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STANFORD -- Stanford University's decade-old dream of completing a state-of-the-art science and engineering quadrangle to the west of the Main Quadrangle can now be realized, President Gerhard Casper has announced.
Thanks to the largest single donation in university history, $77.4 million by Silicon Valley pioneers, Stanford alumni and longtime benefactors William R. Hewlett and David Packard, university planners will raze several aging buildings, construct four new ones, renovate others and create a landscaped mall to serve as centerpiece.
"This gift will enable Stanford to renew the infrastructure of rapidly aging engineering and science facilities," Casper said. "Without this magnificent gift, we would have had to defer renewal to the next century with very uncertain long-term funding prospects.
"We are immensely grateful for Bill's and David's affirmation of Stanford's leadership, and for enabling the faculty to pursue interdisciplinary activities in physical proximity to one another," Casper said.
"I also am delighted that we are strengthening our science and engineering facilities at a time when Stanford is more aware than ever that critical thinking requires literacy in mathematics, science and technology on the part of all students, not just those majoring in such subjects," Casper said. "This gift strengthens Stanford's unique ability to bring that literacy together with literacy in the humanities and social sciences."
The work is expected to start no later than this fall and be completed by the fall of 1999. The complex is being designed by the New York firm of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and will cost a total of about $110 million to develop, construct and support. The university will provide about $32 million from the capital budget, additional gifts and a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
Architect James Ingo Freed, whose projects include the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., and the new Main Library in San Francisco, won the competition for the contract by designing a modern new quad to complement the Main Quad, in a way that university planners feel is consistent with the original master campus plan of Frederick Law Olmsted.
The gift enables the university to complete a project that got off the ground in the 1980s in large part because of a $40 million pledge by Hewlett, part of his $50 million gift to kick off the university's Centennial Campaign.
The project was approved by the Board of Trustees at its Oct. 3-4 meeting. The funding was announced Tuesday, Oct. 11.
The gift ensures completion of a complex first proposed in the mid-1980s and partially constructed since. While parts of the puzzle are already in place, the master plan for the area has been reworked several times, in response both to financing concerns and the changing needs of the scientific community.
The 1994 version, said Provost Condoleezza Rice, "isn't just a revision of the old project. It came from the same idea - to create a first- rate science and engineering area of the campus - but this is a project that has a coherence and a logic of its own," she said.
Charles Kruger, vice provost and dean of research and graduate policy, called the proposed campus "a marvelous development for the sciences and engineering at Stanford."
"We now have the opportunity to replace some very old and no longer functional buildings with a community that will help bring faculty together in an interdisciplinary manner," Kruger said.
"There's no way to say everything that needs to be said about this in terms of its magnitude to the School of Engineering and to the university as a whole," said James Gibbons, dean of the School of Engineering.
"Hewlett and Packard have laid the foundation for the university's second century as surely as Leland and Jane Stanford did for the first," Gibbons said.
The gift will provide for the construction of four major new buildings:
The new building's facilities will include research and teaching laboratories and the department's administrative offices.
With the new Gates Information Science Building and the expansion of the Center for Integrated Systems (both of which are currently under construction), this portion of the campus will form a unified complex for computer and information research and engineering.
"That's been a 10-year-old dream of ours," Gibbons said, "to be able to find a way to draw Electrical Engineering and Computer Science - the hardware and the software - together in an environment surrounded by such things as the biological sciences and medicine.
"The entire quadrangle is very thoughtfully designed," Gibbons said. "It provides a set of facilities that will be unmatched anywhere else in the world."
"This is an ideal sort of an arrangement," agreed Kruger, a mechanical engineering professor.
Because materials science research involves work done under strict health and safety regulations and code requirements, the annex will be exclusively for laboratories. The renovated McCullough will house faculty offices, teaching facilities and the Center for Materials Research offices.
"I'm very excited about this whole development, particularly the interdisciplinary aspects," said John Shoven, dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences. "The new annex to McCullough will house a number of our faculty, such as from chemistry, working very closely with engineers and others."
Shoven said it was fitting that the Statistics Department, considered the best in the country, be recognized with a "first-class facility" located next to the Mathematics Department.
