The university is organized around seven schools on the same campus: three schools consisting of 40 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 public policy think tank, the
Hoover Institution. Students compete in 36 varsity sports, and the university is one of two private institutions in the
Division I FBSPac-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 1994–1995. In addition, by 2021, Stanford students and alumni had won at least
296 Olympic medals including 150 gold and 79 silver medals.
Stanford University was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford, dedicated to the memory of Leland Stanford Jr, their only child. The institution opened in 1891 on Stanford's previous Palo Alto farm.
Jane and Leland Stanford modeled their university after the great eastern universities, most specifically
Cornell University in
Ithaca, New York. Stanford was referred to as the "Cornell of the West" in 1891 due to a majority of its faculty being former Cornell affiliates (professors, alumni, or both), including its first president,
David Starr Jordan, and second president,
John Casper Branner. Both Cornell and Stanford were among the first to make higher education accessible, non-sectarian, and open to women as well as men. Cornell is credited as one of the first American universities to adopt that radical departure from traditional education, and Stanford became an early adopter as well.
From an architectural point of view, the Stanfords, particularly Jane, wanted their university to look different from the eastern ones, which had often sought to emulate the style of English university buildings. They specified in the founding grant that the buildings should "be like the old adobe houses of the early Spanish days; they will be one-storied; they will have deep window seats and open fireplaces, and the roofs will be covered with the familiar dark red tiles". This guides the campus buildings to this day. The Stanfords also hired renowned landscape architect
Frederick Law Olmsted, who previously designed the Cornell campus, to design the Stanford campus.
When Leland Stanford died in 1893, the continued existence of the university was in jeopardy due to a federal lawsuit against his estate, but Jane Stanford insisted the university remain in operation throughout the financial crisis. The university suffered major damage from the
1906 San Francisco earthquake; most of the damage was repaired, but a new library and gymnasium were demolished, and some original features of
Memorial Church and the
Quad were never restored.
Stanford limited Jewish student admissions during the 1950s. 
Stanford in the 1960s rose from a regional university to one of the most prestigious in the United States, "when it appeared on lists of the "top ten" universities in America... This swift rise to performance [was] understood at the time as related directly to the university's defense contracts..." Before the 1950s many regarded Stanford as being "a college for the children of wealthy parents".
In the following decades, however, controversies would damage the reputation of the school. The 1971
Stanford prison experiment was criticized as unethical, and the misuse of government funds from 1981 resulted in severe penalties to the school's research funding and the resignation of Stanford President
Donald Kennedy in 1992.
Most of Stanford is on an 8,180-acre (12.8 sq mi; 33.1 km2) campus, one of the largest in the United States.[note 2] It is on the
San Francisco Peninsula, in the northwest part of the
Santa Clara Valley (
Silicon Valley) approximately 37 miles (60 km) southeast of
San Francisco and approximately 20 miles (30 km) northwest of
San Jose. $4.5 billion was received by Stanford in 2006 and spent more than $2.1 billion in 2 counties named Santa Clara, and San Mateo. In 2008, 60% of this land remained undeveloped.
View of the main quadrangle of Stanford with Memorial Church in the center background from across the grass-covered Oval.
Stanford currently operates in various locations outside of its central campus.
On the founding grant:
Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve is a 1,200-acre (490 ha) natural reserve south of the central campus owned by the university and used by wildlife biologists for research. Researchers and students are involved in biological research. Professors can teach the importance of biological research to the biological community. The primary goal is to understand the system of the natural Earth.
Hopkins Marine Station, in
Pacific Grove, California, is a
marine biology research center owned by the university since 1892. Based on US Pacific Coast, it is one of the oldest marine laboratories. It includes 10 research laboratories and is also used for archaeological exploration purposes. A graduate student of the anthropology department discover some broken elements, which leads to proof that 100 years before it was home to a Chinese American fishing village.
Study abroad locations: unlike typical
study abroad programs, Stanford itself operates in several locations around the world; thus, each location has Stanford faculty-in-residence and staff in addition to students, creating a "mini-Stanford."
Redwood City campus for many of the university's administrative offices in
Redwood City, California, a few miles north of the main campus. In 2005, the university purchased a small, 35-acre (14 ha) campus in Midpoint Technology Park intended for staff offices; development was delayed by
The Great Recession. In 2015 the university announced a development plan and the Redwood City campus opened in March 2019.
The Bass Center in
Washington, D.C. provides a base, including housing, for the Stanford in Washington program for undergraduates. It includes a small art gallery open to the public.
China: Stanford Center at Peking University, housed in the Lee Jung Sen Building, is a small center for researchers and students in collaboration with
Lake Lagunita in winter; the Dish, a large radio telescope, and local landmark, is visible in the Stanford-owned foothills behind the lake and is the high point of a popular campus jogging and walking trail.
