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A Brief History of Stanford University

The prestige and fame of Stanford

From the founders of Google (Larry Page), the person who sent an electronic car to space (Elon Musk), India’s richest person (Mukesh Ambani), the CEO of Google (Sundar Pichai), the world-famous golf player (Tiger Woods) makes the alumni of this prestigious university. But where did it all begin and how did Stanford University turn out to be so big that its acceptance rate as it stands today is a mere 4.77%? Let’s find out.

Where it all began

Founded by Leland Stanford, the U.S. senator and former governor of California, along with his wife, Jane Stanford named this place in the honor of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr. who died days before his 16th birthday to typhoid. Stanford Jr. used to study in Harvard university before he died. To enliven his great memory and help humankind, Leland Stanford told his wife “The children of California will be our children”.

Stanfords also supposed to have visited Charles Eliot, Harvard’s president at the time and enquired about whether they should build a museum, technical school or a university. To the Stanfords’ surprise, it would cost $5 million to establish a full-fledged university. Looking towards his wife the Leland is supposed to have said, ”We could manage that, couldn’t we”? To which Jane Stanford nodded in agreement and held his hand. So, Harvard is where the idea of opening up Stanford came up. But it was the zeal and passion for education that helped the place in achieving supreme heights.

To give the readers an idea about the principles on which the university was founded, there is a list of ideals that the founders followed:

The trustees of Stanford will have the power and it would be their duty:

  • To establish and maintain at the University an educational system, that will fit the graduates for some useful pursuit, and towards this end to cause the students, to declare their particular calling in life, which they may desire to pursue.
  • To prohibit sectarian instructions and knowledge based on a particular sect, rather have taught in the University the immortality of the soul, the existence of an all-wise and benevolent Creator, and that obedience to His laws would be the highest duty of man.
  • To have taught in the University about the rights and advantages of one’s association and co-operation with mankind at large.
  • To afford an equal amount of facilities and give equal advantages to both the sexes.

Finances and complications

After the death of Leland Stanford in 1893, the existence of the university was in jeopardy thanks to its weakening finances and a $15 government law-suit against the university. The trustees agreed on the decision that the university be closed down for a while until the expenses are found. However, Jane Stanford was adamantly against this decision and insisted that the university remained open. She even sold the precious jewelry gifted by her husband on various occasions. George Crothers, the alumnus, and law graduate helped Jane in mending the legal defects in the university’s charter and lobbied for a tax exemption for the university. All these efforts came to the rescue of Stanford and helped regain its place in the education sector.

Bright past and promising future

In 2012, Stanford became the first American university to have opened a campus at an Asian University (Peking University). Additionally, its multidisciplinary approach in advance research into the historical, philosophical, literary and cultural understanding has furthered the cause of humankind. More than 30 campuses that cater to humanities with distinguished graduates have become the most popular in creating a new understanding of the world and the place of humanity in it.

FAQ

Which famous personalities are alumni of Stanford University?

The founders of Google (Larry Page), the person who sent an electronic car to space (Elon Musk), India’s richest person (Mukesh Ambani), the CEO of Google (Sundar Pichai), the world-famous golf player (Tiger Woods) makes the alumni of this prestigious university.

What is the acceptance rate of Stanford University?

The acceptance rate of Stanford University is a mere 4.77%

How did Stanford University recover from its weak finances after the death of Leland Stanford in 1893?

After the death of Leland Stanford in 1893, the existence of the university was in jeopardy thanks to its weakening finances and a $15 government law-suit against the university. The trustees agreed on the decision that the university be closed down for a while until the expenses are found. However, Jane Stanford was adamantly against this decision and insisted that the university remained open. She even sold the precious jewelry gifted by her husband on various occasions. George Crothers, the alumnus, and law graduate helped Jane in mending the legal defects in the university’s charter and lobbied for a tax exemption for the university. All these efforts came to the rescue of Stanford and helped regain its place in the education sector.

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