In China, a Scholar Is Convicted
Late last year, a Chinese court convicted a Stanford scholar and former missile scientist of leaking unspecified state secrets and sentenced him to 15 years in prison. Hua Di, 64, who was a social science research assistant at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, fled his native China after the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown. He was arrested in January 1998 after returning to China for a family memorial service. Stanford officials and U.S. diplomats have worked to have Hua returned to the United States, pushing unsuccessfully for an accounting of the charges.
Of 18,000, a Few Get the Early Nod
For 470 high school seniors, the year 2000 started with one thing less to worry about. In December they received acceptances to Stanford under the early decision plan, in which students agree to attend if admitted. Another 1,356 applicants were rejected, making the acceptance rate 22.5 percent. The University deferred decisions on 257 applicants, who are being considered with the regular decision pool. All told the admission staff will dig through 18,090 freshman applications for the Class of 2004. The applicant pool is up slightly from last year's 17,876, but still lower than the all-time high of 18,888 hopefuls two years ago.
Despite Hopes, the Children's Clinics Split
Officials gave up on the merger of the Stanford and UC-San Francisco hospitals in October, but they held out hope of salvaging joint operation of their closely linked pediatric services. That final tie came undone in January, when the two institutions were unable to agree on how a joint pediatric venture would be structured and governed. Also in January, President Gerhard Casper announced that Medical School Dean Eugene Bauer would concentrate on his role as the University's vice president for the Medical Center. His job will be to find ways to minimize redundancies and effectively use scarce resources. Bauer will continue as dean until a successor can take over responsibility for the Medical School's academic affairs.
Stanford's Top Lawyer Steps Down
Michael Roster, who led Stanford's legal office during a period of unprecedented growth and oversaw resolution of the indirect-costs dispute, stepped down in February after six years as general counsel. Roster came to Stanford in 1993 and soon restructured the general counsel's office by hiring three outside law firms to handle many of the University's legal needs. Roster left to become executive vice president and general counsel at Oakland-based Golden West Financial Corp. Debra Zumwalt, JD '79, of Pillsbury Madison and Sutro's Silicon Valley office, is serving as acting general counsel.
A Record-Breaking Year for Reunion Giving
More than 6,200 alumni responded to 1999 Reunion Homecoming campaigns by giving a record $49 million to Stanford -- up from $27 million in 1998. "The progress has been just stunning," says John Ford, '71, vice president for development. "Never in our wildest dreams did we think so many people would respond so quickly." Class trophies awarded include the Wilbur Reynolds Cup (Class of '54, with 59 percent participation), the Reunion Giving Trophy (Class of '49, which gave $12 million), the President's Cup (Class of '84, for raising $2 million in discretionary funds), and the Stanford Fund Leadership Award (Class of '78, which gave $662,000 in discretionary funds). The Class of '37 picked up kudos for the highest nonreunion-year participation (91 percent). That award was renamed the Gerhard Casper Trophy.
This Year's Commencement Speaker: Kofi Annan
He doesn't wear a crown or preside over a nation, but Kofi Annan is unquestionably a world leader. On June 11, the United Nations secretary-general will bring his international perspective to Stanford as the commencement speaker. A citizen of Ghana, Annan took the U.N.'s helm in 1997 and has led the organization as its peacekeeping operations expanded. Lynn Chiu, one of the senior class presidents who recommended Annan, says she is enthusiastic about his address: "As the Class of 2000, we hope that Mr. Annan's speech will carry with it a message of wisdom and optimism about what it will mean to be a citizen of the world in the next millennium."
Tuition's Up -- and So Is Financial Aid
Faced with exorbitant housing costs and the threat of inflation, Stanford's trustees voted in February to increase tuition and room and board by 5 percent. That compares to 3.5 percent for each of the previous two years. The total price of tuition, room and board next fall will be $32,471. The University's governing board also approved a number of improvements to financial aid. The changes boost by nearly $6 million Stanford's commitment to need-based aid.
A Grand Celebration as Talisman Turns 10
He was a white Stanford sophomore with little musical experience. But that didn't stop Joseph Pigato, '92, from founding a multi-ethnic singing group focused on cross-cultural music. His creation -- Talisman A Cappella -- celebrated its 10th anniversary in February with a campus concert that drew alumni from around the world. The coed student group has performed at the 1996 Olympic Games and at the White House, and it produced the bestselling debut album of any college a cappella group ever. A double CD with 30 of the group's best tracks is being released to mark the anniversary.
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Data is from the past two weeks.