"We currently teach large lecture science classes in facilities that don't have the audio-video capabilities we need, nor the capabilities to perform experiments in front of the class," Shoven said. "This is going to be a huge step forward. These teaching facilities are going to be absolutely essential to the sciences at Stanford."
Between them, the new Statistics building and the teaching complex will measure 31,000 net square feet.
As designed by Freed, the teaching facility "is a strikingly modern piece that forms the counterpoint in the overall plan, which draws upon Stanford's architectural heritage," said David Neuman, university architect.
"The architecture in the new complex," Casper said, "will be clearly contemporary while playing off the motifs that we associate with Stanford."
In addition to the four new buildings, a new Science and Engineering Courtyard will serve as the visual and aesthetic centerpiece of the new campus, bordered by the new Statistics and Electrical Engineering buildings, the enhanced McCullough complex and the existing High Energy Physics Laboratory.
The woodsy courtyard and the Main Quad will be linked by a parkway running between McCullough and Varian. With circular Bloch Hall removed, planners said, the Quad will be architecturally complemented by a modern yet evocative new addition.
A curved arcade will serve as the western boundary of the new complex.
"It is important to understand that this fits into the whole of the campus plan," Neuman said. "It creates linkages that were missing with the old buildings in place."
The plan also calls for major renovations to the existing McCullough and Varian halls, and the demolition of a number of older facilities: Bloch Hall, the Electrical Engineering offices, Sequoia Hall, and the AEL (Applied Electronics Laboratory) and ERL (Electronics Research Laboratory) buildings.
The university funds will be used for all the associated site preparation costs and renovations to existing structures.
Projects in and adjacent to the science/engineering quadrangle that have been completed or are under construction include the William M. Keck Science Building, the Gilbert Biological Sciences Building, the Green Earth Sciences Building, the Gates Information Science Building and the Center for Integrated Systems extension.
Gibbons said it was interesting to him that two of those major projects, including the Information Science Building, were funded primarily by gifts from people "who had nothing whatsoever to do with Stanford," unlike Hewlett and Packard.
(The Information Science Building was made possible by a $6 million gift from William Gates III, chairman of Microsoft Corp.)
"It's encouraging that people would make these gifts essentially because of the quality of the work being done at Stanford," Gibbons said. "If you trace the history of that, you come to the contributions Hewlett and Packard have made."
The two Silicon Valley pioneers, in turn, have sought several times to draw attention to the role played by the late Stanford Provost Frederick Terman in building Stanford into a major research university after World War II. It was Terman who was mentor to both of the electrical engineering students.
Terman, who died in 1982, became provost in 1955. President Sterling later called this a "turning point" in Stanford history. Terman's reputation was built on his ability to recruit the best scientists in the country, and for helping get projects ranging from the Stanford Linear Accelerator to the Stanford Research Park off the ground.
It was during Terman's tenure as provost that most of the structures now slated for the wrecking ball were built to accommodate Stanford's expanding research activities.
John Ford, vice president for development at Stanford, said Hewlett and Packard's desire to honor Terman also led them last year to endow the $25 million Terman Fellows program, a major new effort to encourage and support young science and engineering faculty members.
"Fred Terman was a giant at Stanford," Rice said. "Terman and [former President J.E. Wallace] Sterling are really the ones who put Stanford on the map.
"David [Packard] and Bill [Hewlett] are unbelievable in their love for Stanford, and also for their sensitivity to academic issues and their leadership in the science and engineering enterprise," Rice said. "They embody personally the lineage from Terman to the training of fine students to the creation of Silicon Valley; it's almost as though it is all embodied in those two people."
The Terman Fellows program, she noted, highlights the fact that Hewlett and Packard "not only understand the need for the infrastructure, they understand that what we do here is create knowledge through ideas, and that ideas come from people."
"These buildings and laboratories are places for people to work," Rice said. "The Terman Fellows are an expression of their [Hewlett and Packard's] willingness to invest in people. They have the total picture, and that's pretty rare."
"What they've done over time has had as much of an impact on Stanford as what was done by the Stanfords in founding the university," added Gibbons.
In a joint statement, Hewlett and Packard said: "We believe this gift will ensure that Stanford University will have leadership in science and engineering second to none during the 21st century."
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