Meeting the Stanford Challenge, Thanks to You
“The Stanford Challenge could not have been a success without the help of so many volunteers and alumni. I thank you for the incredible support and devotion you’ve shown this university. We hope you are intensely proud of what’s been accomplished here.”
John L. Hennessy
Bing Presidential Professor
Cracking the Neural Code
Treatments for neurological and psychiatric disease are limited by our understanding of the brain’s inner workings. A pathbreaking new method promises profound advances. Stanford scientists are able to excite or silence specific brain cells in freely moving animals using light. “Optogenetics” was developed with help from seed funding through NeuroVentures, a new undertaking within Stanford’s Bio-X interdisciplinary biosciences program. Now researchers in numerous fields are applying the technique, which could one day lead to new treatments for Alzheimer’s, depression, and other diseases.
More Highlights in Human Health
Preserving Natural Capital
Ecosystems provide vital services to humans, such as filtering drinking water and protecting coastal communities. Researchers at Stanford’s Natural Capital Project have developed software that factors the value of natural systems into land-use decisions. Their model is already being used in the United States, China, and throughout Central and South America. Launched with an Environmental Venture Fund grant from Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment, the project has grown into an ongoing partnership with The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, and the University of Minnesota.
More Highlights in Environment and Sustainability
Breaking New Ground in China
Stanford is expanding its presence in one of the world’s fastest growing nations. The Stanford Center at Peking University, slated to open in Beijing in 2012, will serve as a headquarters for Stanford students and faculty conducting research in China in every field of study, from political science to engineering. Scholars from both countries will combine their expertise on challenges like rural health care and education, sustainable development, and global economic stability. Housed in the new Lee Jung Sen Building, the center will also house the Bing Overseas Studies Program in Beijing.
More Highlights in International Initiative
Living Longer, Living Better
After watching their computerized avatars grow older, young people are inclined to save more for retirement—that’s just one finding from the Stanford Center on Longevity. Established in 2006, the center is driven by the dramatic increase in life expectancy and the resulting explosion in the percentage of older people in the global population. More than 130 faculty from throughout the university are blending science and technology with entrepreneurial action to ensure longevity will be not a liability, but rather a great advance for people of all ages.
More Highlights in Multidisciplinary Research
As the first in his family to attend a four-year college, Michael Tubbs, ’12, is grateful for the opportunities he’s found at Stanford. He’s already paying it forward by founding a nonprofit to help low-income students apply to college. Gifts to The Stanford Fund and endowed scholarship funds make Stanford a reality for students of all backgrounds.
More Highlights in Undergraduate Education
Empowering Students to Solve Problems
Coral reefs are essential to healthy oceans. Jamie Fleischfresser, a doctoral student in engineering, studies how nutrients flow through the water column, modeling the way minute changes in current can affect how corals grow. This nontraditional combination of engineering and marine biology is made possible by her Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship—one of 53 new fellowships university wide that empower students to cut across traditional academic boundaries to pursue cutting-edge research on complex problems.
More Highlights in Graduate Education
Bringing Visiting Artists to Campus
Working alongside professional performers, painters, writers, and other artists enables a growing number of students to gain exposure to practices and networks beyond Stanford. Thanks in part to the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts, more visiting artists live and work on campus, mentoring students and bringing diversity to the faculty. Some of these artists are world-renowned. Others are up-and-coming talents. Many are performers in the public Stanford Lively Arts series. Each helps integrate the arts into campus life and nourish the creative spirit of the university.
More Highlights in Arts and Creativity
Excellence in Teaching
Research shows having a great teacher three years in a row can significantly narrow the achievement gap. Stanford’s Center to Support Excellence in Teaching (CSET), launched in 2008, is at the forefront of a national movement to scale up quality teaching. The center investigates institutional practices with proven impact and spreads them through innovative programs. One example is CSET’s relationship with Balboa High School in the San Francisco Unified School District. Teachers and leaders there joined 265 others from seven states for the 2011 Stanford Summer Teaching Institute—the third year they’ve participated.
More Highlights in K–12 Education
- MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENTThanks to the support of 166,000 alumni and friends, we are changing the future.
- Cracking the Neural CodeA pathbreaking new method advances the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disease.
- Preserving Natural CapitalNew software factors the value of natural systems into land-use decisions.
- Breaking New Ground in ChinaStanford is expanding its presence in one of the world’s fastest growing nations.
- Living Longer, Living BetterResearchers work to ensure longevity will be an advance—and not a liability.
- Expanding OpportunitiesA first-generation college student reflects on opportunities found at Stanford.
- Empowering Students to Solve ProblemsNew fellowships empower students to pursue cutting-edge research.
- Bringing Visiting Artists to CampusVisiting artists nourish the creative spirit of the university.
- Excellence in TeachingA new center scales up quality teaching in K–12 education.
ABOUT THE STANFORD CHALLENGE The Stanford Challenge was a five-year campaign aimed at seeking solutions to complex global problems and educating the next generation of leaders. University-wide initiatives on the environment, human health, international affairs, K–12 education, the arts, and graduate and undergraduate education let Stanford supporters change the world and change students’ lives. The Stanford Challenge was led by Isaac Stein, MBA ’70, JD ’72; Steven A. Denning, MBA ’78; Christine U. Hazy, Parent ’04, ’07, ’11; and Linda R. Meier, ’61. The campaign concluded on December 31, 2011.