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Stanford University Founders' Day Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Information about Access
  • Ownership & Copyright
  • Cite As
  • Biographical/Historical Sketch
  • Description of the Collection

  • Language of Material: Undetermined
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: Stanford University Founders' Day collection
    creator: Hennessy, John L.
    creator: Craig, Dana.
    creator: McLennan, Scotty.
    creator: Brown, Clayton.
    Identifier/Call Number: SC1085
    Physical Description: 0.5 Linear Feet
    Date (inclusive): 1931-2007
    Abstract: Speakers at the 2006 event, held in Memorial Church, were Reverend Scotty McLennan, President John Hennessy, and two student speakers, Clayton Brown and Dana Craig; music was provided by Talisman A Cappella.

    Information about Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Ownership & Copyright

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94304-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/pubserv/permissions.html.
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Cite As

    Stanford University Founders' Day Collection (SC1085). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Biographical/Historical Sketch

    Founders' Day celebration commemorates the founding of the University and the legacy of the Stanford family.
    The first public event sponsored by the newly fonned Stanfond Historical Society in 1976 was a Founders' Day celebration held at the mausoleum on Tuesdar, March 9, in joint sponsorship with the Alumni Association. Reacting to the neglect of recent senior classes of the long-standing custom of maintaining flowers at the mausoleum, a large basket of flowers was placed in tribute. Prof. James T. Watkins IV, first president of the society, told those attending, that the society and the Alumni Association did not intend to usurp the University's traditional observance, which was part of the regular service in Memorial Church on the Sunday closest to Leland Stanford Sr.' s March birthday.
    Through 1979, the Historical Society and Alumni Association Continued their custom of observing Founders' Day at the mausoleum on March 9, hearing speeches by Rosamond Bacon, David Jacobson (secretary to the university emeritas), and other campus figures.
    In 1980, Founders' Day fell on a Sunday and the first joint celebiation with the University was organized with the help of Dean of the Chapel Robert Hamenon-Kelly. Following the traditional Sunday service, the Historical Society and Alunini Associauon sponsored a reenactment of the Founders' Day pilgrimage that once had been a traditional activity of the senior class. At the mausoleum, remarks were made by a senior class president and presidents of the Historical Society and Alumni Association.
    The joint Sunday celebration was a great success and has been the custom ever since with a faculty marshal leading senior class members carrying flags, followed by the church choir and anyone else who is interested in walking a mile. The Alumni Association provides the floral wreath and refreshments and the Historical Society arranges for a keynote speaker who gives brief remarks at the mausoleum that relate in some way to the founders. After the ceremony, participants ale permitted to go inside the mausoleum to view the crypts.
    Speakers for the Historical Society have included Don Kennedy (several times), Jim Rosse, Condoleezza. Rice, Gerhard Casper, and JimGibbons. As a courtesy, the dean of the chapel traditionally consults the Historical Society about the selection of a church speaker for Founders' Day, but that choice ultimately is theirs.
    Over the years, rounders' Day has provided an opportunity for special celebrations. In 1984, those gathered at the mausoleum also recognized the 100th anniversary of Leland Jr.' s death. In 1985, the centennial celebration was launched on March 9 with a joint Historical Society/Cenrcnnial Committee program marking the 100th anniversary of the Enabling Act that provided the legal basis for the University's founding. The next day drew a larger-than-usual crowd to Founders' Day, where Don Kennedy discussed the skepticism and ridicule the Stanfords faced in 1885. (As occasionally happens, the procession that year was rained out and the mausoleum ceremony was held in the church.)
    The largest commemomion was held in 1991, when a capacity audience of 1,700 gathered in Memorial Auditorium to hear Wallace Stegner talk at a special centennial edition of Founders' Day. (Memorial Church would have been used but was closed because of the 1989 earthquake.) Other speakers in 1991 were Richard Lyman, Don Kennedy, Don Winbigler, and Senior Oass President Jacqueline Yau. The 1993 Founders' Day, with Gerhard Casper speaking both in ihe pulpit and at the mausoleum, included tributes to the mausoleum's large dying heritage oak tree, which was scheduled for removal a few months later. Occasionally, the same person speaks both at the church service and the mausoleumy but Historical Society members generally prefer two different speakers.

    Description of the Collection

    Speakers at the 2006 event, held in Memorial Church, were Reverend Scotty McLennan, President John Hennessy, and two student speakers, Clayton Brown and Dana Craig; music was provided by Talisman A Cappella.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Stanford University -- History.
    Hennessy, John L.
    Craig, Dana.
    McLennan, Scotty.
    Talisman A Cappella.
    Brown, Clayton.