Stanford takes steps to acquire Notre Dame de Namur University campus in Belmont

The potential transaction supports NDNU’s ongoing transition to a primarily graduate university while providing Stanford with additional space to support its people and programs and deepen its commitment to the region.

Stanford University has entered into an agreement with Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) to work toward Stanford’s purchase of NDNU’s campus in Belmont, California. The agreement is designed to support the academic missions of both universities and stems from a new vision that NDNU is independently pursuing to transition to a university offering graduate programs and undergraduate degree completion programs. That shift led NDNU to decide to sell its campus.

The Notre Dame de Namur University campus in Belmont, California. (Image credit: Courtesy of Notre Dame de Namur University)

For Stanford, the campus presents exciting potential opportunities as it pursues its educational mission and Long-Range Vision that includes more purposeful engagement with the region, nation and world. The property’s existing use as a residential academic campus was an important consideration for Stanford, as was its location on the Peninsula in proximity to public transit and Stanford’s existing main and Redwood City campuses.

The universities envision a future for the site under Stanford’s leadership that honors the shared academic histories of NDNU and Stanford as institutions of higher education working to advance knowledge and understanding for the betterment of humankind and supports the distinct plans that each university has for its future.

“We are delighted to be planning for the future of the Belmont campus in a way that strengthens both universities and our respective connections to the community,” said Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne. “We have a chance to envision new and innovative academic uses for the site that are grounded in its rich history and embrace the dynamism of the Bay Area.”

A Stanford campus in Belmont could, for example, unlock opportunities to provide space for programs that are emerging from the Long-Range Vision and extend the reach of the university’s Continuing Studies course offerings to more Bay Area residents.

For NDNU, the agreement with Stanford will provide financial resources that enable the university to develop new programs and provide outstanding educational opportunities to its students, continuing its 170-year legacy.

“This agreement between NDNU and Stanford gives NDNU the flexibility to grow again in new and exciting ways,” said NDNU President Beth Martin. “We will be able to continue the programs for which we are so well known, and to add new programs directly targeted to changing student needs, including a mix of in-person, hybrid and fully online programs.”

“This is a unique opportunity for Stanford to support higher education in the region, connect with residents in a part of the Peninsula where we have historically not had as much of a presence and invest in expanding our academic mission in service to the community,” said Stanford Provost Persis Drell. “While we do not anticipate moving existing teaching and research activities off of the main campus, adding a campus in Belmont will provide us with additional space and facilities to enhance those activities through more regionally-focused work.”

Stanford will develop a campus plan with input from NDNU, the Stanford community, the City of Belmont and local residents. In tandem with and to inform that process, Provost Drell will be working with a faculty advisory group to provide strategic direction about possible future academic uses for the campus. The space planning and campus design effort are being led by Stanford’s Land, Buildings and Real Estate Department through a process that is expected to take several years, beginning when Stanford submits its application for site improvements that require city approval.

Stanford is committed to engaging all stakeholders throughout the process of planning for the Belmont campus’ future. As it begins the process, the university is inviting local residents and community stakeholders to send comments and questions to belmontcampus@stanford.edu.

Media Contacts

Joel Berman, University Communications: (650) 208-8819; joelberman@stanford.edu