Many Stanford faculty members live in the "Faculty Ghetto," within walking or biking distance of campus. The Faculty Ghetto is composed of land owned by Stanford. Similar to a
condominium, the houses can be bought and sold but the land under the houses is rented on a 99-year lease. Houses in the "Ghetto" appreciate and depreciate, but not as rapidly as overall
Silicon Valley values. For faculty housing there are some changes that come from the date February 1, 2022.
The board appoints a president to serve as the chief executive officer of the university, to prescribe the duties of professors and course of study, to manage financial and business affairs, and to appoint nine vice presidents. The 11th and current president of Stanford University is
Marc Trevor Tessier-Lavigne, a Canadian-born
neuroscientist. The provost is the chief academic and budget officer, to whom the deans of each of the seven schools report.Persis Drell became the 13th provost in February 2017.
As of 2018, the university was organized into seven academic schools. The schools of
Humanities and Sciences (27 departments),Engineering (nine departments), and
Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (four departments) have both graduate and undergraduate programs while the Schools of
Business, have graduate programs only. A new
School of Sustainability will supersede the School of Earth, Energy, & Environmental Sciences in September 2022. The powers and authority of the faculty are vested in the Academic Council, which is made up of tenure and non-tenure line faculty, research faculty, senior fellows in some policy centers and institutes, the president of the university, and some other academic administrators. But most matters are handled by the Faculty Senate, made up of 54 elected representatives of the faculty for the year 2021–22.
The Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) is the student government for Stanford and all registered students are members. Its elected leadership consists of the Undergraduate Senate elected by the undergraduate students, the Graduate Student Council elected by the graduate students, and the President and Vice President elected as a
ticket by the entire student body.
Stanford is the beneficiary of a special clause in the
California Constitution, which explicitly exempts Stanford property from taxation so long as the property is used for educational purposes.
Endowment and donations
endowment, managed by the Stanford Management Company, was valued at $36.3 billion as of August 31, 2022. Payouts from the Stanford endowment covered approximately 21% of university expenses in the 2022 fiscal year. In the 2018 NACUBO-
TIAA survey of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, only
Harvard University, the
University of Texas System, and
Yale University had larger endowments than Stanford.
Golden spike on display at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University
In 2006, President
John L. Hennessy launched a five-year campaign called the Stanford Challenge, which reached its $4.3 billion fundraising goal in 2009, two years ahead of time, but continued fundraising for the duration of the campaign. It concluded on December 31, 2011, having raised $6.23 billion and breaking the previous campaign fundraising record of $3.88 billion held by Yale. Specifically, the campaign raised $253.7 million for undergraduate financial aid, as well as $2.33 billion for its initiative in "Seeking Solutions" to global problems, $1.61 billion for "Educating Leaders" by improving K-12 education, and $2.11 billion for "Foundation of Excellence" aimed at providing academic support for Stanford students and faculty. Funds supported 366 new fellowships for graduate students, 139 new endowed chairs for faculty, and 38 new or renovated buildings. The new funding also enabled the construction of a facility for stem cell research; a new campus for the business school; an expansion of the law school; a new Engineering Quad; a new art and art history building; an on-campus concert hall; the new Cantor Arts Center; and a planned expansion of the medical school, among other things. In 2012, the university raised $1.035 billion, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.
In April 2022, Stanford University announced a $75 million donation, in support of a multidisciplinary neurodegenerative brain disease research initiative at the university's Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute. The donation came from Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife Penny; hence The Phil and Penny Knight Initiative for Brain Resilience will explore cognitive declines from diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Stanford is considered by US News to be 'most selective', with an acceptance rate of 4%. Half of the applicants accepted to Stanford have an
SAT score between 1440 and 1570 or an
ACT score of 32 and 35. Admissions officials consider a student's GPA to be an important academic factor, with emphasis on an applicant's high school class rank and letters of recommendation. In terms of non-academic materials as of 2019, Stanford ranks extracurricular activities, talent/ability and character/personal qualities as 'very important' in making first-time, first-year admission decisions, while ranking the interview, whether the applicant is a first-generation university applicant,
legacy preferences, volunteer work and work experience as 'considered'.
