Embraced accessible, non-sectarian education for both men and women

Campus and Architecture
– Campus occupies 8,180 acres
– Architectural style inspired by early Spanish adobe houses
– Buildings feature one-story design, deep window seats, and open fireplaces
– Roof covered with dark red tiles
– Designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted

Expansion and Professional Schools
– Stanford University School of Medicine established in 1908
– Law department transitioned into a professional law school in 1908
– Stanford Graduate School of Education became a professional graduate school in 1917
– Stanford Graduate School of Business founded in 1925
– The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace started in 1919

Influence on Silicon Valley
– Frederick Terman encouraged engineering graduates to start their own companies
– Stanford Industrial Park established in the 1950s
– William Shockley, co-inventor of the silicon transistor, founded Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory
– Presence of high-tech and semiconductor firms contributed to the establishment of Silicon Valley
– Terman and Shockley are considered the fathers of Silicon Valley

Achievements and Notable Affiliations
– Stanford has won 131 NCAA team championships, the most of any university
– Stanford students and alumni have won at least 296 Olympic medals
– Affiliated with 58 Nobel laureates, 29 Turing Award laureates, and 8 Fields Medalists
– Successful in attracting funding for start-ups, with alumni-founded companies producing over $2.7 trillion in annual revenue
– Alma mater of U.S. President Herbert Hoover, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rishi Sunak, 74 billionaires, and 17 astronauts

Stanford University (officially Leland Stanford Junior University) is a private research university in Stanford, California. The campus occupies 8,180 acres (3,310 hectares), among the largest in the United States, and enrolls over 17,000 students. Its influence, wealth, and rankings have made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Stanford University
Leland Stanford Junior University
MottoDie Luft der Freiheit weht (German)
Motto in English
"The wind of freedom blows"
TypePrivate research university
Established1891; 133 years ago (1891)
FounderLeland and Jane Stanford
Academic affiliations
Endowment$36.5 billion (2023)
Budget$8.2 billion (2022–23)
PresidentRichard Saller (interim)
ProvostJenny Martinez
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students17,246 (Fall 2021)
Undergraduates7,858 (Fall 2021)
Postgraduates9,388 (Fall 2021)
Location, ,
United States 37°25′39″N 122°10′12″W / 37.42750°N 122.17000°W / 37.42750; -122.17000
CampusLarge suburb, 8,180 acres (33.1 km2)
Other campuses
NewspaperThe Stanford Daily
ColorsCardinal red and white    
Sporting affiliations
MascotStanford Tree (unofficial – no official university mascot) Edit this at Wikidata

Stanford University was founded in 1885 by Leland Stanford—a railroad magnate who served as the eighth governor of and then-incumbent senator from California—and his wife, Jane, in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr., who had died of typhoid fever aged 15 the previous year. The university admitted its first students on October 1, 1891, as a coeducational and non-denominational institution. Stanford University struggled financially after Leland's death in 1893 and again after much of the campus was damaged by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Following World War II, Frederick Terman, the university's provost, inspired and supported faculty and graduates entrepreneurialism to build a self-sufficient local industry, which would later be known as Silicon Valley.

The university is organized around seven schools on the same campus: three schools consisting of 45 academic departments at the undergraduate level, as well as four professional schools that focus on graduate programs in law, medicine, education, and business. The university also houses the Hoover Institution, a public policy think-tank. Students compete in 36 varsity sports, and the university is one of two private institutions in the Division I FBS Pac-12 Conference. As of May 26, 2022, Stanford has won 131 NCAA team championships, more than any other university, and was awarded the NACDA Directors' Cup for 25 consecutive years, beginning in 1994. In addition, by 2021, Stanford students and alumni had won at least 296 Olympic medals including 150 gold and 79 silver medals.

As of April 2021, 58 Nobel laureates, 29 Turing Award laureates, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with Stanford as students, alumni, faculty, or staff. In addition, Stanford is particularly noted for its entrepreneurship and is one of the most successful universities in attracting funding for start-ups. Stanford alumni have founded numerous companies, which combined produce more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue. Stanford is the alma mater of U.S. President Herbert Hoover, the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rishi Sunak, 74 living billionaires, and 17 astronauts. In academia, its alumni include the presidents and provosts of Yale, Harvard and Princeton. It is also one of the leading producers of Fulbright Scholars, Marshall Scholars, Gates Cambridge Scholars, Rhodes Scholars, and members of the United States Congress.

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