Donald Kennedy Graduate Residences

The Donald Kennedy Graduate Residences, which will house 436 graduate students, were designed with input from students themselves. (Courtesy Stanford Land, Buildings & Real Estate)

Stanford's Kennedy Graduate Residences to open Aug. 15

Stanford's new Donald Kennedy Graduate Residences will provide campus homes to 436 students, as well as a commons building for meetings and social gatherings.

Graduate students at Stanford will have a new place to call home when the Donald Kennedy Graduate Residences – located in the heart of Escondido Village – open on Aug. 15.

The complex, which is named after Donald Kennedy, president emeritus of Stanford, will house 436 graduate students in fully furnished apartments, including junior studios, premium studios and two-bedroom apartments.

The complex, which is oriented around an open pedestrian plaza and landscaped walkways, also includes the Donald Kennedy Commons community center, which will open in September.

The commons building will include a centralized meeting room as well as a game room, music practice room, laundry facilities, computer cluster and TV lounge. The large, ballroom-style community room, which has a full kitchen, will be available for rent to all graduate residents on campus.

Rodger Whitney, executive director of Residential & Dining Enterprises Student Housing, said the division worked with students and others in the graduate community to design and plan the new complex.

"There was considerable effort and planning made to create innovative new apartment styles and program elements in the new buildings that are responsive to the specific needs and interests of our graduate students in their homes and lives outside their class work and research every day," Whitney said.

"I think that will be very apparent to students as they move in over the next few weeks and also explore and use the new Kennedy Commons. The three new housing options in the complex have already seemed to be very popular with incoming students – as expressed in their choices and rankings in the graduate assignment lottery."

Whitney said it was important to note that R&DE used a new, modular construction model to build the Kennedy Graduate Residences complex that speeded the construction process, allowing the complex to open a year earlier than if the university had used traditional construction methods.

He said the additional housing will help better meet the high demand for graduate students to live on campus and alleviate some of the pressure on students facing the very challenging and expensive rental market around Stanford. The rents are:

  • two-bedroom, two-bath, double occupancy:  $1,280 per student, per month
  • junior studio, one-bath with shared kitchen: $965 per student, per month
  • premium studio, one-bath, couples without children: $1,595 per couple, per month
  • premium studio, one-bath, single occupancy: $1,595 per person, per month

Each house in the new complex bears the name of a former provost: William F. Miller, the late Albert H. Hastorf, the late Gerald J. Lieberman and the late James N. Rosse. The complex was dedicated in February 2014.

Speaking at the dedication, Steven A. Denning, chair of the Stanford University Board of Trustees said: "We thought it was a very appropriate time to recognize those five leaders [the four provosts and Kennedy] for their contributions to what Stanford is today and the foundation that they were so instrumental in building."

The four-story apartment buildings are painted beige and light green, with red trim around the windows.

Both the two-bedroom apartments and the junior apartments will contain shared living areas and kitchens, while each premium studio will contain a full kitchen and living area. All of the apartment styles will include private bathrooms in order to satisfy the requests for privacy from graduate students.

Laurette N. Beeson, assistant dean at the Graduate Life Office, said she believes the premium studio apartments will be a big hit with students who would like to share an apartment with their significant others.

“We have quite a few studio apartment buildings on campus that are for single students only, so if somebody’s social status changes, they have to move,” Beeson said. "I think students are pretty excited about the option of living with their partner."

Beeson said the junior studio apartments will appeal to students who want to save money on housing while also not having to sacrifice their privacy.

“I think those are going to be incredibly popular because of the lower price point than a private studio off campus," she said.

Alex Murray is an intern in University Communications.