The Birth of the University
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.
About 2,000 seats, many of them sturdy classroom chairs, were set up in
the 3-acre Quad, and they soon proved insufficient for the growing crowd.
By midmorning, people were streaming across the brown fields on foot.
Riding horses, carriages and farm wagons were hitched to every fence
and at half past ten the special train from San Francisco came puffing
almost to the university buildings on the temporary spur that had been
used during construction.
Just before 11 a.m., Leland and Jane Stanford mounted to the stage. As
Mr. Stanford unfolded his manuscript and laid it on the large Bible that
was open on the stand, Mrs. Stanford linked her left arm in his right and
held her parasol to shelter him from the rays of the midday sun. He began
in measured phrases:
"In the few remarks I am about to make, I speak for Mrs. Stanford, as well
as myself, for she has been my active and sympathetic coadjutor and is
co-grantor with me in the endowment and establishment of this University..."
What manner of people were this man and this woman, who had the intelligence, the means, the faith and the daring to plan a major university
in Pacific soil, far from the nation's center of culture – a university that
broke from the classical tradition of higher learning?
Follow Us on Facebook
Visit Our Blog
New York • San Francisco • London • Paris • Berlin • Beijing • Budapest • Sydney • New Delhi • Johannesburg
Rio de Janeiro • Vienna • Montego Bay• Rome • Toronto • Tokyo • Prague • Dublin • Jerusalem • Oslo
Lagos • Buenos Aires • Addis Ababa • Mumbai • Nairobi • Brussels • Madrid • Mexico City • Chicago • Havana
Stockholm • Copenhagen • Cairo • Venice • Milan • Boston • Philadelphia • St. Louis • Geneva • Washington DC
Spiegel and Utrera, P.A., P.C. Lawyers
New York City, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa,
Boca/Delray, Orlando, Los Angeles, San Francisco
Please visit our other sites:
J Bailey Morgan
Site Designed by
Road to Emmaus Filmways, Ltd. All rights reserved.