Cathedral Round Up #8: history edition

My dear friends, this month I happened, to my delight, upon A Chronology of Stanford University and its Founders (which is only 16 cents on Amazon.)

The really interesting parts are in the 1960s and early 70s, but for completeness’s sake, I have quoted interesting bits that both before and after.

Since this post is quote heavy, from here on out, assume that everything that is not in [brackets] is a quote (and the bold is all mine; I have abbreviated some obvious words, like “U” for “university.”)

[The Early Years]

May 10, 1869: Last Spike Ceremony: Central Pacific Railroad President Leland Stanford drives the gold spike ant Promontory, Utah, to connect ceremonially the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads, North America’s first transcontinental railroad.

October 1, 1891: The university opens as a coeducational institution charging no tuition, with 15 faculty. … At the end of the academic year (May 1892), the number of students has grown to 555… Female students initially make up about 20 percent of the student body, an unprecedented 25 percent majoring in sciences (compared to 4 percent nationally.) The student body is drawn from across the country, although two-thirds are from CA and much of the rest from Western and Midwestern states; 12 foreign students, largely from Japan and Canada, also attend.

[Today, it costs about $130,000 to get a degree from Stanford, (not counting room and board, which wasn’t free in 1891, either,) though there is, of course, financial aid.]

Early Academic Policies: … equally controversial is the university’s first effort at affirmative action: 147 “special” or probationary students–those applicants who did not meet minimum entrance requirements–make up nearly 25% f the first year’s student body. … Aimed at older, working students who did not have the opportunity to attend qualified highschools or afford tutoring, this category had been successfully, if more modestly, used at the U of C for “mature” students, usually over 21. … (The graduation rate of this first group of specials is 17%; by comparison, that of the class of 1895 is 54%.)

May 31, 1899: …Jane Stanford limits the number of female students who may enroll at one time to 500. Women are entering American colleges in record numbers during the 1890s. Female enrollment at Stanford has risen from 25% of the student body to more than 40% in eight years, fueling public debate regarding the comparative purposes of women’s and men’s education. … The 500 limit is first reached in 1903…

[See May 11, 1933]

[There is an interesting dispute over academic freedom in the early 1900s that ends with a number of professors resigning and the beginnings of the tenure system.]

Spring, 1904: The growing number of Japanese students–five in 1891, 19 in 1900–results in establishment of a Japanese Student Association. … The first foreign student to complete a Stanford degree was Keinosuke Otaki of Tokyo, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in zoology in 1894.

[I wish I could reproduce for you the photos of Jane Stanford posing with the sphinx and visiting alumni in Japan. (Alas, I cannot reproduce any of the photos for you.)]

February 5, 1908: A drunken student returns to Palo Alto from a Menlo Park saloon, enters the wrong house and, thought to be a burglar, is shot and killed. This prompts the Academic Council on Feb. 14 to unanimously adopt a resolution to ban liquor from Encina Hall, fraternity houses, and other student residences, and to expel students guilty of drunkenness. In Stanford’s first major student demonstration, several hundred students march to the house of the chairman of the Committee on Student Affairs…

March, 1909: Anti-liquor law passed… that forbids the sale of alcohol within a mile and a half of the boundaries of Stanford U and the U of C, after local citizens complain strongly of many students’ excessive drinking and their disorderly conduct. …. Little attention is paid to the law by student, saloon keepers, or city supervisors, and drinking in dorms and fraternities continues…

Fall, 1910: Mosher studies women’s sexuality: … Her 28 year research of 45 women remains unpublished until Prof Carl Degler features her results in his important 1973 article on Victorian women.

[Stanford abandons its founder’s vision]

Lewis M. Terman joins the Education Department, where he will develop the Stanford-Benet IQ Test. In 1916, Terman publishes The Measurement of Intelligence.

October 29, 1911: Herbert Hoover elected to Board of Trustees… He spends the following months studying g academic, financial, and administrative conditions at Stanford and in a long memorandum the following January warns that the university is lagging behind. Over the next two years, he fosters dramatic improvement in faculty salaries, both to attract eminent senior faculty and encourage current professors, recommends strengthening existing departments, instigates changes in the university’s financial management, and promotes a campus building boom.

