Serra Mall serves as the university’s front door, its face to the world. This image hints how much that world has changed since a photographer captured the scene sometime after Hoover Tower’s dedication in 1941. The United States had not yet entered the war then raging in Europe that would transform so much of society. The effect of world-changing Stanford research was just beginning to be felt.
In the years the tower was being funded and constructed, the Varian brothers and William Hansen developed the klystron, and David Packard and William Hewlett founded H-P in a Palo Alto garage. In this photo, those changes seem to lie just under the surface. Parking was not yet restricted near campus buildings, for the postwar expansion that spurred it had not yet arrived. Today, energy-efficient Marguerite shuttles serve a campus that has grown to 16,000 students, 13,000 employees and more than 2,000 faculty.
Photos: Stanford University Archives/Linda A. Cicero, Stanford News Service
Montage: John Holleman