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University Milestones

1824March 9Leland Stanford born
1828Aug. 25Jane Lathrop Stanford born
1861Sept. 4Leland Stanford elected governor of California
1868May 14Leland Stanford Jr. born
1869May 10Leland Stanford drives Gold Spike at Promontory, Utah, for the first transcontinental railroad
1884March 13Leland Stanford Jr. dies at age 15
1885Jan. 28Leland Stanford elected U.S. senator from California
 Nov. 11Founding Grant of the university executed
1887May 14Cornerstone of the university laid
1891March 22David Starr Jordan accepts Leland Stanford’s offer to become the university’s first president
 May 14Cornerstone of the museum laid
 Oct. 1Opening Day of the university; 555 students registered the first year
1892March 19First Big Game with Cal
 June 27Hopkins Marine Station established on Monterey Bay
1893June 21Leland Stanford dies
1894May 30First Ph.D. awarded
1895May 29Pioneer Class graduates, including Herbert Hoover
1896April 4First women’s intercollegiate basketball game
1899May 31Amendment to Founding Grant limits number of women students to 500
1903Jan. 25Memorial Church dedicated
1905Feb. 28Jane Lathrop Stanford dies
1906April 18Great San Francisco Earthquake causes extensive damage
1908Oct. 30Cooper Medical College transferred to Stanford
 Dec. 18School of Law organized
1913May 23School of Medicine organized
 Aug. 1John Casper Branner takes office as second president
1916Jan. 1Ray Lyman Wilbur takes office as third president
1917April 27School of Education organized
  Thomas Welton Art Gallery completed
1919June 20Hoover War Collection (now Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace) established
 July 14Main Library opens
1921May 23Honor Code adopted
1925May 15School of Engineering organized
 Sept. 30Graduate Business School opens
1930Jan. 1First round of golf at the Stanford Golf Course
1933May 11Board of Trustees resolution allows for enrollment of more than 500 women students
1937 Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hanna House constructed
1941June 16-20University’s 50th anniversary celebrated and Hoover Tower dedicated
1943Sept. 1Donald B. Tresidder takes office as fourth president
1946 Creative Writing Program founded by Wallace Stegner
1947Jan. 6First broadcast of campus radio station KSU (later KZSU)
  School of Mineral Sciences (now Earth Sciences) organized
1948Sept. 1Schools of Biological Sciences, Humanities and Physical Sciences and Social Sciences merged into School of Humanities and Sciences
1949April 1Wallace Sterling takes office as fifth president
1951Oct. 1First research park lease signed with Varian Associates
1952April 1Biology Professor Douglas Whitaker becomes first provost
 Nov. 6Physics Professor Felix Bloch becomes Stanford’s first Nobel laureate
1958June 24First overseas campus opened near Stuttgart, Germany
1959AugustPlanning begins for the radio telescope called “the Dish”
 Sept. 17School of Medicine building dedicated
1965Jan. 1Computer Science Department founded
1967Sept. 9Stanford Linear Accelerator Center dedicated, now called the SLAC National Accelerator Center
1968Sept. 12Inaugural session, Senate of the Academic Council
 Dec. 1Kenneth Pitzer takes office as sixth president
1970Sept. 24Richard Lyman takes office as seventh president
1973Jan. 9University trustees designate Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve
1974Feb. 11B. Gerald Cantor donates his collection of Rodin sculptures
1980Aug. 1Donald Kennedy takes office as eighth president
1989Oct. 17Loma Prieta earthquake causes extensive damage
1992Sept. 1Gerhard Casper takes office as ninth president
1998SeptemberStanford Alumni Association integrated into the university
1999JanuaryThe Leland Stanford Jr. Museum reopens as part of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts
2000May 2The foothills surrounding “the Dish” become a habitat conservation area
 Oct. 20John Hennessy is inaugurated as Stanford’s10th president
2005Dec. 31Campaign for Undergraduate Education raises more than $1 billion
2011April 15Stanford earns its 100th NCAA team national title.
2012Feb. 8The Stanford Challenge fundraising campaign raises $6.2 billion
2014Sept. 21The Anderson Collection at Stanford University opens
2015Sept. 21Stanford launches its 125th anniversary celebrations
2016Feb. 23The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program is announced
 Oct. 21Marc Tessier-Lavigne becomes 11th president
2018President shares Stanford’s long-range vision
2020Worldwide pandemic moves classes, many university activities online