May 23, 1913: David Starr Jordan steps down from the presidency and is named chancellor of the university by the Board of Trustees. The reassignment is the brain-child of Herbert Hoover. It allows Jordan, hesitant to retire, to honorably give up administrative responsibilities without diminution of salary.

October 13, 1915: Wilbur appointed third president… declines to wear academic robes as too elitist.

September, 1916: Fraternity reform: Twice as many students live in fraternities and sororities as in campus dormitories and off-campus housing. … members of Stanford’s 24 fraternities are consistently in the bottom third of scholarship lists (along with varsity football and baseball players, who are often fraternity members.)

May, 1917: War-time commencement… An estimated 90 faculty serve in the Palo Alto area and overseas in Red Cross work, famine relief, o military service. An initial enrollment of 250 students in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps unit, organized in September 1916, jumps to 850 by this spring semester and is ranked among the top 10 in the country.

June, 1918: … in 1921, President Wilbur reports that 3,393 Stanford men and women … served during the war in US and foreign service or war-related civilian posts, and that 77 were killed.

December, 1919: Future Nobel Laureate John Steinbeck… receives a “C” in freshman English. … He drops out in 192, re-enters as a journalism major in 1923, and drops out again in 1925.

January 1, 1920: Undergraduate tuition starts… $40 per quarter. Herbert Hoover, returning to national acclaim from his European food relief work, leads the board in pushing through this break with the founder’s intention of a tuition-free education, at the October 1919 meeting. … Students unable to pay are offered an alternative of seven-year interest-bearing notes. Mot of the tuition income is immediately passed along in across–the-board pay increases for the faculty. Two years later, tuition goes from $40 to $75 per quarter.

Summer, 1921: Lewis M. Terman begins his lifelong study of 1,528 gifted children. Terman began investigation so f gifted children in 1904 when he encountered the theory that exceptionally bright children might suffer  physical or mental illness or social maladjustment. The children chosen… have IQs ranging from 135 to 200. … The longest psychological study ever conducted, the project produces evidence that exceptionally intelligent children grow up to be more successful, better satisfied, and more productive than average people. However, the gifted eventually seem to have a many emotional difficulties as the rest of the population. The work continues, now in its ninth decade, under the direction of Albert Hastorf,… professor emeritus of psychology.

Fall, 1923: Beginnings of Western Civ: “Problems of Citizenship,” a course required for freshmen and taught by various faculty members as a team, is inaugurated… it is designed to examine the “fundamental political, social, and economic problems of the American people” In 1935 it will evolve into “History of Western Civilization.”

April, 1924: Beginning with fall quarter, all applicants will have to … achieve a satisfactory score on a supplement examination (“intelligence test”).

[Science and War]

August, 1926: Aeronautics Laboratory… Important aerodynamic research is carried out int he 1930s and into the war years. In summer 1939, Charles Lindbergh pays a secret visit to campus to inspect the research work…

September 17:  High-voltage laboratory is dedicated. … Ryan later helps solve the problem of transmitting large amounts of power from Hoover Dam to Los Angeles.

March 4, 1929: Hoover asks university President Ray Lyman Wilbur to join him as secretary of the interior; the trustees grant Wilbur a one-year of absence with pay.

October, 1930: Tuition is raised $25 to $100 per quarter.

October, 1932: Sheep sold: The Board of Athletic Control sells its 300 sheep… Billy McClintock, the Scotsman who herded the university’s sheep in Highland style for 30 years, is too ill to carry on. The athletic fields now will be clipped using lawn tractors.

May 11, 1933: 500 Limit removed … “For over 30 years the most outstanding handicap in the operation of Stanford University has been the limitation on women to 500…” By fall 1932, women account for only 14% of the total–a situation generating anger and ill will. … Every year since 1929, total enrollment–and tuition income–has fallen, even while qualified women are turned away. … Three hundred additional women enroll in fall 1933.

