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Century at Stanford

By Karen Bartholomew

100 YEARS AGO (1902)

Michigan swamped Stanford, 49-0, in the inaugural Tournament of Roses football game in Pasadena on January 1. Stanford was the only team during the season to hold “point-a-minute” Michigan to fewer than 60 points; unfortunately, it was because Stanford forfeited in the third quarter. The disastrous game led tournament officials to switch to Roman-style chariot races until 1916, when they reintroduced football. The contest was renamed the Rose Bowl in 1923.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang “Hail, Stanford, Hail” at a campus concert in March. Written and composed in 1892 by mechanical engineering professor Albert W. Smith and his wife, Mary Roberts Smith (who later joined the sociology faculty), the song was little used during the 1890s. The choir’s performance drew wild applause and inspired adoption of the song as the Stanford hymn.

Professor Bolton Coit Brown, one of the pioneer faculty members, resigned as chairman of the department of drawing and painting to help found Byrdcliffe Colony, an arts and crafts group in Woodstock, N.Y. Two years earlier he had been embroiled in controversy when Jane Stanford discovered that nude models were posing in his advanced figure-drawing class. First, she ordered the class segregated by sex; later, she ordered the department to stop using unclothed models.

75 YEARS AGO (1927)

Women’s Conference, the representative council of women students, voted 18-1 to continue its ban on smoking in public. However, individual living groups such as Roble Hall and the sororities were granted the right to allow smoking on their premises.

50 YEARS AGO (1952)


After a 9-1 season under rookie coach Chuck Taylor, Stanford was defeated 40-7 by Illinois in the Rose Bowl. Taylor, ’43, who emphasized the passing game, was nevertheless named national coach of the year by his peers. As a student, he played guard on the undefeated 1940 Wow Boys and was named an All-American as a senior.

25 YEARS AGO (1977)

The University launched free high-quality interactive computing for students and faculty 24 hours a day through lots (Low-Overhead Time-Sharing). Only four people were needed to staff the system, which was used primarily for student classwork.

Six students who had invested in a racehorse sent “Our Tuition” back to her original owner. Instead of earning them tuition money, the mare incurred a net loss of $1,500.

Stanford in Washington: President Jimmy Carter named biological sciences professor Donald Kennedy to head the Food and Drug Administration. Law professor Barbara Babcock was appointed to head the Justice Department’s civil division. Also in the capital were psychology professor Richard Atkinson, director of the National Science Foundation; law professor Thomas Ehrlich, president of the Legal Services Corp.; and psychiatry professor David Hamburg, president of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.

Karen Bartholomew,'71, writes this column on behalf of the Stanford Historical Society.

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