Teaching and learning
Stanford follows a quarter system with the autumn quarter usually beginning in late September and the spring quarter ending in mid-June. The full-time, four-year undergraduate program has arts and sciences focus with high graduate student coexistence. Stanford is accredited by the
Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Stanford's admission process is need-blind for U.S. citizens and permanent residents; while it is not need-blind for international students, 64% are on need-based aid, with an average aid package of $31,411. In 2012–13, the university awarded $126 million in need-based financial aid to 3,485 students, with an average aid package of $40,460. Eighty percent of students receive some form of financial aid. Stanford has a no-loan policy. For undergraduates admitted starting in 2015, Stanford waives tuition, room, and board for most families with incomes below $65,000, and most families with incomes below $125,000 are not required to pay tuition; those with incomes up to $150,000 may have tuition significantly reduced. Seventeen percent of students receive
Pell Grants, a common measure of low-income students at a college. In 2022, Stanford started its first dual-enrollment computer science program for high school students from low-income communities as a pilot project which then inspired the founding of the Qualia Global Scholars Program. Stanford plans to expand the program to include courses in Structured Liberal Education and writing.
The Cantonese language had classes at Stanford until 2020, when the remaining Cantonese instructor was laid off.
Research centers and institutes
Hoover Tower, inspired by the cathedral tower at
Salamanca in Spain
classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity." The university's research expenditure in fiscal year 2021 was $1.69 billion and total sponsored projects was 7,900+. As of 2016 the Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research oversaw
eighteen independent laboratories, centers, and institutes. Dr. Kathryn Ann Moler is the key person for leading those research centers for choosing problems, faculty members, and students. Funding is also provided for undergraduate and graduate students by those labs, centers, and institutes for collaborative research.
Stanford is home to the
Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute which grew out of and still contains the Martin Luther King Jr. Papers Project, a collaboration with the
King Center to publish the King papers held by the King Center. It also runs the
John S. Knight Fellowship for Professional Journalists and the Center for Ocean Solutions, which brings together marine science and policy to address challenges facing the ocean. It focuses mainly 5 points, such as climate change, overfishing, coastal development, pollution and plastics.
The main library in the SU library system is the
Green Library, which also contains various meeting and conference rooms, study spaces, and reading rooms.
Lathrop Library (previously
Meyer Library, demolished in 2015), holds various student-accessible media resources and houses one of the largest
East Asia collections with 540,000 volumes.
Stanford University Press was founded in 1892. It published about 130 books per year has printed more than 3,000 books. It also has fifteen subject areas.
Stanford is home to the
Cantor Center for Visual Arts, a museum with 24 galleries, sculpture gardens, terraces, and a courtyard first established in 1891 by Jane and Leland Stanford as a memorial to their only child. The center's collection of works by
Rodin is among the largest in the world. The
Thomas Welton Stanford Gallery, which was built in 1917, serves as a teaching resource for the Department of Art & Art History as well as an exhibition venue. In 2014, Stanford opened the Anderson Collection, a new museum focused on postwar American art and founded by the donation of 121 works by food service moguls Mary and
Harry Anderson. There are outdoor art installations throughout the campus, primarily sculptures, but some murals as well. The Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden near Roble Hall features includes wood carvings and "
Slate in 2014 dubbed Stanford as "the Harvard of the 21st century".
In the same year The New York Times dubbed Harvard as the "Stanford of the East". In that article titled To Young Minds of Today, Harvard Is the Stanford of the EastThe New York Times concluded that "Stanford University has become America's 'it' school, by measures that Harvard once dominated." In 2019, Stanford University took 1st place on Reuters' list of the World's Most Innovative Universities for the fifth consecutive year. In 2022, Washington Monthly ranked Stanford at 1st position in their annual list of top universities in USA. In a 2022 survey by The Princeton Review, Stanford was ranked 1st among the top ten "dream colleges" of America, and was considered to be the ultimate "dream college" of both students and parents.Stanford Graduate School of Business was ranked 1st in the list of America's best business schools by
Bloomberg for 2022-23.
From polls of college applicants done by
The Princeton Review, every year from 2013 to 2020 the most commonly named "dream college" for students was Stanford; separately, parents, too, most frequently named Stanford their ultimate "dream college."
Vint Cerf (BS 1965), co-leader of the Stanford team that designed the architecture of the internet
Stanford Research Institute, formerly part of Stanford but on a separate campus, was the site of one of the four original ARPANET nodes. In the early 1970s, Bob Kahn & Vint Cerf's research project about Internetworking, later DARPA formulated it to the TCP(Transmission Control Program).
Internet—Stanford was the site where the original design of the Internet was undertaken.
Vint Cerf led a research group to elaborate the design of the Transmission Control Protocol (
TCP/IP) that he originally co-created with Robert E. Kahn (
Bob Kahn) in 1973 and which formed the basis for the architecture of the Internet.
Stanford is one of the most successful universities in creating companies and licensing its inventions to existing companies, and it is often considered a model for
technology transfer. Stanford's Office of Technology Licensing is responsible for commercializing university research, intellectual property, and university-developed projects.