April 1, 1934: physicist Felix Block comes to Stanford from Switzerland. In the late 1930s, he begins research on “nuclear induction”… After WWII, Bloch and his Stanford colleague William W. Hansen devise ways to detect nuclear magnetic resonance. [Later renamed MRI]

March, 1937: Collaboration begins between the brothers Russell and Sigurd Varian and physics Prof. William W. Hansen that leads to the invention of the klystron microwave tube… The klystron tube makes airborne radar feasible and proves essential to Britain’s defense against threatened German invasion during WWII. Later, the klystron tube become a cornerstone for microwave research and an important device for the construction of various high-energy particle accelerators… including the two-mile Stanford Linear Accelerator.

April 7, 1937: Peace Day: In a later student survey, more than 92% at Stanford oppose armed assistance to France and England; however, 54% favor economic aid in the event of a war with the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis.

[Then there is a bunch of stuff about WWII, which is interesting but predictable. A bunch of students go to war, a bunch of professors do war-related research, and all of the Japanese students and professors are sent to internment camps. Many soldiers on campus.]

April 20, 1944: Sororities disbanded. … The ban has been approved by female students following complaints that sorority rush is undemocratic.

July 2, 1944: Because of the war, less than half those scheduled to receive degrees are on hand for commencement… Not a single graduate of the Medical School appears for the ceremony.

[The Cold War]

January, 1946: Peacetime registration figures break an all-time record when 4,464 students enroll winter quarter. Of those 1,382 are veterans using the GI Bill of Rights. Spring quarter enrollment rises to 5,028, including 1,950 veterans; enrollment soars fall quarter, when 7,244 students appear, including 4,047 veterans. President Tresidder reports that the vets display “a seriousness of purpose” and maintain higher scholarship records than the general average.

July 15, 1952: … a compact six-million-volt machine is developed on campus to shoot X-rays at deep-seated cancer tissue. … on Jan. 11, 1957, 2-year-old Gordon Isaacs, whose left-eye vision is threatened by retinoblastoma, a form of cancer, is the first patient to be treated successfully with the medical linear accelerator.

March, 1953: Computation Center launched: a high-speed electronic calculator is installed on campus. … The IBM Card Programmed Calculator, with auxiliary equipment for handling punched cards, will perform large computation jobs that take too long using desk calculating machines. It can store 16 words in its electromechanical memory… Stanford’s first real compute, an IBM 650, is installed in 1956. It holds 2,000 words in its drum memory’ in several years it is supplemented with a Burroughs 220. In 1963, the university acquires an IBM 7094 and Burroughs B5000.

August 22, 1955: McCarthyism hits Stanford: … a conservative syndicated radio commentator uses his nationwide broadcast to launch an attack on the university. His object is the impending appointment to the law faculty of Herbert Packer, recruited by law Dean Carl Spaeth to conduct a study of the testimony of important witnesses in judicial and legislative inquiries into communist activities in the US. … Facing threats of mass resignation by young law faculty members, President Sterling overrides vocal right-wing objections to Packer’s appointment… Packer… spend the next six years assembling and analyzing more than 200,000 pages of testimony from congressional investigations, administrative hearings, and court cases. His book… “a thoughtful, balanced study of the testimony given by a group of ex-communist witnesses…” As such “it failed to satisfy extremists of the right or left.”

February, 1956: Alexander Kerensky, briefly Premier of Russia before his gov’t was overthrown by the Bolsheviks in 1917, accepts a position as research associate at the Hoover Institution.

May: Construction is under way on a radio telescope… it consist of 32 parabolic antennas–10-foot diameter aluminum dishes–to study the sun’s surface and map its temperatures, which it does daily for 11 years after it is completed in 1959.

November 1: Shockley wins Nobel Prize

Spring, 1957:The Interfraternity Council unanimously passes a resolution opposing racial and religious discrimination clauses contained in the national charters of 13 of their 24 parent organizations.

November: At the Hoover Institution, wire and lead seals are broken on 16 wooden boxes stored for 31 years. Inside are the Paris embassy office files of the Russian czar’s  imperial secret police. Basil Maklakoff, last pre-communist ambassador to France, signed a statement that he had burned the files. Instead he hid them and in 1926 shipped them to the Hoover War Library.

