Stanford was founded by railroad magnate and California Governor Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane Stanford, and is
named in honor of their deceased teenage son, Leland
Stanford, Jr. Locals and university affiliates are known to refer to the school as The Farm
, a nod to the
institution's origins as a horse farm.The University's founding grant was written on November 11, 1885, and accepted by the first Board of Trustees on November 14. The cornerstone was laid on May 14, 1887, and the University officially opened on October 1,
1891, to 559 students, with free tuition. The school was established as a coeducational institution although it maintained a cap on female enrollment for many
years and continues to have predominantly male enrollment in many strategic areas, such as engineering and computer science.The official motto of Stanford University, selected by the Stanfords, is "Die Luft der Freiheit weht.
" When loosely
translated from the Latin, by way of German, the quote from Ulrich von Hutten means "The wind of freedom blows." At the time of the
school's establishment, German had recently replaced Latin as the dominant language of
science and philosophy (a position it would hold until World War II).