T Nation

Stanford University vrs Harvard?

Here is something I find inspiring:

So often we are faced with people we would deem intelligent, but also whose responses don’t match the pedestal we have placed them on.

You know who you are.
Here is something I find inspiring!

So often we are faced with people we would deem intelligent, but also whose responses don’t match the pedestal we have placed them on. You know who you are.
There for I present you with the following true story:

The woman in a gingham dress and the man in a homespun suit got
off the train in Boston and made their way to the office of the
president of Harvard University.

They did not have an appointment.
They entered the outer office where the secretary looked at them with disdain, taking in the gingham dress and
homespun suit.
“What can I do for you?” she snapped.

“We wish to see the president” the man said quietly.

“He’s busy all day” she snapped again.

“We’ll wait” said the man.

Hours passed, and the secretary began to fidget. “These people
had no right to be here taking up valuable time.”
Finally she could stand it no more and doing the chore she always
regretted, she interrupted the president of Harvard University.

“Maybe if you see them for a few minutes, they’ll leave,” she
said to him.

He sighed in exasperation and nodded. Someone of his importance
obviously didn’t have time to spend with them, but he detested
gingham dresses and homespun suits cluttering up his outer
office. The president, stern faced and with dignity, strutted
toward the couple. The lady told him,

“We had a son who attended
Harvard for one year. He loved Harvard. He was happy here. But,
about a year ago, he was accidentally killed.
My husband and I would like to erect a memorial to him, somewhere on campus.”

The president wasn’t touched…He was shocked.

"Madam, he said gruffly, “we can’t put up a statue to every
person who attended Harvard and died. If we did, this place would
look like a cemetery.”
“Oh no,” the lady explained quickly.

“We don’t want to erect a
statue. We thought we would like to give a building to Harvard.”
The president rolled his eyes.

He glanced at the gingham dress
and homespun suit, then exclaimed,
“A building! Do you have any earthly idea how much a building
costs? We have over seven and a half million dollars in the
physical buildings here at Harvard.” For a moment the lady was
silent. The president was pleased. Maybe he could get rid of them
now. The lady turned to her husband and said quietly, "Is that
all it costs to start a university? Why don’t we just start our

Her husband nodded.

The presidents face wilted in confusion and bewilderment. Mr. and
Mrs. Leland Stanford got up and walked away, traveling to Palo
Alto , California where they established the university that
bears their name, Stanford University, a memorial to a son that
Harvard no longer cared about.

You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat
those who they think can do nothing.

As well SUN Micro Systems stands for: Stanford Unified Network, a group of people while at Stanford who where working on the network, left taking the knowledge from Stanford and formed SUN, on the premises that the Computer is only as good as the Network behind it.

Did you get the part where I said that this is something I find inspiring?
One day I will learn to poast…ahh

Is that true…?

Being from England I wouldn’t know… That’s quite a story…

Which is regarded as the best of the two…?

Kind of like Oxford and Cambridge over here.


Hate to be the burster of bubbles here, but it’s not a true story.

Lots of urban legends flying around the board lately.

DocT I have to agree with you. I looked up the history on Stanford and found that the story is an urban legend. I am currently doing my MBA at Columbia, for some reason the IVY’s have more than their share of urban legends. Here the an excerpt from the Standford website, I put a link for the history page below -

The Stanfords returned to America in May and, before proceeding to Palo Alto, visited Cornell, Yale, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They talked with President Eliot of Harvard about three ideas: a university at Palo Alto, a large institution in San Francisco combining a lecture hall and a museum, and a technical school. Asked which of these seemed most desirable, Eliot answered, a university. Mrs. Stanford inquired how much the endowment should be, in addition to land and buildings, and he replied, not less than $5 million. A silence followed. Finally, Mr. Stanford said with a smile, “Well, Jane, we could manage that, couldn’t we?” and a grave Mrs. Stanford nodded her assent.

Thats off their offical website -