Located between San Francisco and San Jose, Stanford University is recognized as one of the world’s leading research and teaching institutions, a happy outcome for an institution that was created from tragedy.
In 1876, wealthy former California Governor Leland Stanford and his wife Jane purchased land for a country home and began the development of their Palo Alto farm. With subsequent purchases, the farm eventually totaled more than 8,000 acres. Tragically, their only child died of typhoid fever in 1884, on his 16th birthday, when the family was traveling in Italy. The Stanfords set about to find a lasting way to memorialize their son.
The couple chose to build a university on their land, and hired famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to create the plan. In 1891 Stanford University opened its doors, after six years of planning and building, to 555 men and women and a faculty of 15.
Today Stanford University is home to more than 15,000 graduate and undergraduate students. The university is organized into seven schools including academic schools of Humanities and Sciences and Earth Sciences as well as professional schools of Business, Education, Engineering, Law, and Medicine. Stanford is a founding member of the Association of American Universities and in 2010 managed $1.15 billion in research funding and $13.8 billion in endowment support.
More than 50 Stanford faculty, staff, and alumni have won the Nobel Prize. Stanford faculty and alumni have founded many prominent technology companies including Cisco Systems, Google, Hewlett-Packard, LinkedIn, Netscape Communications, Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems and Yahoo!.