May 14, 1959: To the surprise and delight of Stanford scientists, President Dwight Eisenhower announces at a gathering of the nation’s top scientists and industrialists in NYC that he supports Stanford’s proposal to build the world’s largest and most powerful atom smasher. [the SLAC]

August 4: Stanford announces that a 150-foot dish antenna–to be the nation’s largest radio telescope–will be built… the huge parabolic reflector “ear “plus the powerful radio transmitter to be built next to it, is designed to detect nuclear bomb blasts in the atmosphere.

[The 60s begin]

January 7, 1960: Nuclear reactor unveiled … In 1974, the operation is shut down and fuel rods removed. … It is dismantled in 1988.

April 1: President Sterling presides at the opening of the Stanford Center for Japanese Studies in Tokyo.

November 16: Russian-born professor of economics, Paul A. Baran, an avowed Marxist, causes quite a stir when, after at three-week visit to Cuba, he tells students and press at Cubberly Auditorium that “Castro is one of the great men of this century.” Hostile alumni letters soon pour in, threatening to stop donations unless Baran is fired. President Sterling responds… “Professor Baran does not speak for Stanford University. … A university is, and must be, hospitable to differing points of view, just as a free society has the obligation of respecting a man’s right to speak.”

March 6, 1961: Fraternities fight religious, racial discrimination: ATO has its charter rescinded by the national because it pledges four men of Jewish faith. … in 1963, Sigma Nu, frustrated in its two-year effort to end discriminatory racial clauses at the national level, vote unanimously to become a local fraternity, Beta Chi. In April 1965, Sigma Chi is suspended for one year by its national organization after pledging a black student. In November 1966, the Stanford chapter votes unanimously to sever ties with its national… In 1967, Kappa Sigma is suspended by its national, two years after it pledges a black student.

[Interestingly, I have not noticed any account of the first black student at Stanford. Given that Mr. Stanford stumped for Abraham Lincoln and included women and Japanese in the opening class, I suspect Stanford was always open to blacks, though there may not have been many in the area in 1890s.]

September, 1962: John McCarthy, who coined the term “artificial intelligence” to describe his efforts to make computers simulate human thought processes, joins the faculty… He soon creates the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

April 1, 1963: Black and yellow civil defense signs are posted on campus identifying basement areas that are newly stocked as nuclear fallout shelters. This act, inspired by the Soviet missile crisis in Cuba, touches off the first major postwar political protest on campus, including a peaceful 24-hour vigil outside President Sterling’s home and office.

May 6: University Trustees reject gift offers from two individuals who stipulate that their use would be later designated or approved by directors of the Winds of Freedom Foundation, a conservative group that wants to “underwrite the work of distinguished faculty members who are not enamored of socialism.” In February 1964, trustees reject $35,000 offered by the foundation for a visiting professor in either economics or political science from a list of candidates it would provide. … Organized as a nonprofit CA corporation in July 1962, the foundation notes in its literature that its “prime purpose… is to aggregate funds for gift to Stanford.” … Trustees say they will not surrender authority for solicitation and acceptance of gifts and termination of their use.

Summer: A Stanford-in-Washington summer internship program is launched… In the next three years, more than 100 students land summer positions in congressional offices and federal agencies.

Fall: … Allard Lowenstein, former assistant dean of men, and a dozen students travel to Mississippi at their own expense to help local blacks stage a mock election. Among the students are Dennis Sweeney,  leader of a new campus political organization called the Student Congress…  Ten Stanford faculty and 40 student volunteers, the largest group from any university, spend summer 1964 in Mississippi helping blacks register to vote. Sweeney nearly escapes death when the “freedom house” he occupies in McComb is bombed on June 21. A draft resister, he later becomes a paranoid schizophrenic. On May 14, 1980, he murders Lowenstein in his New York Office.

[November 22nd, 1963: Kennedy assassinated]

April 23, 1964 In the fist of two campus speeches, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. asks an overflow crowds at Memorial Auditorium for help: “In the Mississippi power structure, justice has no meaning… Civil rights issues cannot be resolved from within the state’ help must come from the outside.”

November 30: President Sterling appoints a faculty-administration committee on educational opportunities for disadvantaged minorities to explore ways the university could be useful in promoting opportunities for African Americans and other minority groups.

February 12, 1965: Anti-Vietnam protest: Faculty and students express opposition to American involvement in Vietnam, beginning with a combined faculty-student rally of 400.

