Sebastian Kirsch: Blog

Monday, 08 January 2007

Leland Stanford Jr. University

Filed under: — Sebastian Kirsch @ 10:40

The story of Leland Stanford Jr. University, one of the foremost research universities in the world, is actually a rather sad one. Leland Stanford Sr. was a railroad tycoon and governor of California on the 19th century. His wife was childless until the age of 39, when their first and only son, Leland Stanford Jr. was born. Leland Jr. died of typhoid fever at the age of 16, and since it was unlikely that his wife would bear him another heir at the age of 55, Leland Sr. decided to use his fortune to found a university – named after his son, “Leland Stanford Jr. University", as a permament memorial.

And come to think of it, had Leland Jr. lived, he would now probably be a footnote in history. But by having Stanford University named after him, he became immortal.

I have been to the Stanford a couple of times now, both in daytime and at night, and took hundreds of pictures. Besides being a top-notch research university, the Stanford Campus also has a huge outdoor sculpture collection, in particular a unique Papua-New Guinea sculpture garden. The Cantor Museum features the largest collection of Rodin sculptures outside Paris – and it is right on campus, and free of charge.

Have a look at my galleries of Stanford during the day and Stanford at night!


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