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April 9, 2006

Public invited to take self-guided tour through campus for quake centennial

With the 100th anniversary of the 1906 earthquake less than a week away, a committee leading Stanford's centennial program has debuted a self-guided tour that includes 11 stops throughout the main campus. Each stop explores a different aspect of the university's experience in and recovery from the earthquake on April 18, 1906, and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake—including student life, the evolution of engineering methods and academic contributions.

The first stop is at the Cantor Center for Visual Arts, originally a museum erected in 1891 at the request of Jane Stanford as a memorial to Leland Stanford Jr. The last stop is a slope near the Mitchell Earth Sciences Building, called the Stock Farm monocline, which illustrates the visible effects of plate tectonics on a local scale. A few of the stops in between are at the entry of the Main Quad where Memorial Arch once stood, Memorial Church, the Bing Wing of Green Library and various other buildings and facilities that offer history and insight into seismology and earthquake safety.

"[O]ur great ambitions for Stanford as a university may rest a while until we can save the money for building again and until our own alumni are old enough and rich enough to come to our rescue," David Starr Jordan, the university's founding president, said in a speech on the day of the Great Quake (and quoted on sign #2).

The tour is free, and the route follows paved paths accessible to walkers, bicyclists and those in wheelchairs. Signage will remain up at least through the month of April. The tour takes about an hour to two to complete in one continuous walk, and maps can be downloaded and printed before coming to campus. Maps also are available at the university's visitor center in Memorial Auditorium, the John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center and the Cantor Center for Visual Arts.

The committee that organized the walk, the Quake '06 Centennial Alliance, is supported by the Blume Earthquake Engineering Center, the School of Earth Sciences, the Stanford University President's Fund and the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. For more information about the centennial program and campus parking and to obtain a tour map online, go to



Racquel Hagen, John A. Blume Earthquake Engineering Center: (650) 723-4150,

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