Stanford Facts: Introduction

Greetings from President Hennessy

President John Hennessy

President John Hennessy

Thank you for your interest in Stanford University. As its 10th president and a faculty member since 1977, I think Stanford is a very special place.

Stanford is recognized as one of the world’s leading universities. Our renowned professors offer students a remarkable range of academic courses that are paired with an extraordinary breadth of extracurricular activities and opportunities for research, independent study and public service.

In the Founding Grant, Jane and Leland Stanford stated the university’s mission: to prepare students “for personal success and direct usefulness in life” and “promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization.” More than a century later, Stanford University remains dedicated to finding solutions to the great challenges of the day and to preparing our students for leadership in today’s complex world.

In recent years, we have launched university-wide initiatives on human health, the environment and sustainability, international affairs and the arts. We believe that collaboration across disciplines will be key to future advances, and multidisciplinary research and teaching are at the heart of these new initiatives.

Our undergraduate students are an important part of these efforts. Over the past decade, innovations in undergraduate education at Stanford include opportunities for students to work with faculty in small classes from their first days on campus, the chance to study abroad or in Washington, D.C. and a variety of opportunities for working on research projects. For many students, there is no greater thrill than being at the edge of a field and advancing the frontier of knowledge.

The pioneering spirit that inspired Jane and Leland Stanford to start this university more than a century ago and that helped build Silicon Valley at the doorstep of the campus encourages boldness in everything we do — whether those efforts occur in the library, in the classroom, in a laboratory, in a theater or on an athletic field.

We hope that you, too, find your place at Stanford.