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The Cardinal Heisman Trophy runner-up Andrew Luck led the Cardinal to an Orange Bowl victory in 2011.

2011: The Year in Review

Among the significant events that occurred at Stanford during 2011 were the following:

January

In its first bowl victory in 14 years, Stanford’s football team wins the Orange Bowl, 40-12, beating Virginia Tech.

Hongjie Dai, the J. G. Jackson and C. J. Wood Professor of Chemistry; Jon Krosnick, the Frederic O. Glover Professor in Humanities and Social Sciences; and David Relman, the Thomas C. and Joan M. Merigan Professor in the School of Medicine, are named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine awards $10.6 million to Stanford medical researchers for their work on stem cell therapy.

Donald Knuth, the Fletcher Jones Professor of Computer Science, Emeritus, is awarded the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Information and Communication Technologies. The citation, from the foundation associated with the Spanish bank BBVA, recognized Knuth’s The Art of Computer Programming, the fourth volume of which he recently completed, as “the seminal work on computer science.”

February

Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom delivers the annual Tanner Lectures on Human Values. The economist spoke about public policy, natural resources and land management in the American West.

The Glenn Foundation for Medical Research gives Stanford $5 million to establish a center on the biology of aging, focusing on the role of stem cells in the aging process.

Lucile Packard Children's Hospital David Stevenson

Neonatologist David Stevenson is the principal investigator for a new center that will research ways to better predict and prevent preterm births. The new center is a joint venture of the March of Dimes and the School of Medicine.

Three Stanford scientists are named fellows of the American Physical Society: Mark Brongersma, associate professor of materials science and engineering; Igor Moskalenko, senior research scientist in the Hansen Experimental Physics Laboratory and the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology; and Juan Santiago, professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Stanford Microfluidics Laboratory.

Stanford faculty members are elected to the National Academy of Engineering: James Harris, the James and Ellenor Chesebrough Professor in the School of Engineering; Daphne Koller, the Rajeev Motwani Professor in the School of Engineering; Nick McKeown, professor of electrical engineering and of computer science; and Mark Zoback, the Benjamin M. Page Professor in the School of Earth Sciences.

The March of Dimes gives a $20 million grant for a new School of Medicine research center, a collaborative effort between the two organizations that will be dedicated to understanding and preventing preterm birth.

March

Terry Castle

Terry Castle

Arnold Rampersad, the Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities, Emeritus, is awarded a National Humanities Medal by President Obama during a White House ceremony.

Terry Castle, the Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities, is a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle criticism award for her collection of essays, The Professor and Other Writings.

Biologist Marcus Feldman, the Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, wins the $1 million Dan David Prize for his research on human and animal evolution.

Martin Hellman, professor emeritus of electrical engineering, and two of his former students enter the National Inventors Hall of Fame for developing public-key cryptography, which allows people to share data on the Internet.

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Stanford Center at Peking University

Warren Christopher, JD ’49, former law review president, chairman of the Board of Trustees and U.S. secretary of state, dies at 85. He was honored in 2008 with the establishment of the Warren Christopher Professorship of the Practice of International Law and Diplomacy.

Stanford announces it will open a new center at Peking University that will provide a base for research, teaching, meetings and conferences. The center also will be a new home for Bing Overseas Studies in China.

April

President John Hennessy in his annual address to the Academic Council tells the faculty he envisions creating a “world-class model for the multi-campus university,” referring to Stanford’s bid to establish a campus in New York City.

President Hennessy addresses the annual meeting of the Academic Council.

Four Stanford juniors are among the 60 Truman Scholars for 2011 to receive grants for graduate studies aimed at careers in public service.

Thanks to men’s gymnastics, Stanford becomes just the second university to capture its 100th NCAA athletic title.

Eight Stanford scholars are among the 212 members elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences: Anthony Bryk (Graduate School of Business), Penelope Eckert (Linguistics), Russell Fernald (Biology), Andrei Linde (Physics), Todd Martinez (Chemistry), Monika Piazzesi (Economics), Brian Wandell (Psychology) and Shoucheng Zhang (Physics).

Stanford celebrates the grand opening of the $345 million Knight Management Center, the new home of the Graduate School of Business. Nike founder Philip H. Knight, MBA ’62, made the project possible with his $105 million gift in 2006.

L.A. Cicero Professor Clifford Nass

Clifford Nass founded and directs the Communication between Humans and Interactive Media (CHIMe) Lab and is director of the Revs Program at Stanford.

With an all-day event called “Celebrating the Automobile,” Stanford announces creation of the Revs Program, led by Clifford Nass, the Thomas More Storke Professor, and dedicated to the study of all things automobile.

