Ideas on paper

Thoughts by José Luis Agell

Promote the public welfare by exercising an influence on behalf of humanity and civilization


The Campus of Stanford University is a great spot to go if you are in Palo Alto. Since the weather was unbelievable last Saturday, we decided to take our books and lay in the Oval, the huge field in the center of the campus.

The Campus is certainly impressive. It has around 80.000 acrees. I did a walking tour guided by a current student and I was amazed by the history of this University.

It was founded by Leland and Jane Stanford after their son’s death. Legend has it that the grieving couple said to one another, “the children of California shall be our children,” and they quickly set about to find a lasting way to memorialize their beloved son. And that’s the result: one of the leading universities in the world.img_13442

The Stanford family made some nontraditional choices at that moment: the university would be coeducational, in a time when most were only-male; non-denominational, when most were founded by religious institutions or at least associated with them; and avowedly practical, producing “cultured and useful citizens” when most were concerned only with the former.

Nowadays, it has around 6.800 students in technical areas (“the techies”) and social-humanistic areas (“the fuzzes”). There is a very ambitious MBA program rated as top-5 in most of the MBA lists. I asked about the difficulty of taking part of this program and I was said: “The main ingredient to become a Standford student is being passionate. We want people with initiative, curiosity and energy. If you are like this, the rest should not be a problem”. 

Maybe, someday I will check if it’s true…


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