Skip navigation

Year in Review

2013: The Year in Review

Among the significant events that occurred at Stanford during 2013 were the following:


Photo: Ban Ki-moon
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Stanford students to reach beyond borders to secure peace and prosperity.
  • The Cardinal bests Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl – Stanford's first Rose Bowl victory since 1972.
  • U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon outlines three ways to navigate a changing world and urges students to reach beyond borders to secure peace and prosperity.
  • The Bing Concert Hall opens with a three-minute fanfare designed to show off the acoustic and technical systems.
  • The Stanford Graduate School of Education adopts a new name to better reflect the rigor of its research and its preparation of scholars, teachers, policymakers, educational managers and entrepreneurs.
  • Alumna LaTonia Karr, vice chair of the board of a nonprofit organization that helps low-income youth in San Francisco pursue college degrees, is elected to the Board of Trustees.
  • Britain's Royal Astronomical Society names physicist Roger Blandford winner of the society's highest honor, the Gold Medal.


Photo: Lucy Shapiro
Lucy Shapiro received the National Medal of Science from President Barack Obama.
  • Developmental biologist Lucy Shapiro and physicist Sidney Drell are awarded the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama.
  • Eight from the School of Engineering are elected to the National Academy of Engineering: Craig Bowman (Mechanical Engineering), Gregory Deierlein (Civil and Environmental Engineering), David Dill (Computer Science), Abbas El Gamal (Electrical Engineering), Charbel Farhat (Aeronautics and Astronautics), Curtis Frank (Chemical Engineering), Stephen Quake (Bioengineering) and Eric Shaqfeh (Chemical Engineering).
  • The sold-out Pan-Asian Music Festival showcases the China National Orchestra.
  • Jerry Lee and Rachel Silverman are named Gates Cambridge Scholars.
  • The Board of Trustees elects four alumni to membership: Fred Alvarez, Gail Harris, Bernard Liautaud and Lloyd Metz.
  • China presents chemist Richard Zare with the highest honor the country awards to foreign scientists: the International Scientific and Technological Cooperation Award of the People's Republic of China.
  • Education Professor Susanna Loeb is elected to the National Academy of Education.
Photo: Pan-Asian Music Festival
The Pan-Asian Music Festival featured the China National Orchestra.


  • Alumna and television host Rachel Maddow tells students that an education in the humanities is a crucial asset in today's job market, a point she illustrates with her own story.
Photo: Rachel Maddow
Alumna and television host Rachel Maddow stressed the value of the humanities in a speech to Stanford students.


  • Seven are elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences: Arthur Bienenstock (Materials Science and Applied Physics), Nicholas Bloom (Economics), Alan Code (Philosophy), David Dill (Computer Science), Simon David Jackman (Political Science), Peter Michelson (Physics) and Suzanne Ruth Pfeffer (Medicine).
  • Adam Johnson, associate professor of English, wins the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for The Orphan Master's Son.
  • Juniors Jessica Laurel Anderson and Meredith Lukens Wheeler are named 2013 Truman Scholars.
  • Former Vice President Al Gore tells students the nation's "democracy has been hacked" as the inaugural Stephen H. Schneider Memorial Lecturer.
  • Stanford announces a collaboration with edX, the nonprofit online learning enterprise founded by Harvard and MIT.


  • Six are named new members of the National Academy of Sciences: Greg Asner (Environmental Earth System Science), Ben Barres (Neurology), Marcus Feldman (Biology), Emmanuel Mignot (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences), Alvin Roth (Economics) and Stephen Quake (Bioengineering).
  • Ground is broken on the new Stanford Hospital & Clinics.
  • Women's tennis wins its 17th NCAA national championship.
  • Ground is broken on the new McMurtry Building for the Department of Art and Art History.
Photo: Women's Tennis champions
The women's tennis team won its 17th national championship in 2013.


  • Pitcher Mark Appel is chosen first by Houston in the Major League Baseball draft.
  • New York City Mayor and Commencement speaker Michael Bloomberg tells Stanford graduates to work hard, take risks and follow their passions.
  • The Supreme Court Litigation Clinic at Stanford Law School was part of the legal team that successfully challenged the Defense of Marriage Act before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Photo: Commencement 2013
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered the Commencement address.


  • Stanford alumnus John Arrillaga makes a $151 million gift to the university, the largest-ever single donation from a living individual.


  • Alumnus Robert Bass rejoins the Board of Trustees.


  • C. Kevin Boyce, associate professor of geological and environmental sciences, and David Lobell, associate professor of environmental Earth system science, are named MacArthur Foundation Fellows.
  • U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg visits Stanford Law School for Constitution Day.
  • The Redwood City City Council approves Stanford’s plan to construct up to 13 buildings in the former Mid-Point Technology Park mostly for administrators whose work does not require them to be on the main campus.
  • Stanford University and Stanford Hospital & Clinics create a historic fund to invest in companies founded by Stanford entrepreneurs through StartX, a student-launched nonprofit startup accelerator.


  • Created as an experiment of collaboration, the James H. Clark Center, home to Bio-X, turns 10.
  • Neuroscientist Thomas Südhof, professor of molecular and cellular physiology, wins the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for “discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells.”
  • Computational biologist Michael Levitt wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for theoretical, computer-aided analysis of the protein, DNA and RNA molecules responsible for life at its most fundamental level.
  • Engineering Dean Jim Plummer decides to step down after 15 years.
  • Eight faculty are named Bass University Fellows in Undergraduate Education: Stacey Bent (Chemical Engineering), Dan Edelstein (French and Italian), Rafe Mazzeo (Mathematics), Scott Sagan (Political Science), Debra Satz (Philosophy), Jennifer Summit (English), Ewart Thomas (Psychology) and Ravi Vakil (Mathematics).
  • Quynh-Thu Le, professor and chair of radiation oncology, is elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.
Photo: Thomas Südhof and Michael Levitt
Michael Levitt, winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry, and Thomas Südhof, winner of the Nobel prize in medicine or physiology.


  • Mindy Rogers, who earned her MBA at Stanford, is elected to the Board of Trustees.
  • Alumni Emma Pierson and Miles Unterreiner and senior Meredith Wheeler are named U.S. Rhodes Scholars.
  • Franklin Orr, director of the Precourt Institute for Energy, is tapped by President Obama to oversee energy and science research programs in the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Tasso Azevedo, a socio-environmental entrepreneur dedicated to preserving Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, is the first winner of the $100,000 Bright Award from the Stanford Law School in collaboration with the Woods Institute for the Environment.


  • Senior Mailyn Fidler and graduate student David Wei Jia are awarded Marshall Scholarships, while alumnus Ty McCormick wins a Mitchell Scholarship.
  • Kenneth Goodson, chair of Mechanical Engineering, is named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.