Officially known as the Leland Stanford Junior University, Stanford University is a private research university in Stanford, California, and is one of the largest universities in the United States of America (USA).
Stanford University was founded in 1885 by a couple by the name of Leland and Jane Stanford. It was named in honor of their late son, Leland Standford, who had succumbed to typhoid fever at the age of 15. Stanford senior, being a former Governor of California, had made his fortune as a railroad tycoon. The university’s first admission was on October 1, 1891.
Stanford University is a private research institution that has three academic schools for both undergraduate and graduate students and another four professional schools. The university has a central campus adjacent to Palo Alto and other non-central campuses. As of 2013, the school was organized into seven academic schools namely: School of engineering (9 departments), Humanities and Sciences (27 departments), Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences (4 departments) which have both graduate and undergraduate courses whereas the Schools of Education, Medicine, Law and Business offer graduate programs only. The Board appoints a president to serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the university and The Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) is the student government for Stanford University. The university has contemporary campus landmarks such as the Stanford Research Park, Stanford Shopping Centre, Memorial church, the Hoover Tower, Hopkins Marine Station, Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve among others. The university is also home to libraries - the Stanford University Libraries (SUL) which holds a collection of millions of special books. It should also be noted that Stanford University is the home of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Educational Institute.
Unfortunately, the campus was subject to earthquake damage both in 1906 and 1989. The Stanford Medical Centre, which was completed in 1959, is a teaching hospital with over 800 beds. Established in 1962, the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (named originally after the Stanford Linear Accelerator Centre) performs research in particle physics.
Stanford has notably achieved high ranks and is often first in many domestic college ranking measures hence being dubbed as “the Harvard of the 21st century”. Stanford was picked as number 1 school in the United States by the Times Higher Education College Rankings. According to Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Stanford was ranked the second best from 2003 to 2006. Polls done by Princeton Review also revealed that most parents and students chose Stanford University as their “dream college”.
The Stanford faculty and alumni have founded a large number of companies. In fact, if all the their revenues were combined it would be the equivalent of an income of an entire country. One notable alumna is the US president Herbert Hoover. The university is one of the leading producers of members of the United States Congress, and also has several billionaires and astronauts among its alumni.