Friday, November 13, 2009

Stanford Campus Tour

I'm at the end of my second week of my research job and I'm enjoying it. The professor that I am working for is currently a visiting professor at Stanford so it has been fun to visit the campus to meet with him or hear him lecture. After one of his lectures while walking back to my car, I saw that the Stanford Campus tour was starting and so I decided to join it. I've done my fair share of college tours having been to several universities and I also did a back-East college tour while in high school so I would say I have a wide range of experience. This tour wasn't very good- the girl really liked to talk about the fountains. There are 38 all over campus, the water is dyed red during Homecoming week (I think? or for some other event), and as freshman- one tradition is for them to run through all of the fountains (my tour guide did). I did see more of the buildings than I had seen before- like the Hewlitt and Packard buildings (the Packard building is shown below). I love the modern design of the buildings- especially all of the glass.

The main campus really does have beautiful and unique architecture with a Spanish flavor and some Romanesque elements.

Beautiful colonnades.

Hoover Observation Tower, which I still need to visit the top.

Even their "underground system" has decorative elements to the manhole covers- and don't worry- its "sanitary"

But my favorite building is Memorial Church. The inside of the church has beautiful stain glass windows illustrating scenes from the New Testament. The exterior has this elaborate mosaic on its facade that contains over 20,000 tiles!!!

I did learn a few things about Stanford. Stanford was founded in honor of the only son of the Stanford family who died as a teenager. There are over 8,000 students (graduate and undergraduate) and just as many bikes since the campus is so huge. Initially, tuition used to be FREE for the first few years the university was open (don't you wish you could have gotten in on that!) In front of Memorial Church are several metal inlays lining the corridor of columns each with a different number on them like "90". I found out that underneath each of these columns is a time capsule from the graduating class of that year. Disturbingly, inside one of the time capsules is a slice of pizza. Gross! I would definitely NOT want to open that up- supposedly, this same slice was kept by a girl for four years, through her whole career at Stanford, and that was why it was so "important" to be placed inside the time capsule.


nicole said...

sorry you had a bad tour... but i will take you to the top of hoover tower! i get to go for free! you can be my sister for the day and go for free too :)

The Richardsons said...

What a beautiful school! I've never been but it looks fantastic.