The Faculty Senate approves a proposal to bring ROTC back to campus after a 40-year hiatus.

Stanford announces what is believed to be the nation’s first doctoral program in stem cell science.

A joint solar research effort managed by Stanford and the University of California-Berkeley wins $25 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative.

May

Hewlett-Packard gives $25 million over 10 years to support expansion of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder dedicates the William H. Neukom Building at Stanford Law School. Neukom, the former general counsel of Microsoft and former managing general partner of the San Francisco Giants, gave the $20 million lead gift for the building.

Misha Bruk Outside view of the William H. Neukom Building

The Barnum Tower references the historic entry gates of the Main Quad and serves as the main entrance to the law school's Neukom Building.

Eight Stanford scholars are elected to the National Academy of Sciences: Keith Hodgson (Chemistry), David Kingsley (Developmental Biology), Brian Kobilka (Molecular and Cellular Physiology), Robert Malenka (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences), Ellen Markman (Psychology), Susan McConnell (Biology), Parviz Moin (Mechanical Engineering) and Barry Weingast (Political Science).

The Coulter Foundation pledges $10 million, matched by the university, to enable the Wallace H. Coulter Translational Research Grant Program to continue its bioengineering and medical research in perpetuity.

Marcus Feldman, professor of biology, and William Newsome, professor of neurobiology, are elected to the American Philosophical Society.

June

Mexican President Felipe Calderón delivers the Commencement address to the graduating Class of 2011. He was the second sitting president to have that distinction; Peru’s President Alejandro Toledo, a Stanford alumnus, gave the speech in 2003.

L.A. Cicero Harry W. Anderson, left, Mary Patricia Anderson Pence and Mary Margaret Anderson

Harry W. Anderson, left, Mary Patricia Anderson Pence and Mary Margaret Anderson donate to Stanford one of the most outstanding private collections of 20th-century American art in the world.

Anthony Weeks and Theo Rigby, students in the master’s program in documentary film production, win awards at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Student Academy Awards.

The multidisciplinary Stanford Women’s Cancer Center, serving women with breast and gynecologic cancers, opens its doors.

A case argued at the U.S. Supreme Court does not go Stanford’s way, as the justices vote that drugmaker Roche is a co-owner with Stanford of patents for an HIV testing kit. The university had argued that co-ownership violated the Bayh-Dole Act.

Stanford announces it will become home to the core of the Anderson Collection, one of the most outstanding private collections of 20th-century American art in the world, which is being donated by Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson, and Mary Patricia Anderson Pence. The Bay Area family built the collection over nearly 50 years.

The Palo Alto City Council signs off on reports, permits and agreements—including a $175 million community benefits package—with Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and Stanford, enabling a large-scale renewal project to move forward.

L.A. Cicero Claude Steele portrait

Claude Steele is the new dean of the School of Education.

The School of Education announces that the incoming dean will be a familiar presence at Stanford: Claude Steele. The social psychologist taught at Stanford for nearly 20 years before becoming provost of Columbia University in 2009.

The School of Humanities and Sciences launches the $4 million Pigott Scholars Program to support exceptional students pursuing doctorates in the humanities.

July

The Cantor Arts Center announces that alumna Connie Wolf will be the museum’s next director, succeeding Tom Seligman.

Groundbreaking takes place for the Jill and John Freidenrich Center for Translational Research at the School of Medicine.

Richard Serra’s Sequence, one of the sculptor’s greatest achievements, is installed at the Cantor Arts Center. On loan from the Doris and Don Fisher Collection, it is a 235-ton contoured steel sculpture that is 67 feet long, 42 feet wide and 13 feet high. It eventually will be displayed at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The National Science Foundation selects a team from Stanford, UC-Berkeley, Colorado School of Mines and New Mexico State to implement an Engineering Research Center to reinvent America’s aging and inadequate water infrastructure.

August

Tara VanDerveer

Tara VanDerveer is inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

The Board of Trustees welcomes two new members: Ronald Bruce Johnson, a senior vice president at Apple, and Victoria Browne Rogers, president of the Rose Hills Foundation.

Women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer is inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

September

Amos Nur, the Wayne Loel Professor of Earth Sciences, Emeritus, wins the Maurice Ewing Medal, the highest award given by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

The Stanford Technology Ventures Program launches the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation, better known as the Epicenter, funded with a $10 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Courtesy of Riverwalk Jazz Radio

An excerpt from a recording for 'Riverwalk Jazz,' featuring the Jim Cullum Jazz Band, broadcast from San Antonio, Texas and part of the archives acquired by Stanford.

