Stanford University (officially Leland Stanford Junior University) is a private research university in Stanford, California. Its motto is "Die Luft der Freiheit weht", meaning "the air of freedom is blowing". Stanford is known for its academic strength, wealth, and proximity to Silicon Valley.
It was founded in 1885 by Leland and Jane Stanford in memory of their only child, Leland Stanford Jr., who had died of typhoid fever at age 15 the previous year. Leland Stanford, a former Governor of California and U.S. Senator, made his fortune as a railroad tycoon. Stanford University struggled financially after Leland Stanford's death in 1893 and again after much of the campus was damaged by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. After WWII, Provost Frederick Terman supported faculty and graduates' entrepreneurialism to build self-sufficient local industry in what would later be known as Silicon Valley.
The university is organized around three traditional schools consisting of 40 academic departments at the undergraduate and graduate level and four professional schools that focus on graduate programs in Law, Medicine, Education and Business. Stanford's undergraduate program is one of the top three most selective in the United States. As of March 2018, 81 Nobel laureates, 27 Turing Award laureates, and 7 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with Stanford as students, alumni, faculty or staff. In addition, Stanford University is particularly noted for its entrepreneurship and is one of the most successful universities in attracting funding for start-ups.
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