The Rejection that led to the founding of Stanford University-Fiction!

The Rejection That Led to the Founding of Stanford University-



Summary of eRumor:According to the story, two “country hicks” came to Harvard and wanted to talk with the president.  A haughty secretary resisted the couple and made them wait for hours.  In exasperation, she finally asked the president to see the visitors, which he did if for no other reason to get rid of them.  The couple told him their son had attended Harvard for a year and he had loved it, but had been killed in an accident and they wanted to build a memorial to him.  The president discouraged them, saying they couldn’t erect a memorial to every student who had died.  The couple said they were thinking of donating for an entire building in their son’s honor.  The president discouraged them and mentioned how much all of the buildings at Harvard were worth.  The lady commented to her husband that if that was all it took to build a university, they ought to construct their own.  So…Mr. and Mrs. Leland Stanford went to Palo Alto, California and built a school in honor of their son…a memorial to a student that Harvard no longer cared about.

The Truth:

  According to Stanford University, this eRumor is not true.  Leland Stanford was once governor of California and in 1876, he bought the first of what would become more than 8,000 acres of land on the San Francisco peninsula.  Leland and Jane Stanford had one son, Leland, Jr., but he never attended Harvard.  He died at the age of 15 on a family trip to Italy, but from typhoid fever, not from an accident.  Within a few hours of his son’s death, Stanford said to his wife, “The children of California shall be our children.”  That was the beginning of Stanford University, according to the official account. For more information: Stanford website with details on the beginning