The university is described as having a strong venture culture in which students are encouraged, and often
funded, to launch their own companies.
Companies founded by Stanford alumni generate more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue and have created some 5.4 million jobs since the 1930s. When combined, these companies would form the tenth-largest economy in the world.
Cisco, 1984: co-founders
Leonard Bosack (M.S) and
Sandy Lerner (M.S) were in charge of the Stanford Computer Science and the Graduate School of Business computer operations groups, respectively, when the hardware was developed
Stanford enrolled 6,996 undergraduate and 10,253 graduate students as of the 2019–2020 school year. Women made up 50.4% of undergraduates and 41.5% of graduate students. In the same academic year, the freshman retention rate was 99%.
Stanford awarded 1,819 undergraduate degrees, 2,393 master's degrees, 770 doctoral degrees, and 3270 professional degrees in the 2018–2019 school year. The four-year graduation rate for the class of 2017 cohort was 72.9%, and the six-year rate was 94.4%. The relatively low four-year graduation rate is a function of the university's coterminal degree (or "coterm") program, which allows students to earn a master's degree as a 1-to-2-year extension of their undergraduate program.
As of 2010, fifteen percent of undergraduates were first-generation students.
As of 2013, 89% of undergraduate students lived in on-campus university housing. First-year undergraduates are required to live on campus, and all undergraduates are guaranteed housing for all four undergraduate years. Undergraduates live in 80 different houses, including dormitories, co-ops,
row houses, and
fraternities and sororities. At Manzanita Park, 118
mobile homes were installed as "temporary" housing from 1969 to 1991, but as of 2015 was the site of newer dorms Castano, Kimball, Lantana, and the Humanities House, completed in 2015.
Most student residences are just outside the campus core, within ten minutes (on foot or bike) of most classrooms and libraries. Some are reserved for freshmen, sophomores, or upper-class students and some are open to all four classes. Most residences are co-ed; seven are all-male
fraternities, three are all-female
sororities, and there is also one all-female non-sorority house, Roth House. In most residences, men and women live on the same floor, but a few dorms are configured for men and women to live on separate floors (single-gender floors).
Many students use bicycles to get around the large campus.
Several residences are considered theme houses. The Academic, Language, and Culture Houses include EAST (Education and Society Themed House), Hammarskjöld (International Themed House), Haus Mitteleuropa (Central European Themed House), La Casa Italiana (Italian Language and Culture), La Maison Française (French Language and Culture House), Slavianskii Dom (Slavic/East European Themed House), Storey (Human Biology Themed House), and Yost (Spanish Language and Culture). Cross-Cultural Themed Houses include Casa Zapata (Chicano/Latino Theme in Stern Hall), Muwekma-tah-ruk (American Indian/Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Themed House), Okada (Asian-American Themed House in Wilbur Hall), and Ujamaa (Black/African-American Themed House in Lagunita Court). Focus Houses include
Freshman-Sophomore College (Academic Focus),
Branner Hall (Community Service), Kimball (Arts & Performing Arts), Crothers (Global Citizenship), and
Toyon (Sophomore Priority). Theme houses predating the current "theme" classification system are Columbae (Social Change Through Nonviolence, since 1970), and Synergy (Exploring Alternatives, since 1972).
Co-ops or "Self-Ops" are another housing option. These houses feature cooperative living, where residents and eating associates each contribute work to keep the house running, such as cooking meals or cleaning shared spaces. These houses have unique themes around which their community is centered. Many co-ops are hubs of music, art and philosophy. The co-ops on campus are 576 Alvarado Row (formerly Chi Theta Chi), Columbae, Enchanted Broccoli Forest (EBF), Hammarskjöld, Kairos, Terra (the unofficial
LGBT house), and Synergy. Phi Sigma, at 1018 Campus Drive was formerly
Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity, but in 1973 became a Self-Op.
As of 2015 around 55 percent of the graduate student population lived on campus. First-year graduate students are guaranteed on-campus housing. Stanford also subsidizes off-campus apartments in nearby
Menlo Park, and
Mountain View for graduate students who are guaranteed on-campus housing but are unable to live on campus due to a lack of space.
As of May 9, 2022, Stanford has won 130 NCAA team championships, more than any other school. Stanford has won at least one NCAA team championship each academic year for 46 consecutive years, starting in 1976–77 and continuing through 2021–22. The second-longest NCAA championship streak was 19 years, achieved by USC from 1959 to 1960 through 1977–78. As of January 1, 2022, Stanford athletes have won 529 NCAA individual championships. No other Division I school is within 100 of Stanford's total. Stanford won 25 consecutive NACDA Directors' Cups, from 1994 to 1995 through 2018–19, awarded annually to the most successful overall college sports program in the nation.
