Stanford University is a private research university in Stanford, California, and one of the world's most prestigious institutions, with the highest undergraduate selectivity and the top position in numerous surveys and measures in the United States.
Stanford is located in northern Silicon Valley near Palo Alto, California. The University's academic departments are organized into seven schools, with several other holdings, such as laboratories and nature reserves, located outside the main campus. Its  campus is one of the largest in the United States. The University is also one of the top fundraising institutions in the country, becoming the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.
Origins and early years (1885–1906)
The university officially opened on October 1, 1891 to 555 students. On the university's opening day, Founding President David Starr Jordan (1851–1931) said to Stanford's Pioneer Class: "[Stanford] is hallowed by no traditions; it is hampered by none. Its finger posts all point forward." However, much preceded the opening and continued for several years until the death of the last Founder, Jane Stanford, in 1905 and the destruction of the 1906 earthquake.
Government expenses controversy
In the early 1990s, Stanford was investigated by the U.S. government over allegations that the university had inappropriately billed the government several million dollars for housing, personal expenses, travel, entertainment, fundraising and other activities unrelated to research, including a yacht and an elaborate wedding ceremony. The scandal eventually led to the resignation of Stanford President Donald Kennedy in 1992. In an agreement with the Office of Naval Research, Stanford refunded $1.35 million to the government for billing which occurred in the years 1981 and 1992. Additionally, the government reduced Stanford's annual research budget by $23 million in the year following the settlement.
Teaching and learning
Stanford University is a large, highly residential research university with a slight majority of enrollments coming from graduate and professional students. It follows a quarter system with Autumn quarter usually starting in late September and Spring Quarter ending in early June. The full-time, four-year undergraduate program has an arts and sciences focus with high graduate student coexistence. Stanford University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Its most recent undergraduate admit rate (for the class of 2018) further dropped to 5.07%, the lowest in the University's history.
Full-time undergraduate tuition was $42,690 for 2013–2014. Stanford's admission process is need-blind for US citizens and permanent residents; while it is not need-blind for international students, 64% are on need-based aid, with an average aid package of $31,411. In 2012/13, the university awarded $126 million in need-based financial aid to 3,485 students, with an average aid package of $40,460. Eighty percent of students receive some form of financial aid. Stanford's no-loan policy waives tuition, room, and board for most families with incomes below $60,000, and most families with incomes below $100,000 are not required to pay tuition (those with incomes up to $150,000 may have tuition significantly reduced). 17% of students receive Pell Grants, a common measure of low-income students at a college.
Research centers and institutes
The Stanford Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research oversees more than eighteen independent laboratories, centers, and institutes.
Other Stanford-affiliated institutions include the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (originally the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center), the Stanford Research Institute (a now independent institution which originated at the university), the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace (a major public policy think tank that attracts visiting scholars from around the world), and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (a multidisciplinary design school in cooperation with the Hasso Plattner Institute of University of Potsdam that integrates product design, engineering, and business management education). Unable to locate a copy in any of its libraries, the Soviet Union was obliged to ask the Hoover Institution for a microfilm copy of its original edition of the first issue of Pravda (dated March 5, 1917).
Stanford is home to the papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute. It also runs the John S. Knight Fellowship for Professional Journalists and the Center for Ocean Solutions, which brings together marine science and policy to address challenges facing the ocean.
Stanford University is home to the Cantor Center for Visual Arts museum with 24 galleries, sculpture gardens, terraces, and a courtyard first established in 1891 by Jane and Leland Stanford as a memorial to their only child. Notably, the Center possesses the largest collection of Rodin works outside of Paris, France. The Thomas Welton Stanford Gallery, built in 1917, serves as a teaching resource for the Department of Art & Art History as well as an exhibition venue. There are also a large number of outdoor art installations throughout the campus, primarily sculptures, but some murals as well. The Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden near Roble Hall features handmade wood carvings and "totem poles."
Stanford has a thriving artistic and musical community. Extracurricular activities include theater groups such as Ram's Head Theatrical Society and the Stanford Shakespeare Society, award-winning a cappella music groups such as the Mendicants, Counterpoint, the Stanford Fleet Street Singers, Harmonics, Mixed Company, Testimony, Talisman, Everyday People, Raagapella, and a group dedicated to performing the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, the Stanford Savoyards. Beyond these, the music department sponsors many ensembles including five choirs, the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, Stanford Taiko, and the Stanford Wind Ensemble.
