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O'Leary, Stansky to speak at Founders' Day
The campus community is invited to the Founders' Day celebration this Sunday, featuring remarks by trustee Denise O'Leary and history Professor Peter Stansky, pageantry, tradition, music and food.
"This gathering will offer a special opportunity for trustees, faculty, students, staff and members of the community to celebrate the history of Stanford," President John Hennessy said.
It's the only day of the year that the heavy Vermont granite doors to the mausoleum are pushed open and visitors are allowed inside where three Stanford family members are buried in marble caskets.
Leland Stanford started the annual tradition in 1891 as "Memorial Day" to honor the birthday of his son, Leland Jr., who died in 1884. After Leland and Jane Stanford died, memorial ceremonies honored the entire family and the Stanfords' vision for the university.
Events will begin at 10:45 a.m. with introductions by Provost John Etchemendy and remarks by Stansky, the Anthony P. Meier Family Professor in the Humanities who has taught history here since 1968. A former History Department chair, Stansky currently is on the Stanford Historical Society's board of directors.
Hennessy will lay a memorial wreath at the mausoleum and, with Etchemendy, will lead a processional to Memorial Church that will include the Stanfords' original horse-drawn carriage carrying Linda Kovach and Peter Henry portraying Jane and Leland Stanford. Talisman A Capella will sing during the mausoleum ceremony.
A program beginning at 11:45 a.m. at the church will include remarks by junior Jerri Kay, a double major in political science and African American studies, and graduate student Howard Shen, who in June will receive a master's degree in electrical engineering. O'Leary, an alumna and formerly a general partner at Menlo Ventures, a Menlo Park venture capital firm, will give the keynote. Trustee O'Leary is also chair of the board of directors of Stanford Hospital and Clinics and chair of the national advisory board of the Haas Center for Public Service.
After the service, a grilled chicken picnic lunch will be served on the Main Quad for all visitors and participants.
By Barbara Palmer