About Stanford University
Founded: 1885, by railroad magnate and politician Leland Stanford, who also served California as a Governor and Senator.
Campus Size: Situated on an 8,200-acres campus, Stanford is located 20 miles northwest of San Jose and 37 miles southeast of San Francisco—in the northwestern area of Silicon Valley.
Scientific Leader: Stanford is light years ahead of other universities where scientific and technology research are concerned. Key solid-state technology research took place at Stanford in the thirty years between 1955 and 1985. By the late 1960s, the Stanford Research Institute was operating one of the original nodes that comprised ARPANET, the predecessor to the Internet. And the Stanford National Accelerator Laboratory conducts important experimental and theoretical research in elementary particle physics—research that requires the use of electron beams synchrotron radiation. Most recently, the University has built the world’s largest facility dedicated exclusively to stem cell research.
Famous Alumni: Nineteen of Stanford’s present faculty members have won the Nobel Prize. The alma mater of 30 living billionaires, 17 astronauts and many members of Congress, Stanford exudes excellence wherever its faculty and alumni go. Attendees have included sports figures like Tiger Woods, Jim Plunkett and John McEnroe. Stanford’s alumni features entertainment figures such as film directors Jay Roach (Meet the Parents, Austin Powers), Alexander Payne (The Descendants, Sideways) and David Chase (The Sopranos). Major writers who have attended Stanford include John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath), Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) and Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove).
Local Attractions: Families can enjoy plenty of attractions at Stanford, such as touring the famous Hanna House (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright), the Cantor Arts Center, the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve or Stanford’s famed “Red Barn.” Take any number of guided or self-guided nature walks, hike the Stanford Foothills and be astounded by the natural beauty of the area.
Cool Facts: Stanford’s founder and namesake, Leland Stanford, sponsored a series of stop-action photographic experiments that led directly to the invention of motion pictures. The first “movie” experiments were filmed in 1878 in a barn that’s now part of the Stanford campus.
Stanford University has become synonymous with cutting-edge academic research, especially where science and computer technology are concerned. It’s no accident that Silicon Valley sprang up near Stanford; the school’s faculty and alumni have founded many prominent technology companies, such as Hewlett-Packard, Google, Sun Microsystems, Netflix, Electronic Arts and Yahoo! “Forbes” magazine once even stated, “It is almost impossible to name a leading-edge company in Silicon Valley that isn’t closely associated with Stanford.” The university is organized into seven distinct schools that serve a total enrollment of more than 15,000 students. In 2011, The Times Higher Education World University Rankings selected Stanford as the world leader among university humanities and social sciences programs.
Stanford area map