|Story||Photos / Slideshow||Maps: 1 2 3||Profile|
Mt. Jordan (13,353 ft.)
Named by Sierra Club in 1925
In late March 1891, Leland Stanford, appointed an energetic young scholar, David Starr Jordan of Indiana University, to head the fledgling university and mature with it. He had little time in which to recruit professors and design a curriculum by the university's Oct. 1 opening. Jordan found that established scholars in the East were reluctant to move to an unproven school in the West, so he turned to promising younger scholars, many from his alma mater, Cornell.
Two years later, in 1893, Senator Stanford died, and his estate was snarled in legal proceedings that threatened the life of the university. For 'six pretty long years,' as Jordan later summed up the difficult experience, the future of the university was in doubt. But Jane Stanford's determination, the courage of the pioneer faculty and their families, the faith that the community outside the campus placed in them and the buoyant energy of those early-day students sustained the university.
Once the estate was released from probate, Jordan was eager to build the academic program, but Mrs. Sanford wanted to see constructed the rest of the buildings she and her husband had planned -- the Outer Quad, Memorial Church, the Chemistry Building, a new library and a new gymnasium. Jordan came to call this period of construction the university's 'stone age.' Mrs. Stanford died in 1905; she saw fulfilled her 'fondest wish . . . to live long enough to give to you young students all the requisite buildings planned by the founders.'
But on April 18, 1906, a violent earthquake wrecked many of the new buildings and caused considerable damage to others. Jordan had been offered the position of secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, a job he now declined as he looked forward to rebuilding the university: 'I am sure that my place is here,' he wrote to a friend. 'I can now, I believe, weld this institution together. I need some years to complete this. Then the institution will be beautiful, with a great library, adequate apparatus, a strong and well-paid faculty and a small but selected and effective body of students. . . . I shall stay with the poppies, the perfect sunshine and the shadow of the great temblor.'
Stanford University's western, entrepreneurial spirit was evident through and beyond the period of rebuilding that followed the earthquake. Jordan's early faculty appointees became eminent in their fields, and in places far from California, Stanford graduates were earning reputations in their professions that reflected well on their alma mater.
In 1913, Jordan assumed the new post of chancellor, so that he could devote
himself to the peace movement. When he died in 1931, he had spent half of
his 80 years at Stanford."
- Stanford University History (online)
For more information see these SummitPost pages: Mt. Genevra - Mt. Jordan
This page last updated: Wed Mar 31 21:29:42 2010
For corrections or comments, please send feedback to: email@example.com