177 Stanford-affiliated athletes have won a total of 296 Summer Olympic medals (150 gold, 79 silver, 67 bronze), including 26 medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 27 medals at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. In the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, Stanford-affiliated athletes won 26 medals, more than any other university. Stanford athletes have won medals in every Summer Olympic Games since 1912.
"Hail, Stanford, Hail!" is the Stanford hymn sometimes sung at ceremonies or adapted by the various university singing groups. It was written in 1892 by mechanical engineering professor Albert W. Smith and his wife, Mary Roberts Smith (in 1896 she earned the first Stanford doctorate in economics and later became associate professor of sociology), but was not officially adopted until after a performance on campus in March 1902 by the
Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Big Game: The central football rivalry between Stanford and
UC Berkeley. First played in 1892, and for a time played by the universities' rugby teams, it is one of the oldest college rivalries in the United States.
Stanford Axe: A trophy earned by the winner of Big Game, exchanged only as necessary. The axe originated in 1899 when Stanford yell leader Billy Erb wielded a lumberman's axe to inspire the team. Stanford lost, and the Axe was stolen by Berkeley students following the game. In 1930, Stanford students staged an elaborate heist to recover the Axe. In 1933, the schools agreed to exchange it as a prize for winning Big Game. As of 2021, a restaurant centrally located on Stanford's campus is named "The Axe and Palm" in reference to the Axe.
Big Game Gaieties: In the week ahead of Big Game, a 90-minute original musical (written, composed, produced, and performed by the students of Ram's Head Theatrical Society) is performed in Memorial Auditorium.
Full Moon on the Quad: An annual event at
Main Quad, where students gather to kiss one another starting at midnight. Typically organized by the junior class cabinet, the festivities include live entertainment, such as music and dance performances.
Fountain Hopping: At any time of year, students tour Stanford's main campus fountains to dip their feet or swim in some of the university's 25 fountains.
Mausoleum Party: An annual
Halloween party at the
Stanford Mausoleum, the final resting place of
Leland Stanford Jr. and his parents. A 20-year tradition, the Mausoleum party was on hiatus from 2002 to 2005 due to a lack of funding, but was revived in 2006. In 2008, it was hosted in Old Union rather than at the actual Mausoleum, because rain prohibited generators from being rented. In 2009, after fundraising efforts by the Junior Class Presidents and the ASSU Executive, the event was able to return to the Mausoleum despite facing budget cuts earlier in the year.
Wacky Walk: At commencement, graduates forgo a more traditional entrance and instead stride into Stanford Stadium in a large procession wearing wacky costumes.
Steam Tunneling: Stanford has a network of underground brick-lined tunnels that conduct central heating to more than 200 buildings via steam pipes. Students sometimes navigate the corridors, rooms, and locked gates, carrying flashlights and water bottles.Stanford Magazine named steam tunneling one of the "101 things you must do" before graduating from the Farm in 2000.
Band Run: An annual festivity at the beginning of the school year, where the band picks up freshmen from dorms across campus while stopping to perform at each location, culminating in a finale performance at
Viennese Ball: a formal
waltzes that was initially started in the 1970s by students returning from the now-closed (since 1987) Stanford in
Vienna overseas program. It is now open to all students.
The long-unofficial motto of Stanford, selected by President Jordan, is "Die Luft der Freiheit weht." Translated from the German language, this quotation from
Ulrich von Hutten means, "The wind of freedom blows." The motto was controversial during World War I, when anything in German was suspect; at that time the university disavowed that this motto was official. It was made official by way of incorporation into an official seal by the board of trustees in December 2002.
Degree of Uncommon Man/Uncommon Woman: Stanford does not award honorary degrees, but in 1953 the "degree of Uncommon Man/Uncommon Woman" was created by Stanford Associates, part of the Stanford alumni organization, to recognize alumni who give rare and extraordinary service to the university. It is awarded not at prescribed intervals, but instead only when the president of the university deems it appropriate to recognize extraordinary service. Recipients include
Lucile Packard, and
Former campus traditions include the Big Game bonfire on
Lake Lagunita (a seasonal lake usually dry in the fall), which was formally ended in 1997 because of the presence of endangered
salamanders in the lake bed.
Students and staff at Stanford are of many different religions. The Stanford Office for Religious Life's mission is "to guide, nurture and enhance spiritual, religious and ethical life within the Stanford University community" by promoting enriching dialogue, meaningful ritual, and enduring friendships among people of all religious backgrounds. It is headed by a dean with the assistance of a senior associate dean and an associate dean.
