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History: The Stanford Fund through the Years

If you graduated after 1994, chances are The Stanford Fund supported one of your favorite activities, or created an opportunity that shaped your academic path, or provided part of your financial aid. Even if you graduated earlier, you know the value of these experiences—which your own gifts may have made possible.

These are just some of the programs supported by The Stanford Fund since its inception:


  • The newly created office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education launches Sophomore College, a two-week intensive offered to 50 rising sophomores before the start of autumn quarter. Today, "SoCo" is a defining experience for many undergraduates.
  • Also supported: undergraduate advising, Stanford in Washington


  • Stanford expands the number of small seminars available to freshmen, paving the way for the formal launch of Introductory Seminars in 1997. "IntroSems" are now an essential part of the undergraduate curriculum, beloved by faculty and students alike.


  • New programs like Writing in the Major and Honors Writing foster communication and critical thinking skills.
  • More undergraduate research opportunities enable students to join faculty projects in a variety of disciplines.


  • More than 600 students receive financial aid from The Stanford Fund.
  • Large introductory courses in subjects like calculus, economics, and chemistry are improved through reductions in class size and additional training for teaching assistants.


  • Stanford Mock Trial goes undefeated and heads to nationals for the second year in a row.
  • The incoming Class of '03 has a new housing option: Freshman/Sophomore College (FroSoCo) opens with 180 residents.


  • 1,004 students receive financial aid from The Stanford Fund
  • Stanford offers computer resources for students at residence halls, Meyer Library, and Tresidder Union.


  • Summer Research College creates a residential community for undergraduates conducting research over the summer.
  • The Stanford Language Center provides state-of-the-art instruction in practically any language.


  • The School of Humanities and Sciences recruits additional faculty in physics, French and Italian, anthropology, political science, and economics.
  • Student groups such as the Stanford Ballet, Stanford Symphony Orchestra, Stanford Shakespeare Institute, and Mantis Poetry Journal enhance the arts experience on campus.


  • The Hume Writing Center and the Oral Communication Program help students hone these important skills.
  • Students publish original research in journals such as the Stanford Journal of International Relations and the Stanford Undergraduate Research Journal.


  • Faculty create technology-enhanced approaches to teaching and learning through the Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning.
  • More than 400 students travel abroad through Stanford's Overseas Studies Program, including its new campus in Beijing.


  • The Research Institute of Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity receives funds for research and seminars.
  • Potter College provides a residential community for undergraduates pursuing independent study in myriad fields.


  • Artist-in-residence Stew rehearses his new musical, Passing Strange, as part of a collaboration between the New York Public Theater and the Stanford Institute for Creativity in the Arts.
  • The Stanford-Iraq Student Exchange promotes dialogue between Iraqi and American students.


  • The Haas Center for Public Service provides service opportunities including the Ravenswood Reads tutoring program.
  • Old Union and White Plaza get a makeover!


  • Crothers and Crothers Memorial, formerly housing graduate students, are renovated as much-needed undergraduate dorms.
  • More than 1,200 students play for, coach, or manage one of 21 club sports teams.


  • Financial aid becomes a top priority in the wake of a global economic downturn.
  • The Bing Overseas Studies Program launches its new campus in Cape Town, South Africa.


  • The School of Humanities and Sciences redesigns core undergraduate biology lab courses.
  • The Arts Intensive joins Sophomore College and Bing Honors College under the new umbrella of September Studies.


  • The Technical Communications Program helps engineering students improve writing and presentation skills.
  • Students have more opportunities to take field study courses, including an earth systems program in Hawaii and a religious studies course on human rights in El Salvador.


  • More than 1,300 undergraduate students receive some or all of their financial aid support from donors to The Stanford Fund.
  • The Leland Scholars Program, a September Studies offering, is launched for incoming freshmen intending to pursue an academic path in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) or pre-health fields.
  • The office of Undergraduate Advising and Research receives increased funding for academic directorsfull-time advisors available to freshmen and sophomores in their residences.


  • Early support for the office of the Vice Provost for Online Learning helps faculty explore new ways of teaching and learning.
  • The American Middle Eastern Network for Dialogue at Stanford, a student-led initiative, brings nearly 40 delegates from across North Africa, the Middle East, and the United States to Stanford.
  • A field seminar on the geology, ecology, and environmental history of the Eastern Sierra Nevada integrates the natural sciences and the arts.


  • Two new residential humanities programs—one focused on art, the other on the history of science—bring classes, guest lectures, performances, and other activities into a freshman dorm.
  • Directors of Community Engaged Learning (DCELs) work to support and expand community-based learning opportunities for undergraduates, including courses and internships.
  • Three seminars introduce undergraduates to a range of opportunities for research in earth sciences and help them design their own research topic.


  • The first cohort of 20 students inaugurates Stanford in New York, an undergraduate program modeled after the popular Bing in Washington program.
  • The Stanford Fund expands access to Ethical Reasoning courses, providing all students the opportunity to explore ethical and moral reasoning as part of their core requirements.
  • Support for the Office of Military-Affiliated Communities helps the office manage Veterans Affairs benefits, coordinate educational opportunities, and celebrate military service as a form of public service.


  • Undergraduate scholarships, academic innovations, and student-led groups this year all depend on your support. Make a gift now!

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