2022 was a lively year at Stanford as efforts to advance and execute priorities on the school’s Long-Range Vision ramped up. The university’s first new school in 75 years, the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, launched this fall and is dedicated to tackling sustainability challenges facing people and ecosystems across the world. Stanford also unveiled new programming for undergraduate residential neighborhoods. Meanwhile, the IDEAL initiative also continued to grow with the launch of a learning journey for staff and the second cohort of new IDEAL Provostial Fellows joined campus this year, bringing the total number of fellows to 10.

The year also saw Stanford researchers make continued advancements in science and technology, and scholars from the social sciences, arts, and humanities offered new ways to understand problems facing society and the world at large. Stanford also celebrated some notable recognitions among its faculty and students, including a Nobel Prize in chemistry and a Rhodes Scholarship, to name just two. Stanford’s student-athletes continued to impress, with national championship wins in women’s water polo, women’s golf, and men’s gymnastics.

Below are a few of the highlights and reflections from the year.

Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, university’s first new school in 70 years, will accelerate solutions to global climate crisis

Investments of $1.1 billion from John and Ann Doerr, along with gifts from other philanthropists, catalyze interdisciplinary efforts to tackle urgent climate and sustainability challenges facing people and ecosystems worldwide.

Tiny Lecture Nobel edition: Professor Carolyn Bertozzi

Stanford Professor Carolyn Bertozzi was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for her development of bioorthogonal reactions, which allow scientists to explore cells and track biological processes without disrupting the normal chemistry of the cell.

Senior Madison Quig named 2023 Rhodes Scholar

Madison Quig, ’23, will pursue a master’s degree in social data science at the University of Oxford in England next fall.

Disinformation is weakening democracy, Barack Obama said

Former U.S. President Barack Obama delivered a keynote address about how information is created and consumed, and the threat that disinformation poses to democracy.

‘What matters most to you and why?’ Zelenskyy asks Stanford students in virtual address

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to the Stanford community in a special video address about his country’s war against Russia for independence, freedom, and global democracy, which he said requires the continued support of all the people of the free world.

National champions again

Stanford women's water polo won its eighth national title on Sunday.

Real life is not somewhere else, it’s inside of you, France A. Córdova tells the Class of 2020

France A. Córdova, an astrophysicist and leader in higher education and government, encouraged graduates to remain open to possibilities in unlikely places at the Class of 2020 Commencement ceremony.

Reed Hastings urges Class of 2022 to harness the power of inventions and stories

Reed Hastings, Stanford alum and co-founder of Netflix, encouraged graduates to harness the power of inventions and stories to drive societal change.

Stanford classes of ’20 and ’22 gather for Baccalaureate ceremonies

This year’s two Baccalaureate speakers called on graduates to see the interconnectedness of the world and to diversify their lives in the face of adversity.

Ruth Asawa’s clay masks find a second home at the Cantor

The Faces of Ruth Asawa is a long-term installation of hundreds of masks the artist made of friends and family over four decades.

A new sculpture on the edge of Meyer Green greets passersby

Modeled after an ancient Greek column, but with a twist, Hello by international artist Xu Zhen is both familiar and surprising.

The power of awe and the cosmos

A cosmologist, cultural historian, and neurosurgeon discuss how outer space and otherworldly phenomena can inspire discovery across disciplines and bring people together.

How to strengthen democracy

A Stanford-led project has identified a set of strategies to counter anti-democratic attitudes and reduce partisan animosity.

From loss comes hope

Pediatric brain tumor treatment at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford shows promise.

Tiny robots for precision drug delivery

A Stanford mechanical engineer creates multifunctional wireless robots to maximize health outcomes and minimize invasiveness of procedures.

Overturning immigration myths

In a new book, Ran Abramitzky and his co-author trace millions of immigrant lives to understand how they – and their children – thrived in the United States.

How graphic novels can accelerate critical thinking, capture nuance and complexity of history

Historical graphic novels can provide students a nuanced perspective into complex subjects in ways that are difficult, and sometimes impossible, to characterize in conventional writing and media, says Stanford historian Tom Mullaney.

Whales eat colossal amounts of microplastics

Analysis of ocean plastic pollution and whale foraging behavior tracked with noninvasive tags shows whales are ingesting tiny specks of plastic in far bigger quantities than previously thought, and nearly all of it comes from the animals they eat – not the water they gulp.

An epic ‘gap decade’

Anna Mattinger spent her 20s traveling the world, living in the wilderness, training under a Shaolin monk, and creating pyrotechnics at Burning Man – among other adventures – before enrolling at Stanford this fall to study computer science and artificial intelligence.

Exoskeleton makes walking faster, less tiring

After years of careful development, engineers have created a boot-like exoskeleton that increases walking speed and reduces effort outside of the lab.

