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Sunday, December 22, 2013


When I was a freshman at Stanford University, I was most amused by a car owned by a freshman classmate adorned with a decal reassembled to read Snodfart.  (This t-shirt would be worn by a Cal-Berkeley student at the Big Game).  In the 50th year class reunion, a book was published quoting me on "what did you most gain from attending the school."  Respect came with graduation, of course, but I said "confidence."  

When I first drove up Palm Drive:

I was dismayed to see this:

I was stunned that I would be attending a junior college.  Just showed how much I really knew about the school.  And why were they using those foreign words?  I never figured out what this German phrase meant.  I'm still confused.

There have been more than 200,000 graduates of Stanford and a study showed that our alumni had a $3 trillion impact on the economy every year.  They have created 39,000 companies and 5 million jobs since the 1930's.  Using logical metrics, the school would have the world's 10th largest economy.  These graduates created Google, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, Tesla Motors, Gap, Victoria's Secret, Renren (China's Facebook), Nike, Netflix, Trader Joe's, Capital One, Yahoo, Sun Microsystems, Charles Schwab, the Special Olympics, Dolby Labs, Pay Pal, Pandora Radio, and many more (remember, there are 39,000 of them).  Also:
  • 22 Nobel Prize laureates
  • 18 recipients of the national Medal of Science
  • 4 Pulitzer Prize winners
  • 24 MacArthur Fellows
  • 3 Presidential Medal of Freedom winners
  • 112 Rhodes Scholars
  • 5 Supreme Court justices
  • Only one American president (Herbert Hoover), but two Japanese prime ministers (Yukio Hatoyama and Taro Aso).
This not the best university in the world, but it ranks well:


Maybe most impressive of all might be success in athletics, for Stanford has had at least one NCAA team championship every year since 1976, and has won the NACDA Director's Cup (Sears Cup) awarded to the top-ranked collegiate athletic program now for the past seventeen years.  Our athletes have won medals in every Olympics since 1912--244, with 129 gold. We have only one color (almost everyone else has two), cardinal red, and a tree (Palo Alto redwood--same as in the logo above) for a mascot, albeit only unofficially.

The present freshman class to graduate in 2017:
  • 38,828 applied
  • 2,208 were admitted (5.7%)
  • 54% male
  • 49 states and 67 countries
  • 31% White, 21% Asian, 15% Hispanic, 10% African American
  • 51%  undeclared
  • 30%  humanities and science
  • 17% engineering
Once you get in, you graduate, as just more than 90% of freshmen have gotten degrees, and in 2013, in:
  1. Human Biology
  2. Computer Science
  3. Biology
  4. Engineering
  5. Economics
There are 7,002 undergraduates, with 84% receiving some form of financial assistance ($166 million this year).  The cost of attending is $60,311/year and upon graduating 23% will be in debt averaging  a total of $16,640.  But after all that, you will have sufficient confidence to survive well in the real world.


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