Leland Stanford Junior University, or more commonly Stanford University, is a private research university in Stanford, California.
The university was founded in 1885 by Leland Stanford, former governor of and U.S. senator from California and leading railroad tycoon, and his wife, Jane Lathrop Stanford, in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford, Jr., who died of typhoid fever two months before his 16th birthday in 1884. The University was opened on October 1, 1891 as a coeducational and non-denominational institution. Tuition was free until the 1930s. The university struggled financially after Leland Stanford's 1893 death and after much of the campus was damaged by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Following World War II, Provost Frederick Terman supported faculty and graduates' entrepreneurialism to build self-sufficient local industry in what would become known as Silicon Valley. By 1970, Stanford was home to a linear accelerator, and was one of the original four ARPANET nodes (precursor to the Internet). It is among the top fundraising universities, being the first school to raise more than a billion dollars in a year.
The University is located in northern Silicon Valley near Palo Alto. Its 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus is one of the largest college campuses in the United States. Several other holdings, such as laboratories and nature reserves, are located outside the main campus. Its academic departments are organized into seven Schools with a student body of approximately 7,000 undergraduates and 8,900 graduates.Stanford is a highly residential university with a slight majority of enrollments coming from graduate and professional students. It is widely considered as one of the most reputable universities in the world. It is also home to the papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. Stanford students compete in 36 varsity sports, and the University is one of two private institutions in the Division I FBS Pacific-12 Conference. It has gained 105 NCAA championships, the second-most for a university, and has won the NACDA Directors' Cup every year since 1994-1995.Stanford faculty and alumni have founded many companies including Google, Hewlett-Packard, Nike, Sun Microsystems, and Yahoo!, and companies founded by Stanford alumni generate more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue, equivalent to the 10th-largest economy in the world. Fifty-eight Nobel laureates have been affiliated with the university, and it is the alma mater of 30 living billionaires, 17 astronauts, and 18 Turing Award laureates. It is also one of the leading producers of members of the United States Congress.