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Stanford University

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Stanford University is a private research university in Stanford, California. The campus occupies 8,180 acres (3,310 hectares), among the largest in the United States, and enrolls over 17,000 students. Its influence, wealth, and rankings have made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

Stanford University was founded in 1885 by Leland Stanford—a railroad magnate who served as the eighth governor of and then-incumbent senator from California—and his wife, Jane, in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr., who had died of typhoid fever aged 15 the previous year. The university admitted its first students on October 1, 1891, as a coeducational and non-denominational institution. Stanford University struggled financially after Leland's death in 1893 and again after much of the campus was damaged by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Following World War II, Frederick Terman, the university's provost, inspired and supported faculty and graduates entrepreneurialism to build a self-sufficient local industry, which would later be known as Silicon Valley.

The university is organized around seven schools on the same campus: three schools consisting of 45 academic departments at the undergraduate level, as well as four professional schools that focus on graduate programs in law, medicine, education, and business. The university also houses the Hoover Institution, a public policy think-tank. Students compete in 36 varsity sports, and the university is one of two private institutions in the Division I FBS Pac-12 Conference. As of May 26, 2022, Stanford has won 131 NCAA team championships, more than any other university, and was awarded the NACDA Directors' Cup for 25 consecutive years, beginning in 1994. In addition, by 2021, Stanford students and alumni had won at least 296 Olympic medals including 150 gold and 79 silver medals.

As of April 2021, 58 Nobel laureates, 29 Turing Award laureates, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with Stanford as students, alumni, faculty, or staff. In addition, Stanford is particularly noted for its entrepreneurship and is one of the most successful universities in attracting funding for start-ups. Stanford alumni have founded numerous companies, which combined produce more than $2.7 trillion in annual revenue. Stanford is the alma mater of U.S. President Herbert Hoover, the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rishi Sunak, 74 living billionaires, and 17 astronauts. In academia, its alumni include the presidents and provosts of Yale, Harvard and Princeton. It is also one of the leading producers of Fulbright Scholars, Marshall Scholars, Gates Cambridge Scholars, Rhodes Scholars, and members of the United States Congress.

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