Stanford 125

In 2016, Stanford celebrated its 125th anniversary with a series of activities, including symposia, special exhibits and displays, a photography book and website.

Annual Report 2016

In 2016, Stanford marked its 125th anniversary, celebrating the discoveries, people and contributions that have impacted the world since Jane and Leland Stanford first welcomed new students on opening day in 1891. In keeping with founding President David Starr Jordan’s remark that day that Stanford’s “finger posts all point forward” – Stanford also honored the legacy of outgoing president John Hennessy and welcomed in its 11th president, Marc Tessier-Lavigne this year.

A remarkable 16 years

John Hennessy joined Stanford’s faculty in 1977 and was named president in 2000. His vision for the university’s leadership in research and education was articulated and funded through the successful Stanford Challenge, which generated $6.2 billion. In partnership with Stanford’s longest-serving provost, John Etchemendy, Hennessy oversaw more than 70 major building projects during his presidency – including the Stanford Energy System Innovations facility, which reduced greenhouse gas emissions on campus by 68 percent. He expanded Stanford’s financial aid support and systems, creating opportunities for first-generation and disadvantaged students, and helped to make Stanford a recognized leader in multidisciplinary study and research. The Hennessy years also saw a focus on environmental sustainability, human health, the arts and public service. In fall 2016, Stanford launched the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, the largest fully endowed graduate fellowship in the world. It will provide up to 100 scholars from around the world with full funding for graduate study at Stanford starting in fall 2018.

Leading into the future

After a rigorous search, neuroscientist and Rockefeller University president Marc Tessier-Lavigne was unanimously selected by a 19-member committee as Stanford’s next president.  A native of Ontario, Canada, Tessier-Lavigne previously lived in the Bay Area for more than 20 years, working at the University of California, San Francisco; Genentech; and at Stanford as a professor of biological sciences. He started as president of Stanford on September 1, and welcomed 7,000 undergraduate students and 9,000 graduate students to campus later that month. To ensure a smooth transition, Etchemendy continued as provost into early 2017, when School of Engineering Dean Persis Drell was named to the role. At his Reunion Homecoming Weekend inauguration ceremony, Tessier-Lavigne committed to pursuing excellence in education and research “not as an end in itself, but as a means to magnify its benefit to society.” Noting an increased focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields in colleges today, the president also reaffirmed the importance of a broad liberal arts education to best prepare students for a world of change.

Stanford at 125 

One of Stanford’s enduring strengths is Jane and Leland Stanford’s vision to contribute to a better world by educating students to put knowledge to active use. In 2016, the university celebrated this spirit with a series of activities, including symposia, special exhibits and displays, a photography book, and a collection of 125 Stanford stories. A collection of 24 kiosks set across campus leave a lasting memento of the anniversary, telling stories by location of research, student life, milestones and more. The anniversary focused on highlighting the many aspects of Stanford today at 125 years old, and engaged alumni, faculty, students, staff and the community.

By the numbers

  • About 85 percent of Stanford students received financial support in 2015-2016. Stanford tuition is free for families with incomes under $125,000 and tuition, room and board are free for families with incomes under $65,000.
  • As a research university, Stanford had more than 6,009 externally sponsored projects with a total budget for sponsored projects at $1.6 billion this year.
  • Stanford is a residential campus, with 92 percent of undergraduates, 52 percent of graduate students, and 37 percent of faculty members living on its beautiful campus.
  • In 2016, 65 percent of Stanford’s electricity came from renewable sources, and about 38 percent of Stanford food is sustainably sourced from local farms and other manufacturers.
  • Stanford won the Director’s Cup for its Athletics program in 2016, as it has done for 22 consecutive years. The Director's Cup is awarded annually to the best overall collegiate athletics program in the United States.  Stanford Athletics offers 36 varsity sports and about 32 club sports for women and men.
  • Stanford is building a new 824,000-square-foot hospital facility, which will open in 2018. Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital is undergoing an expansion, which will create a technologically advanced hospital for children and expectant mothers when it is completed in late 2017.
  • Stanford has more than 625 registered student groups, enriching the social, cultural and education experience on campus.