Stanford Memorial Church, in the center of campus, has a Sunday University Public Worship service (UPW) usually in the "Protestant Ecumenical Christian" tradition where the Memorial Church Choir sings and a sermon is preached usually by one of the Stanford deans for Religious Life. UPW sometimes has multifaith services. In addition, the church is used by the Catholic community and by some of the other Christian denominations at Stanford. Weddings happen most Saturdays and the university has for over 20 years allowed blessings of same-gender relationships and now legal weddings.
In addition to the church, the Office for Religious Life has a Center for Inter-Religious Community, Learning, and Experiences (CIRCLE) on the third floor of Old Union. It offers a common room, an interfaith sanctuary, a seminar room, a student lounge area, and a reading room, as well as offices housing a number of Stanford Associated Religions (SAR) member groups and the Senior Associate Dean and Associate Dean for Religious Life. Most though not all religious student groups belong to SAR. The SAR directory includes organizations that serve atheist,
Bahá’í, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islam, Jewish, and Sikh groups, though these groups vary year by year.
The Windhover Contemplation Center was dedicated in October 2014, and was intended to provide spiritual sanctuary for students and staff in the midst of their course and work schedules; the center displays the "Windhover" paintings by
Nathan Oliveira, the late Stanford professor and artist.
Some religions have a larger and more formal presence on campus in addition to the student groups; these include the Catholic Community at Stanford and Hillel at Stanford.
Fraternities and sororities have been active on the Stanford campus since 1891 when the university first opened. In 1944, University President
Donald Tresidder banned all Stanford sororities due to extreme competition. However, following
Title IX, the Board of Trustees lifted the 33-year ban on sororities in 1977. Students are not permitted to join a fraternity or sorority until spring quarter of their freshman year.
As of 2016 Stanford had 31 Greek organizations, including 14 sororities and 16 fraternities. Nine of the Greek organizations were housed (eight in University-owned houses and one,
Sigma Chi, in their own house, although the land is owned by the university). Six chapters were members of the African American Fraternal and Sororal Association, 11 chapters were members of the Interfraternity Council, seven chapters belonged to the Intersorority Council, and six chapters belonged to the Multicultural Greek Council.
Stanford College Republicans tabling on campus in April 2022
As of 2020, Stanford had more than 600 student organizations. Groups are often, though not always, partially funded by the university via allocations directed by the student government organization, the ASSU. These funds include "special fees," which are decided by a Spring Quarter vote by the student body. Groups span athletics and recreation, careers/pre-professional, community service, ethnic/cultural, fraternities and sororities, health and counseling, media and publications, the arts, political and social awareness, and religious and philosophical organizations.
In contrast to many other selective universities, Stanford policy mandates that all recognized student clubs be "broadly open" for all interested students to join.
Stanford is home to a set of student journalism publications. The Stanford Daily is a student-run daily newspaper and has been published since the university was founded in 1892. The student-run radio station,
KZSU Stanford 90.1 FM, features freeform music programming, sports commentary, and news segments; it started in 1947 as an AM radio station.The Stanford Review is a conservative student newspaper founded in 1987.The Fountain Hopper (FoHo) is a financially independent, anonymous student-run campus
rag publication, notable for having broken the
Brock Turner story.
Stanford hosts numerous environmental and sustainability-oriented student groups, including Students for a Sustainable Stanford, Students for Environmental and Racial Justice, and Stanford Energy Club.
Stanford is also home to a large number of pre-professional student organizations, organized around missions from startup incubation to paid consulting. The
Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students (BASES) is one of the largest professional organizations in Silicon Valley, with over 5,000 members. Its goal is to support the next generation of entrepreneurs.StartX is a non-profit startup accelerator for student and faculty-led
startups. It is staffed primarily by students. Stanford Women In Business (SWIB) is an on-campus business organization, aimed at helping Stanford women find paths to success in the generally male-dominated technology industry. Stanford Marketing is a student group that provides students hands-on training through research and strategy consulting projects with
Fortune 500 clients, as well as workshops led by people from industry and professors in the
Stanford Graduate School of Business. Stanford Finance provides mentoring and internships for students who want to enter a career in finance. Stanford Pre Business Association is intended to build connections among industry, alumni, and student communities.
Other groups include:
The Stanford Axe Committee is the official guardian of the
Stanford Axe and the rest of the time assists the
Stanford Band as a supplementary spirit group. It has existed since 1982.
Stanford American Indian Organization (SAIO) which hosts the annual Stanford Powwow started in 1971. This is the largest student-run event on campus and the largest student-run powwow in the country.
