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April 2, 2008

Community invited for annual commemoration of Stanford's founders

The university's annual Founders' Celebration will be held on Monday, April 7, featuring a half-hour program of speeches and song in Memorial Church, beginning at 5:15 p.m. In keeping with tradition, the university will open the Stanford family mausoleum to the public from noon to 5 p.m.

The celebration, which commemorates the founding of the university and the legacy of Jane and Leland Stanford, will begin with a remembrance delivered by the university's dean for religious life, the Rev. Scotty McLennan, followed by speeches by President John Hennessy; John Russ, a student at the Graduate School of Business; and senior Jessica Richman.

Both students won a speech-writing contest traditionally held in conjunction with the Founders' Celebration. The event's planning committee appointed several students to judge the speeches, and each winner received $1,000. The committee included staff from Stanford Events and senior administrators in Student Affairs, Graduate Student Life and Religious Life, as well as University Archivist Maggie Kimball.

Richman—a double major in economics and science, technology and society—will talk about how Stanford's founding is a story of entrepreneurialism that echoes her own. Russ will recount how the university's mission to make a difference in the world guided him to Stanford through a chance phone call from an alumnus.

The event is open to the public and will include introductory and concluding remarks by Hennessy. The Stanford Mendicants will perform as well.

More information on the history of Founders' Celebration and a schedule for this year's program is available at



Michael Peña, Stanford News Service: (650) 725-4275,


David Cappelloni, Stanford Events: (650) 736-8674,

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