Human brain cells transplanted into rat brains hold promise for neuropsychiatric research

Lab-grown clusters of human brain cells integrate so well into young rats’ brains they enable researchers to study neurodevelopmental disorders’ molecular and circuit underpinnings.

Rethinking cooking with gas

Natural gas stoves release methane – a potent greenhouse gas – and other pollutants through leaks and incomplete combustion. Stanford researchers estimate that methane leaking from stoves inside U.S. homes has the same climate impact as about 500,000 gasoline-powered cars and the stoves can expose people to respiratory disease-triggering pollutants.

Breakthrough in the production of an acclaimed cancer-treating drug

Found naturally only in a single rainforest tree species, the compound can now have expanded availability for research and clinical uses.

Synthetic genetic circuits could help plants adapt to climate change

Using synthetic genes, researchers at Stanford have been able to modify the root structures of plants. Their work could make crops more efficient at gathering nutrients and water, and more resilient to increasing pressures from climate change.

Neighborhoods begin the year with new funding, events, and opportunities to get involved

Students can plan gatherings, join community councils, and serve as paid interns, supported by increased staffing and funding for each neighborhood.

Five Stanford graduates chosen as 2022 Knight-Hennessy Scholars

The 70 scholars in Knight-Hennessy Scholars' fifth cohort come from 42 institutions, including 13 outside of the United States. At Stanford, they will pursue graduate degrees in 35 degree programs across all seven schools.

Left no doubt

Men's gymnastics completes NCAA title three-peat with dominant season.

John Arrillaga, longtime Stanford philanthropist and Silicon Valley real estate developer, dies at 84

Alumnus John Arrillaga reshaped the Stanford campus with extraordinary generosity, professional expertise, and volunteer service.

Simply dominant

Women's golf second NCAA title in school history and first since 2015.

IDEAL Provostial Fellows announced

Five early-career scholars will join the university in fall 2022 as part of a program to strengthen Stanford’s research and teaching related to race and ethnicity.

Philanthropic investment accelerates transformative molecular research and renames Stanford ChEM-H

Sarafan ChEM-H will advance molecular discoveries in benefit of human health.

Stanford transitions to 100 percent renewable electricity as second solar plant goes online

Stanford completes the university’s transition to 100 percent renewable electricity as Solar Generating Station #2 begins commercial operation.

Trailblazing marine botanist Isabella Aiona Abbott honored at Hopkins Marine Station

A lecture hall at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station will be named for Isabella Aiona Abbott, a pioneering marine botanist and the university’s first Native Hawaiian faculty member and first female full professor in biological sciences. “Integrating Local Ecological Knowledge and Marine Conservation Science,” this year’s memorial lecture honoring her will be delivered on Friday, May 27.

Cultivating community through a California native plants garden

Students study the history and culture of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe by tending a native plants garden field project in a new teaching space near the Stanford Dish.

Stanford mechanical engineering seniors help design housing for refugees

Forty-six Stanford seniors are working on capstone projects that address real-world problems through Mechanical Engineering Design: Integrating Context with Engineering, a two-quarter course that is the culmination of a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

Stanford’s Hoover Tower lights up yellow and blue in support of Ukraine

On Friday, Stanford’s iconic Hoover Tower lit up in the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag in a show of solidarity with the country and its people.

‘Time just stopped’: Ukrainian students share their stories

Stanford in Government hosted a conversation with Ukrainian students on the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine on Thursday evening.

Stanford scientists decipher the danger of gummy phlegm in severe COVID-19

Levels of a stringy, spongy substance soar in the sputum of COVID-19 patients requiring intubation, accounting for at least some of their breathing trouble. Development of an off-patent drug may prevent it.

Stanford Continuing Studies offers new course for Stanford students

The course will feature high-profile speakers including Hillary Clinton, Sundar Pichai, and Cory Booker, who will examine the current state of America and its institutions.

Pandemic stress physically aged teens’ brains, a new study finds

The brains of adolescents who were assessed after the pandemic shutdowns ended appeared several years older than those of teens who were assessed before the pandemic. Until now, such accelerated changes in “brain age” have only been seen in children experiencing chronic adversity, such as neglect and family dysfunction.

Understanding protests in Iran

Abbas Milani, founding director of Stanford’s Iranian Studies Program, discusses how the most recent protests sweeping cities and villages across Iran are part of an enduring fight to advance women’s rights and equality.

What to know about Gen Z

Generation Z, the first generation never to know the world without the internet, value diversity and finding their own unique identities, says Stanford scholar Roberta Katz.

Stanford’s new Institute on Race names founding faculty co-directors

Tomás Jiménez and Brian Lowery will lead the new institute dedicated to finding real-world solutions to address racial injustice.