Find Out Your Chances of Admission at Stanford University
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The History of Stanford
Leland and Jane Stanford returned to America in May of 1884 and, before proceeding to Palo Alto, visited Cornell, Yale, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They spoke with President Eliot of Harvard about three ideas: a university at Palo Alto, a large institution in San Francisco combining a lecture hall and a museum, and a technical school. When asked which of these seemed most desirable, Eliot answered, a university. Mrs. Stanford inquired how much the endowment should be, in addition to land and buildings, and he replied, not less than $5 million. A silence followed. Finally, Mr. Stanford said with a smile, "Well, Jane, we could manage that, couldn't we?" and a grave Mrs. Stanford nodded her assent.
On October 1, 1891, Stanford University opened its doors after six years of planning and building. In the early morning hours, construction workers were still preparing the Inner Quadrangle for the opening ceremonies. The great arch at the western end had been backed with panels of red and white cloth to form an alcove where the dignitaries would sit. Behind the stage was a life-size portrait of Leland Stanford, Jr., in whose memory the university was founded.