Stanford's dance community is one of the most vibrant in the country, with an active dance division in the Drama Department and over 30 different dance-related student groups, including the Stanford Band's Dollie dance troupe.Template:Citation needed Perhaps most distinctive of all is its social and vintage dance community, cultivated by dance historian Richard Powers and enjoyed by hundreds of students and thousands of alumni. Stanford hosts monthly informal dances (called Jammix) and large quarterly dance events, including Ragtime Ball (fall), the Stanford Viennese Ball (winter), and Big Dance (spring). Stanford also boasts a student-run swing performance troupe called Swingtime and several alumni performance groups, including Decadance and the Academy of Danse Libre.Template:Citation needed
The creative writing program brings young writers to campus via the Stegner Fellowships and other graduate scholarship programs. This Boy's Life author Tobias Wolff teaches writing to undergraduates and graduate students. Knight Journalism Fellows are invited to spend a year at the campus taking seminars and courses of their choice. The Stanford Spoken Word Collective, an extracurricular writing and performance group, also serves as the school's poetry slam team.
Stanford also hosts various publishing courses for professionals. The Stanford Professional Publishing Course, which was offered on campus since the late 1970s, brought together international publishing professionals to discuss changing business models in magazine and book publishing. It ended in 2009, although the tradition has continued at Yale with the Yale Publishing Course that began in 2010. Videos from the Stanford Professional Publishing Courses are still made available on their website.
Notable faculty and staff
As of late 2014, Stanford has 2,118 tenure-line faculty, senior fellows, center fellows, and medical center faculty.
Government and politics
Professors who have served in government include Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Former Secretary of Energy and Former Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Steven Chu, Former Secretary of Defense William Perry, Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan Lt. General Karl Eikenberry, current US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, Former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors Edward Lazear and Former director of policy planning for the US State Dept. Stephen D. Krasner. George Schultz, Former Secretary of State, Secretary of Labor and Secretary of the Treasury, is a fellow at the Hoover Institution and lectures at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Former President of Peru Alejandro Toledo was a distinguished lecturer from 2007–2009. Siegfried Hecker, director emeritus of Los Alamos National Laboratory, makes frequent visits to North Korea to inspect their nuclear weapons facilities, and co-teaches a class on national security with William Perry. Tenzin Tethong, former prime minister of the Central Tibetan Administration, chairs the university's Tibetan Studies Initiative, and was a candidate for Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government in Exile. Former US President Benjamin Harrison was a founding professor at Stanford Law School.
The Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies is also home to political theorist Francis Fukuyama, and founding editor of the Journal of Democracy and advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, Larry Diamond.
Professor and social psychologist Philip Zimbardo oversaw the Stanford Prison Experiment, and psychologist Lewis Terman developed the Stanford-Binet IQ Test. Albert Bandura conducted the Bobo doll experiment, contributing to social learning theory. Tobias Wolff, best known for his memoir This Boy's Life, is a member of the creative writing faculty. Philosophy Professor Joshua Cohen is a scholar in political science, philosophy, and ethics. History Professor Jack N. Rakove won the Pulitzer Prize for his book on the history of the constitution, the subject of a course he teaches at Stanford. Professor Carl Neumann Degler also won the Pulitzer Prize for History.
In 2012, it was announced that Alexander Nemerov, art historian and chair of the History of Art Department at Yale University, would join the Stanford faculty as part of the University's efforts to increase its presence in the arts.
The economics department and the Hoover Institution have also been home to more than nine Nobel Prize winners in economics, including Kenneth Arrow, Milton Friedman and Gary Becker. Chair of the economics department Jonathan Levin won the 2011 John Bates Clark Medal, awarded to the leading economist under 40. Economist John B. Taylor served as the Under Secretary of the Treasury for International affairs, and developed the Taylor Rule. Professor Caroline Hoxby is a leading education economist and directs of the Economics of Education Program for the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is married to fellow Rhodes Scholar and Stanford English Professor Blair Hoxby.
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