April: In Loco Parentis fading: Full confidence in the “maturity and good judgment” of coeds prompts the university to liberalize social regulations for women.

December: The Stanford Sexual Rights Forum registers as a voluntary student organization, the earliest known student group nationally to advocate civil rights for homosexuals.

January 31, 1966: Vietnam protesters at a noon rally call for a university-wide strike, but only a small number of professors cancel classes. In the evening, more than 700 stage a torchlight parade from Cubberly Auditorium to downtown Palo Alto. In April, 135 donors volunteer to donate blood “in physical and moral support” of the Vietnam War effort.

April: Prof. Hugh McDevitt and his group discover that genes responsible for regulating immune response to infection are clustered together on one chromosome in mice and are linked to those responsible for destroying tissue grafts.

May 19-21: President’s Office sit-in: What start as a protest against university involvement in Selective Service testing that could affect student draft deferments, broadens into a challenge against faculty and administrative decision-making. Fifteen students begin a three-day occupation of the reception area in the President’s Office. Thirty-six students later are charged with violating the Fundamental Standard and are placed on probation for a year.

January, 1967: Women demand off-campus option: Challenging the university’s practice of in loco parentis, approximately 350 women students delay payment of room and board bills as a demand for the option of junior and senior women to live off campus.

January: Coeducational housing begins on campus. … Experts predict that coed housing will transform the traditional dating-mating game, as men and women begin to regard each other more like brothers and sisters.

January 12: Student body President David Harris, a veteran civil rights worker and outspoken critic of the Vietnam War and the draft, tells a rally of 400 that he will go to jail rather than accept military service.

April 13: About 400 attend an anti-war rally sponsored by students for a Democratic Society, after which 150 march to the Stanford research Institute to protest weapons and chemical warfare research. …

November 1: Students protest CIA, Vietnam…. temporarily blocking access to Encina Hall’s west wing, where interviews are scheduled. The university starts judicial against against 10 demonstrators. Two weeks later, 2,000 conduct an all0night vigil for peace…

April 2, 1968: Blacks, Mexican-Americans, and other minority students should have priority in obtaining financial aid, an interim committee report… recommends.  … The committee reports that recruitment efforts in recent years have produced an increase in applications from African-Americans: 154 applied for the freshman class entering in 1968, compared to six for the class entering in 1960. [71 are admitted in 68, compared to 3 in 60.]

April 5: An overflowing crowd of 2,400 attends a noon service in Memorial Church for civil rights leader MLK Jr. … 400 attend a BSU-sponsored rally during which an American flag is burned. … more than 2,000 members of the Palo Alto and East Palo Alto communities stage a silent walk from downtown PA to the steps of the Quad…

April 8: Blacks demand increased enrollment … The demands include proportional representation of minority groups in the freshman class of 1969-70  and a role for black students in decisions on minority recruiting and admissions. … Provost Lyman and President Sterling issue a statement committing the U to try to double minority enrollment … by 1970 … The U will start a pilot admission program for at least 10 minority student who do not meet present admissions standards. During an April 9 session, … a group of faculty and administrators say the U will hire an admissions officer concerned with minority student recruitment, conduct a  fundraising drive for expanded financial aid for minority students, and encourage recruitment of minority faculty and staff members.

April 11: BSU leaders emerge from a two-hour meeting with administrators declaring, “They have met our demands.” … “Race relations in America are so serious that every institution must do whatever it can to help,” Lyman says, “Ours is the one society on the face of the earth where a reconciliation of the races can take place on a sufficiently large scale to teach its lessons to the world.” Faculty and staff establish a MLK Memorial fund three days after the assassination. By the end of May, it is at $50,000…

May 6: Protest against student suspensions

May 7: Arson destroys ROTC building… This is the second fire at the building; it was damaged by arson in March.

May 8: [Committee decides not to suspend students for protesting against the CIA.]

May 16: Students oppose sit-ins.

July 5: Arson destroys the office of President Sterling… causes an estimated $300,000 in damage.

July 8: The Population Bomb is published.

August 19: Kenneth Pitzer appointed president… Student body president Denis Hayes expresses “grave reservations” about Pitzer’s appointment, but later says it would, “in effect destroy this university” to try to stop it. He says he is convinced “a president can be educated by the students.”

