Then & Now

The Oval

Stanford University Archives
ca. 1906-1914
Linda A. Cicero
L.A. Cicero/Stanford News Service

Originally a sunken water hole, the Oval was planted as a lawn in Stanford University’s early years, and sheep were used to keep weeds under control until the early 1930s. The raised flowerbeds at the Oval were added in the 1980s as a gift from a donor. Every spring, the Grounds Services crew plants the flowers, which are in peak bloom throughout the summer. Left: A 30-foot-tall statue of “Faith” stood at the Oval in Stanford’s early years. Right: The grounds team planted a commemorative design at the Oval to honor Stanford’s 125th anniversary in 2016.