The westward wind of Stanford apparently blows. Lately, Stanford’s admissions rate has been dropping like a stone—down to 5.07%, half of what it was for the class of 2007. But Harvard students, alumni and donors, do not hold to your hats for too long: What do Kim and Kanye’s Vogue Magazine issue and Stanford have in common? They are here today, gone tomorrow. (We wish!)
Is Stanford just another Californian fad? Let's take a look at the qualities that led to the university's meteoric rise.
1. It has a posh real name. At its founding some 250 years after Harvard’s, Stanford University was named “Leland Stanford Junior University” which remains its official name.
2. Make-out parties. Stanford has earned an enviable reputation amongst frustrated high schoolers for its “Full Moon on the Quad” parties. Think Incestfest on the Quad Lawn.
3. Bikes are in. If I thought the walk from Hurlbut to Annenburg was bad, try Stanford’s monumental campus. And while bikes may be prohibited on the Harvard Yard, they are quite hip out in Palo Alto.
4. Jorts are also in. The perfect combination of prep and cotton, jorts are a very good look. Yet jorts are woefully uncomfortable for the Cambridge winter, a prolonged season that also includes its autumn and spring. Assured 70 degrees weather in the spring semester? Jorts, jorts, jorts.
5. Become an astronaut. The dream of every young kid can become a reality at Stanford. Whereas Harvard lacks a consistent supply of alumni going into astronautics—instead favoring consulting and hedge funds—Stanford counts 17 current astronauts among its graduates.
6. Become a reality TV star. Whilst Harvard may boast Tyra Banks and the team behind The Simpsons, Stanford provides the unique opportunity to be famous for being famous. Such is the case of Alex Michel, the eponymous “bachelor” in "The Bachelor’s" very first season. The FIRST season; such is Stanford’s innovative reputation.
Will Stanford’s reputation ever be cut down to size, dare we say, like a tree? Not as long as Leland Stanford Junior University continues in its Cardinal values of global name recognition, prurient student life, and alumni impacting the world in new ways.