November: The Mexican-American Student Confederation at Stanford “strongly requests” that the university admit 100 new Mexican-American students… Enrollment… currently stands at 57. With an intensive five-state recruitment program, the results for fall 1969 pass the goal when 75 freshmen, 20 transfer students, and 30 to 40 graduate students bring the campus Chicano total to nearly 200.

January, 1969: African and Afro-American Studies launched.

January 14: Students invade Trustee Meeting… demanding that Stanford “halt all economic and military operation and projects concerned with Southeast Asia.”

January 29: Conservatives disrupt radicals

February 11: ROTC credit dropped … by a 3-2 majority, [students] favor ROTC on campus… In April the full faculty votes 403 to 356 to end ROTC academic credit … because appointment of teachers and course content are not subject to usual university controls.

April 3: April 3rd Movement born: at a mass meeting… students formulate demand to end classified research and war–related research on campus, stopping chemical-biological warfare and counter-insurgency studies at the SRI…

April 9: Protesters close electronics lab: Several hundred A3M protesters occupy the Applied Electronic s Laboratory… disrupting its operations for nine days.  On April 14, 100 students … stage a counter-demonstration…

April 30: Protesters occupy Encina Hall… around 1 am they scuffle with 30 conservative students who are blocking the door, but about 200 break into the building… Faculty observes say they see numerous incidents of students removing file. University payroll records are ransacked. Provost Lyman summons sheriff’s deputies…

May 13: Trustees sever ties with Stanford Research Institute

October 15: … more than 8,000 take part in the Vietnam Moratorium, calling for an immediate end to the war.

October 30: Budget problems… The biggest single factor slowing the U’s fiscal growth is the decline in federally sponsored research.

November 11: Board of Trustees expands… The change follows recommendation that the board should be more representative of society–professionally, politically, geographically and in age distribution.

March 30, 1970: limited credit for ROTC

April: Crowds of students, including many highschoolers, resort to violence to protest the continued presence of ROTC on campus. A crowd of about 300 roams the campus night after night in early April, smashing windows. …

April 24: Several hours after the Old Union sit-in ends, arsondestroys the life work of several prominent scholars, including Prof. M. N. Srinivas, India’s leading social scientist, who loses 22 years’ worth of research material about caste systems in India.


April 29: Cambodia invasion protested… a day-long sit-in at the Old Union erupts into a rock-throwing, club-wielding battle between several hundred students and more than 250 police.

April 30: ROTC, Cambodia protest… demonstrators demanding immediate elimination of ROTC battle police… Property damage for the moth is estimated at $100,000, with 73 injuries in the past two nights.

May 1: Campus turmoil… hundreds of protesters block entrances to Encina Hall… three shotgun blasts are fired into the campus home of the Army ROTC commander. No one is hurt.

May 3: Nonviolent strike. … continues all week.

May 7: Senate ends ROTC credit.

May 18: … entrances to the Athletics/ROTC building continue to be blocked 10 hours a day. … a band of about 75 demonstrators moves swiftly across campus, tossing rocks through windows of the Athletics/ROTC building, aeronautics and astronautics, the Hoover Institution, and smaller buildings.

June 4: Faculty bars future ROTC enrollment

June 25: [President Pitzer gets the hell out of there.]

September: An intensive recruiting effort has led to enrollment of 23 native Americans in the freshman class. … By fall 1973, the number increases to 57 undergraduates and 22 grad students.

January, 1971: More than 200 students register for a new course on “Problems of Arms Control and Disarmament”

January 11: Henry Cabot Lodge speech disrupted

February 10: Students seize computation center… Photographers are banned from the building and a Viet Cong flag is posted overhead. … Assoc. Prof. Franklin calls for a “people’s war” in the face of an “occupation army” of police. … the 16 year old son of a professor is shot in the right thigh while standing near the headquarters of the Free Campus Movement (FCM). Earlier, eight FCM members who watched the Old Union rally were assaulted as they walked across White Plaza.

[I think FCM is a conservative organization.]

February 12: Assoc. Prof. Franklin suspended.