The Stanford Improvisors (SImps for short) teach and perform improvisational theatre on campus and in the surrounding community. In 2014 the group finished second in the Golden Gate Regional College Improv tournament and they have since been invited twice to perform at the annual San Francisco Improv Festival.
Asha for Education is a national student group founded in 1991. It focuses mainly on education in India and supporting nonprofit organizations that work mainly in the education sector. Asha's Stanford chapter organizes events like
Holi as well as lectures by prominent leaders from India on the university campus.
Stanford's Department of Public Safety is responsible for law enforcement and safety on the main campus. Its deputy sheriffs are
peace officers by arrangement with the
Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office. The department is also responsible for publishing an annual crime report covering the previous three years as required by the
Clery Act. Fire protection has been provided by contract with the Palo Alto Fire Department since 1976.
Murder is rare on the campus, although a few cases have been notorious, including the 1974 murder of
Arlis Perry in Stanford Memorial Church, which was not solved until 2018. Also notorius was
Theodore Streleski's murder of his faculty advisor in 1978.
Campus sexual misconduct
In 2014, Stanford was the tenth highest in the nation in "total of reports of rape" on their main campus, with 26 reports of rape.
In Stanford's 2015 Campus Climate Survey, 4.7 percent of female undergraduates reported experiencing sexual assault as defined by the university, and 32.9 percent reported experiencing sexual misconduct. According to the survey, 85% of perpetrators of misconduct were Stanford students and 80% were men. Perpetrators of sexual misconduct were frequently aided by alcohol or drugs, according to the survey: "Nearly three-fourths of the students whose responses were categorized as sexual assault indicated that the act was accomplished by a person or persons taking advantage of them when they were drunk or high, according to the survey. Close to 70 percent of students who reported an experience of sexual misconduct involving nonconsensual penetration and/or oral sex indicated the same." Associated Students of Stanford and student and alumni activists with the anti-rape group Stand with Leah criticized the survey methodology for downgrading incidents involving alcohol if students did not check two separate boxes indicating they were both intoxicated and incapacity while sexually assaulted. Reporting on the Brock Turner rape case, a reporter from The Washington Post analyzed campus rape reports submitted by universities to the U.S. Department of Education, and found that Stanford was one of the top ten universities in campus rapes in 2014, with 26 reported that year, but when analyzed by rapes per 1000 students, Stanford was not among the top ten.
On the night of January 17–18, 2015, 22-year-old
Chanel Miller, who was visiting the campus to attend a party at the
Kappa Alpha fraternity, was sexually assaulted by Brock Turner, a nineteen-year-old freshman student-athlete from Ohio. Two Stanford graduate students witnessed the attack and intervened; when Turner attempted to flee the two held him down on the ground until police arrived. Stanford immediately referred the case to prosecutors and offered Miller counseling, and within two weeks had barred Turner from campus after conducting an investigation. Turner was convicted on three felony charges in March 2016 and in June 2016 he received a jail sentence of six months and was declared a sex offender, requiring him to register as such for the rest of his life; prosecutors had sought a six-year prison sentence out of the maximum 14 years that was possible. The case and the relatively lenient sentence drew nationwide attention. Two years later the judge in the case, Stanford graduate
Aaron Persky, was recalled by the voters.
In February 2015, Elise Clougherty filed a sexual assault and harassment lawsuit against venture capitalist Joe Lonsdale. Lonsdale and Clougherty entered into a relationship in the spring of 2012 when she was a junior and he was her mentor in a Stanford entrepreneurship course. By the spring of 2013 Clougherty had broken off the relationship and filed charges at Stanford that Lonsdale had broken the Stanford policy against consensual relationships between students and faculty and that he had sexually assaulted and harassed her, which resulted in Lonsdale being banned from Stanford for 10 years. Lonsdale challenged Stanford's finding that he had sexually assaulted and harassed her and Stanford rescinded that finding and the campus ban in the fall of 2015. Clougherty withdrew her suit that fall as well.
Stanford's faculty and former faculty includes 48 Nobel laureates, 5 Fields Medalists, as well as 17 winners of the Turing Award, the so-called "Nobel Prize in computer science," comprising one-third of the
awards given in its 44-year history. The university has 27 ACM fellows. It is also affiliated with 4
Gödel Prize winners, 4
Knuth Prize recipients, 10
IJCAI Computers and Thought Award winners, and about 15
Grace Murray Hopper Award winners for their work in the foundations of computer science. Stanford alumni have started many companies and, according to Forbes, has produced the second highest number of billionaires of all universities.
Non-alumni former and current faculty, staff, and researchers who received the Turing Award:
Whitfield Diffie: BS Mathematics Massachusetts Institute of Technology 1965. Visiting scholar at Stanford from 2009–2010 and an affiliate from 2010–2012; currently, a consulting professor at CISAC (The Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University).
