Century at Stanford
Courtesy Stanford Archives
100 YEARS AGO (1905)
Addressing the issue of inadequate pensions for college professors, including those at Stanford, Andrew Carnegie donated $10 million to establish a noncontributory pension fund, which was chartered as the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. (The foundation moved to the Stanford campus in 2003.) Studies in the 1910s determined that the foundation was spending itself out of existence; in 1918 it developed the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) to carry on pension and insurance work.
75 YEARS AGO (1930)
In an April 3 feat of daring, 21 Sequoia Hall men recovered the Stanford Axe, which had been grabbed 31 years before by University of California students after a hotly contested baseball game. Cal students had stored the blade in a Berkeley bank vault, removing it only for their annual spring Axe Rally. This time, as the custodian stepped from an armored car with the Axe, he was pounced upon by one of Stanford’s “Immortal 21” diving off the car roof; another set off a distracting charge of magnesium flash powder. Classes were canceled the next morning as students celebrated on the steps of the Main Library. The Axe remained in a Palo Alto bank vault until Cal and Stanford officials agreed in 1933 to make it the trophy of the Big Game.
50 YEARS AGO (1955)
Fulton Lewis Jr., a conservative syndicated radio commentator, used his nationwide broadcast to attack Stanford. His object was the impending faculty appointment of Herbert Packer, recruited by Law School Dean Carl Spaeth to conduct a study of the testimony in judicial and legislative inquiries into communist activities in the United States. Packer would spend six years assembling and analyzing more than 200,000 pages of testimony from the inquiries.
Trustees adopted the principle of keeping the hilltops and ridges of the Foothills behind campus free of new structures, reversing a 1953 plan that included development of housing for 40,000 people. In 1974, trustees formally placed the Foothills in “academic reserve,” forgoing residential and commercial development.
25 YEARS AGO (1980)
The $14.7 million Cecil H. Green Library, built on the back of the old Main Library, was dedicated in April.
Trustees appointed provost Donald Kennedy as Stanford’s eighth president, effective August 1, replacing Richard W. Lyman, who had been appointed president of the Rockefeller Foundation. At his October 12 inauguration, Kennedy urged the faculty to overcome the alienation of the late 1960s and announced the establishment of the Stanford Humanities Center.
KAREN BARTHOLOMEW, ’71, writes this column on behalf of the Stanford Historical Society (histsoc.stanford.edu).
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