April 9: Hospital sit-in turns violent: Police end a 30-hour sit-in at the hospital administration offices, arresting 23 of more than 50 demonstrators who cause $100,000 damage protesting the firing of a black employee. Fewer than half those arrested are associated with the U.

April 12: Police search the Stanford Daily... it is the first known use of a search warrant in an American newspaper office. … During the 12 years following the Daily search, based on this precedent, police conduct at least 63 searches nationwide of journalists, lawyers, doctors, and psychotherapists who are not suspects.

April 21: Demands to end war

April 23: A bomb planted at the President’s Office explodes in the early morning hours, causing $25,000 damage to the roof, attic, and second floor. … Three days later, an arson fire guts the Juniper Lounge… frequently used for meeting by the BSU.

May: The Board of Trustees… urges General Motors to try to improve conditions for nonwhites n South Africa.

August 15: [Prof Philip Zimbardo’s “Prison Experiment”]

[I admit, I laughed at the juxtaposition of the Prison Experiment and all of the other craziness. It’s a pity no one’s replicated it on a calm campus.]

January 5, 1972: [Assoc. Prof] Franklin fired… Following the Advisory Board’s decision, Franklin holds a press conference, expressing hope there will be more violence on campus… His wife, Jane, stands at his side holding a carbine she says is unloaded. … After leaving Stanford, Franklin is appointed to the Rutgers faculty.

March 2: Indian Mascot discontinued. … Timm Williams, a Yurok from Northern CA, dances as the band mascot the U forces him to stop after it discontinues the Indian mascot in 1972.

[He had danced with he band for 20 years, but no details are given on the “forcing.”]

April 20: More antiwar protests… About 100 police repeatedly charge the group at El Camino and Embarcadero, arresting 205 who block traffic.

May 9: War protests… Former Assoc. Prof Franklin urges the crowds to “take the Old Union and the placement center… and move from there to shut down the university.”

June 7: A nighttime fire, thought by many to be arson, causes $1 million damage to Encina Hall, the U’s main administration building. … In the previous four years there had been at least 30 incidents of arson, attempted arson, bombing, or attempted bombing.

[August 15, 1973: America withdraws from Vietnam]

October 9: [Students build an observatory, and life fades back to normal.]

[1974: Center for Research on Women founded; name later changed to Institute for Research on Women and Gender.]

May 19, 1975: Three students and a Dutch research assistant are kidnapped … in Tanzania, Africa, where they have been working with anthropologist Jane Goodall. The kidnappers, insurgents from Zaire [now the DRC] … grab the group during the night and head across Lake Tanganyika to Zaire. They demand a ransom of $460,000, arms and ammunition, and the release of political prisoners from Tanzania. … Kabila later becomes president of the DRC and is assassinated in 2001.

June: Alexander Solzhenitsyn … accepts an appointment as an honorary fellow at the Hoover Institution.

October, 1976: Faculty women on the rise

May 9-10, 1977: South Africa protest

December: [Sororities return]

October, 1978: As part of the thaw in Chinese-American relation, six research scholar arrive on campus from the PRC… Several Stanford students go to China in ’79.

January, 1979: 25% of undergrads in the School of Engineering are women

November, 1980: Center for Chicano Research is created with history Prof. Albert Camarillo as its director.

December: A month after his election to the US Presidency, Ronald Reagan, an honorary fellow of the Hoover Institution, has named 21 Hoover scholars and Stanford professors to advisory committees.

Fall: [Feminist Studies launched]

February 24, 1983: Anthropology student dismissed… after an investigation of charges relating to Mosher’s field research on a Chinese commune in 1979-1980. Mosher claims his dismissal is in response to pressure from Chinese officials upset over his writing about forced abortions.

July: Stanford Blood Bank becomes the first in the nation to begin screening blood to prevent transmission of AIDS.

March 6, 1984: Gay liberation statues vandalized

April, 1985: Students ask the Board of Trustees to divest stock in companies doing business in South Africa. … two dozen students block their cars by lying in the road. … 206 faculty members petition trustees for total divestment. The U continues its policy of selective divestment.

February, 1986: Jewish studies

May, 1987: Cheerleaders make a comeback

March 31, 1988: … new freshman requirements in Culture, Ideas, and Values (CIV) … replaces the Western Culture requirement adopted in 1980, and requires freshmen to take courses that cover both European and non-European cultures.