Doug Engelbart: BS EE Oregon State University 1948; MS EE Berkeley 1953; PhD Berkeley 1955. Researcher/Director at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) 1957–1977; Director (Bootstrap Project) at Stanford University 1989–1990.
Edward Feigenbaum: BS Carnegie Institute of Technology 1956, Ph.D. Carnegie Institute of Technology 1960. Associate Professor at Stanford 1965–1968; Professor at Stanford 1969–2000; Professor Emeritus at Stanford (2000–present).
Robert W. Floyd: BA 1953, BSc Physics, both from the University of Chicago. Professor at Stanford (1968–1994).
Alan Kay: BA/BS from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Ph.D. 1969 from the University of Utah. Researcher at Stanford 1969–1971.
John McCarthy: BS Math, Caltech; PhD Princeton. Assistant Professor at Stanford 1953–1955; Professor at Stanford 1962–2011.
Robin Milner: BSc 1956 from Cambridge University. Researcher at Stanford University 1971–1972.
Amir Pnueli: BSc Math from Technion 1962, PhD Weizmann Institute of Science 1967. Instructor at Stanford 1967; Visitor at Stanford 1970
Dana Scott: BA Berkeley 1954, Ph.D. Princeton 1958. Associate Professor at Stanford 1963–1967.
Niklaus Wirth: BS Swiss Federal Institute of Technology 1959, MSC Universite Laval, Canada, 1960; Ph.D. Berkeley 1963. Assistant Professor at Stanford University 1963–1967.
Andrew Yao: BS physics National University of Taiwan 1967; AM Physics Harvard 1969; Ph.D. Physics, Harvard 1972; Ph.D. CS University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign 1975 Assistant Professor at Stanford University 1976–1981; Professor at Stanford University 1982–1986.
^The rules governing the board have changed over time. The original 24 trustees were appointed for life in 1885 by the Stanfords as were some of the subsequent replacements. In 1899 Jane Stanford changed the maximum number of trustees from 24 to 15 and set the term of office to 10 years. On June 1, 1903, she resigned her powers as founder and the board took on its full powers. In the 1950s, the board decided that its fifteen members were not sufficient to do all the work needed and in March 1954 petitioned the courts to raise the maximum number to 23, of whom 20 would be regular trustees serving 10-year terms and 3 would be alumni trustees serving 5-year terms. In 1970 another petition was successfully made to have the number raised to a maximum of 35 (with a minimum of 25), that all trustees would be regular trustees, and that the university president would be a trustee ex officio. The last original trustee,
Timothy Hopkins, died in 1936; the last life trustee, Joseph D. Grant (appointed in 1891), died in 1942.
abTimothy Lenoir. Inventing the entrepreneurial university: Stanford and the co-evolution of Silicon Valley pp. 88–128 in Building Technology Transfer within Research Universities: An Entrepreneurial Approach Edited by Thomas J. Allen and Rory P. O'Shea. Cambridge University Press, 2014.
^The Belmont Report, Office of the Secretary, Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research, The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects for Biomedical and Behavioral Research, April 18, 1979
^Steffen, Nancy L. (May 20, 1964).
"The Claw: White Plaza Dedication". Stanford Daily. Retrieved December 11, 2016. Has information on the White brothers that slightly corrects some of the facts in other articles.
^"About Fleet Street". Archived from
the original on August 30, 2017. Retrieved August 29, 2017. Because Fleet Street maintains Stanford songs as a regular part of its performing repertoire, the university used the group as ambassadors during the university's centennial celebration and commissioned an album, entitled Up Toward Mountains Higher (1999), of Stanford songs which were sent to alumni around the world.
^This chapter had voiced concern that women were being treated unfairly due to the campus ban on sororities. Nu Deuteron Chapter voted to become co-ed in 1973,
relinquishing its charter over the matter, according to fraternity records (accessed November 17, 2016). This occurred just four years before the ban on sororities was ended by the Regents.
^"The History of Big Game Gaieties". Ram's Head Theatrical Society. Archived from
the original on December 15, 2012. Retrieved October 5, 2013. The Big Game Gaieties started in 1911 (when the Big Game was rugby) but did not acquire its present name until the 1920s when it also became part of Ram's Head. The tradition was dormant from 1968 until revived in 1976 and has run ever since.
^Levy, Dawn (July 22, 2003).
"Edward Teller wins Presidential Medal of Freedom". Archived from
the original on June 14, 2007. Retrieved November 17, 2008. Teller, 95, is the third Stanford scholar to be awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom. The others are Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman (1988) and former Secretary of State George Shultz (1989).