The archives of Riverwalk Jazz, a live radio program now in its 22nd season on Public Radio International, are acquired by the Stanford University Libraries. Audio, video and the website from the radio show, which features the Jim Cullum Jazz Band and favors old-fashioned hot jazz, will become part of Stanford’s Archive of Recorded Sound.

President Obama names Stanford Professor Michael McFaul to be the next U.S. ambassador to Russia. McFaul is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of political science.

Five Stanford researchers in biology, bioengineering and medicine receive prestigious National Institutes of Health awards for innovation for 2011: David Schneider, associate professor of microbiology and immunology, receives an NIH Director’s Pioneer Award; C. Jason Wang, acting associate professor of pediatrics, and Hunter Fraser, assistant professor of biology, receive New Innovator Awards; and Jody Puglisi, professor and chair of the Department of Structural Biology, and Kwabena Boahen, associate professor of bioengineering, receive Transformative Research Project Awards.

Pete Souza Michael McFaul in the Oval Office with President Barack Obama

Michael McFaul in the Oval Office with President Barack Obama as he speaks on the phone with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Feb. 24, 2010.

Stanford Management Company announces that the university’s primary investment pool achieved returns of 22.4 percent for the 12 months that ended June 30, 2011. The pool includes most of the university’s endowment, expendable funds and capital reserves from the hospitals.

The highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on early-career scientists and engineers goes to Benjamin Lev, an assistant professor of applied physics, who studies the behavior of quantum matter.

Construction work gets under way for Building 4, the last and final component of the Science and Engineering Quad. The new building will house the Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering departments.

October

Russian literary superstar Vladimir Sorokin is in residence at Stanford. The postmodern novelist and dramatist has won awards and reprobation in equal quantities for his edgy, dystopian work, and he has been translated into many languages.

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy, one of the seminal figures in artificial intelligence—indeed, he invented the expression—dies at the age of 84. At the time of his death he was a professor emeritus of computer science.

Thomas Sargent, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a professor at New York University and a leader in the field of macroeconomics and rational expectations, is one of two men awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Sargent taught in Stanford’s Department of Economics from 1998 to 2002 and has been a fellow at the Hoover since 1987.

Stanford submits a response to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s request for proposals to build and establish an engineering and applied sciences campus in New York City. As part of the proposal, Stanford teams up with the City College of New York in a partnership that will provide Stanford space in New York before proposed building would begin on Roosevelt Island. Although Stanford later withdrew its proposal, its partnership with City College continued.

Three members of the School of Medicine faculty are elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine: Margaret Fuller, the Reed-Hodgson Professor in Human Biology; David Relman, the Thomas C. and Joan M. Merigan Professor, and a professor of medicine, microbiology and immunology; and Abraham Verghese, professor of medicine.

Reunion Homecoming brings some 9,000 alumni and guests back to the Farm for four days of festivities, thought-provoking events and catching up. The Roundtable, one of 425 events over the long weekend, was called “Education Nation 2.0” and featured alumnus and Newark Mayor Cory Booker and host Charlie Rose.

Gretchen Daily, the Bing Professor in Environmental Science and senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, receives the Biodiversity Award given by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.

Ronald Davis, professor of biochemistry and of genetics, wins the $500,000 Genetics Prize from the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation.

November

It was a record year for fellowships: Five scholars from Stanford—two seniors and three recent graduates—win Rhodes scholarships, two are named as Mitchell Scholars and two are named Marshall Scholars.

Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Conjoined twin toddlers successfully separated at Packard Children's

Conjoined twins Angelina (left) and Angelica Sabuco after their separation surgery at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

Persis Drell, director of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, announces she is stepping down from the post to return to teaching and research.

A Stanford medical team at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital successfully separates two 2-year-old girls conjoined at the chest and abdomen. The children went home two weeks later.

The Stanford Graduate School of Business establishes the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies with a $150 million gift from Dorothy and Robert King, MBA ’60. The institute, informally known as SEED, will stimulate, develop and disseminate research and innovations that enable entrepreneurs, managers and leaders to alleviate poverty in developing economies.


Stanford Graduate School of Business launches an institute to alleviate world poverty.

The Stanford Medical Youth Science Program receives a 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. The award, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government for mentoring in these fields, carries a $25,000 prize from the National Science Foundation.

December

President John Hennessy wins the IEEE Medal of Honor, the technical society’s highest award, for pioneering the RISC (reduced instruction set computer) processor and for leadership in computer engineering and higher education.

The Stanford Challenge, Stanford’s five-year fundraising campaign, ends on Dec. 31, having far exceeded its goal of $4.3 billion.