About Stanford

University Milestones

Stanford Through the Years

1824 March 9 Leland Stanford born
1828 Aug. 25 Jane Lathrop Stanford born
1861 Sept. 4 Leland Stanford elected governor of California
1868 May 14 Leland Stanford Jr. born
1869 May 10 Leland Stanford drives Gold Spike at Promontory, Utah, for the first transcontinental railroad
1884 March 13 Leland Stanford Jr. dies at age 15  
1885 Jan. 28 Leland Stanford elected U.S. senator from California
  Nov. 11 Founding Grant of the university executed
1887 May 14 Cornerstone of the university laid
1891 March 22 David Starr Jordan accepts Leland Stanford's offer to become the university's first president
  May 14 Cornerstone of the museum laid
  Oct. 1 Opening Day of the university; 555 students registered the first year
1892 March 19 First Big Game with Cal
  June 27 Hopkins Marine Station established on Monterey Bay
1893 June 21 Leland Stanford dies
1894 May 30 First Ph.D. awarded
1895 May 29 Pioneer Class graduates, including Herbert Hoover
1896 April 4 First women's intercollegiate basketball game
1899 May 31 Amendment to Founding Grant limits number of women students to 500
1903 Jan. 25 Memorial Church dedicated
1905 Feb. 28 Jane Lathrop Stanford dies
1906 April 18 Great San Francisco Earthquake causes extensive damage
1908 Oct. 30 Cooper Medical College transferred to Stanford
  Dec. 18 School of Law organized
1913 May 23 School of Medicine organized
  Aug. 1 John Casper Branner takes office as second president
1916 Jan. 1 Ray Lyman Wilbur takes office as third president
1917 April 27 School of Education organized
    Thomas Welton Art Gallery completed
1919 June 20 Hoover War Collection (now Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace) established
  July 14 Main Library opens
1921 May 23 Honor Code adopted
1925 May 15 School of Engineering organized
  Sept. 30 Graduate Business School opens
1930 Jan. 1 First round of golf at the Stanford Golf Course
1933 May 11 Board of Trustees resolution allows for enrollment of more than 500 women students
1937   Frank Lloyd Wright's Hanna House constructed
1941 June 16-20 University's 50th anniversary celebrated and Hoover Tower dedicated
1943 Sept. 1 Donald B. Tresidder takes office as fourth president
1946   Creative Writing Program founded by Wallace Stegner
1947 Jan. 6 First broadcast of campus radio station KSU (later KZSU)
    School of Mineral Sciences (now Earth Sciences) organized
1948 Sept. 1 Schools of Biological Sciences, Humanities and Physical Sciences and Social Sciences merged into School of Humanities and Sciences
1949 April 1 Wallace Sterling takes office as fifth president
1951 Oct. 1 First research park lease signed with Varian Associates 
1952 April 1 Biology Professor Douglas Whitaker becomes first provost
  Nov. 6 Physics Professor Felix Bloch becomes Stanford's first Nobel laureate
1958 June 24 First overseas campus opened near Stuttgart, Germany
1959 August Planning begins for the radio telescope called "the Dish"
  Sept. 17 School of Medicine building dedicated
1965 Jan. 1 Computer Science Department founded
1967 Sept. 9 Stanford Linear Accelerator Center dedicated, now called the SLAC National Accelerator Center
1968 Sept. 12 Inaugural session, Senate of the Academic Council
  Dec. 1 Kenneth Pitzer takes office as sixth president
1970 Sept. 24 Richard Lyman takes office as seventh president
1973 Jan. 9 University trustees designate Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve
1974 Feb. 11 B. Gerald Cantor donates his collection of Rodin sculptures
1980 Aug. 1 Donald Kennedy takes office as eighth president
1985   Rodin Garden established next to museum
1989 Oct. 17 Loma Prieta earthquake causes extensive damage
1991 Oct. 1 University celebrates centennial of its opening
1992 Sept. 1 Gerhard Casper takes office as ninth president
1996 May Stanford Graduate Fellowships program announced
1997 Sept. 25 Stanford Introductory Seminars launched
1998 September Stanford Alumni Association integrated into the university
  September Science and Engineering Quadrangle opens
1999 January The Leland Stanford Jr. Museum reopens as part of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts
  August Green Library West reopens as Bing Wing
2000 May 2 The foothills surrounding "the Dish" become a habitat conservation area
  Oct. 20 John Hennessy is inaugurated as Stanford's10th president
2001 May 2 The Hewlett Foundation's $400 million gift is the largest in university history
2003 Oct. 17 The James H. Clark Center is dedicated
2005 Dec. 31 Campaign for Undergraduate Education raises more than $1 billion
2006 Oct. 10 $4.3 billion Stanford Challenge fundraising campaign announced
2008 March 4 Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building dedicated
2009 Jan. 12 Precourt Institute for Energy established
2010   New buildings include the John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn Building, the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, Center for the Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, the Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center and the Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building.
2011 April 15 Stanford earns its 100th NCAA team national title.
2012 Feb. 8 The Stanford Challenge fundraising campaign raises $6.2 billion.