May 25: U official adopt a policy calling for preservation and study of native American archaeological sites found on U lands.

September 23: Mice with human immune cells

October: Racial tensions lead to free speech debate

April 5, 1989: An 18-month study finds that… undergraduates still perceive racial tensions and feel social distance from each other. … the report urges adding 30 minority faculty over the next decade, doubling minority Ph.D. enrollment, doubling undergraduate courses focused on minorities, and establishing an ethnic studies requirement for graduation.

May 15: A broad coalition of student groups stages an eight-hour takeover of the President’s office, barricading themselves inside the building to demand faster progress on minority issues.

June: U officials announce they will return skeletal remains and associated artifacts of about 550 prehistoric native Americans from the Stanford Museum to Ohlone-Costanoan tribal representatives for reburial.

August 31: Hoover director retires; Hoover-Stanford relations improve: Campbell, director of the Hoover Institution for 29 years, retires, though not without a fight. In April 1988, he calls opponents on the faculty who were seeking to bring Hoover under tighter U control, “very left-wing and very undistinguished.” On may 10, 1988, the Board of Trustees present Campbell with what it calls a “generous” retirement package if he agrees to retire at 65.

September, 1990: Human Genome Project

May 23, 1991: Neurosurgeon charges sexism… She is elected chair of the Faculty Senate for the 1997-1998 academic year, and in 1998 is appointed chief of staff at the Stanford-affiliated Palo Alto Veterans Hospital.

December 12: First American website

December 8, 1992: The U agrees to extend benefits–including health plans–to employee’s long-term same-sex domestic partners.

August 25: Graduate Amy Biehl, 26, is killed in South Africa. She is the first American to die in the violence associated with the country’s transition from apartheid to democracy, a transition she has been studying on a Fullbright scholarship. Biehl, who is white, is ambushed by a group of youths while driving black friends home from a party in her honor.

[The article does not mention that the “youths” who killed her where black.]

September 1: Condolezza Rice, 38, becomes provost, the first woman and fist African American to hold the No. 2 job.

October 6: [New sexual harassment policy.]

May 6, 1994: Chicana students hunger strike… [they call for] 1) a grape boycott on campus, 2) enhanced collaborations with East Palo Alto, and 3) add a Chicano studies program. … The Chicana hunger strike was largely triggered by the dismissal of Cecila Burciaga, the U’s highest-ranking Latina administrator. … they were told nothing could be done because it “was part of budget cutting in the office of Student Affairs.”

[See November, 1980, when the Center for Chicano Research was created.]

May 12: Asian American Students disrupt faculty Senate… “Asian American Studies now”

February 13, 1996: Food Research Institute to close. … FRI, which has 13 professors and 71 graduate students, was founded in 1921 by Herbert Hoover to study the world production, consumption and distribution of food. Once independent, it has a separate endowment of $12 million plus four endowed chairs. In recent year FRI ha focused on food and economic development issues in third world countries.

November 21: The Faculty Senate approves a new interdisciplinary program in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.

[That’ll feed the starving masses of the world!]

May 4, 2000: An anonymous donor gives $20 million to help boost the university’s efforts at attracting and retaining women faculty and students in science and engineering.

[Hey, Stanford, you can hire me for your science faculty for free.]

December 12: Scientists at the Stanford Genome Technology Center complete the sequencing of the genome of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana… Their decoding marks the first time a plant genome has been completely sequenced.

6 thoughts on “Cathedral Round Up #8: history edition

  1. A quick interpretation perhaps, for we naive foreigners? The 60’s-70’s stuff was no big surprise, but what was the ‘founding vision’ and its betrayal exactly?


    • Oh, pardon, I think that was just me not being clear–when Mr. Stanford originally founded the university, it ran off its endowment (Mr. Stanford’s railroad fortune and related investments) and so was tuition-free. When Herbert Hoover got on the board of trustees, he decided that Stanford’s professors needed to be paid more, which soon led to the U charging tuition.

      Stanford currently has an endowment of over 22 million dollars, so I don’t think they really need to charge $45,000+ per year, but they do.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s