Stanford University (officially named Leland Stanford Junior University), located in Stanford, California, is one of the world’s most prestigious institutions with a long list of notable alumni including seventeen astronauts, members of the United States Congress, and 30 living billionaires. Established in 1891 as a coeducational, non-denominational institution, Stanford University’s was founded by Leland Stanford, railroad tycoon, and his wife Jane Stanford in memory of their only son, Leland Stanford Jr., who died just short of his sixteenth birthday. It was Stanford, Sr.’s express wish that, through the college, the “children of California shall be our children.” Up until 1920 tuition to Stanford was offered free of charge. A private research university, Stanford is located on an 8,000 acre campus that was once the horse farm of Jane & Leland Stanford and is still affectionately referred to as, “the Farm.”
Stanford University is accredited through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and has been so since 1949. As is fitting for a world-renowned institution, Stanford offers a great many undergraduate and graduate degree programs through their seven schools: Graduate School of Business; School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; Graduate School of Education; School of Engineering; School of Humanities & Sciences; School of Law; and School of Medicine. A variety of online courses and programs also exist for the benefit of students who desire the quality and prestige of a Stanford degree but whose schedules or locations demand the flexibility of an online program.
The Stanford Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research oversees over 18 independent laboratories, centers and institutes, including SLAC National Accelerator Libratory, the Stanford Research Institute, and the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. The Stanford University Library (SUL) is also one of the largest and most diverse academic library systems in the world. The SUL boasts over 9 million volumes; nearly 300,000 rare or special books; 1.5 million e-books; 2.5 million audiovisual materials; 77,000 serials; 6 million microform holdings; and thousands of digital resources.
Stanford’s admissions rate is one of the lowest in the country at just 5% and the university’s total enrollment is over 16,000, just over 7,000 of which are undergraduate students. Faculty and alumni of Stanford have gone on to found a myriad of successful companies including names such as Google; Hewlett-Packard; Nike; Sun Microsystems; Instagram; Snapchat; and Yahoo!. Combined, these and other companies that have been founded by Stanford alumni generate over $2.7 trillion annually.
Stanford’s first year students are required to live on campus and 89% of undergraduates continue to do so for the whole of their degree. Eighty different undergrad houses are available to Stanford students, including dormitories, co-ops, row houses, fraternities and sororities. Most residencies are located just outside the campus core and are within an easy 10 minute walking radius of most classrooms and libraries.
College sports play a big role in student life. An NCAA Division I, school, Stanford is home to over 70 varsity and intramural sports. Nicknamed the “Cardinals”, Stanford’s traditional rival is Berkeley University. Stanford athletes are some of the finest, and have won medals in every Olympic Games since 1912, bringing in a total of 242 Olympic medals, including 129 gold.