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Norman Shumway and Ed Harrison spoke to the media after the first adult heart transplant in US, 1968

Program Recordings

Many of the Society's past programs are now available as audio podcast and video through the Stanford iTunes and Youtube sites!! To listen to an audio podcast, open iTunes to download and subscribe to podcasts. Program recordings will be uploaded continuously as they become available.

May 7, 2019 | Audio

Speaker: Raymond Paul Giroux, Distinguished Member, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

Seeking opportunity, adventurous Americans began migrating to the west coast of North America in the first half of the 19th century.  With the first wagon trains of settlers leaving Independence, Missouri in 1836 they would embark on an arduous five month journey. With the discovery of gold near Sacramento, California in 1848, political pressure mounted for a safe and speedy passage to the Pacific Coast.  Exploratory surveys were needed to determine a feasible route...

April 7, 2019 | Video

In 1885, Timothy Hopkins, at 26, was the youngest university trustee appointed to the newly born Leland Stanford Junior University. Over the next 50 years, he became one of the university’s most steadfast and generous supporters. His life, as a close friend of the Stanford family, as well as campus benefactor, Palo Alto founder, and Menlo Park resident, is a fascinating story of a man whose inherited wealth and position allowed him to make many contributions to the university and its neighbors. Yet, despite having his name on Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station, many aspects of his life are...

150th logo
April 6, 2019 | Audio | Video

In this morning symposium, the Stanford Historical Society will reflect on the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad and its legacy at Stanford. Presenters Richard White, Hilton Obenzinger, C. Matthew Snipp, James Campbell and Laura Jones will discuss the impact of the railroad on American lives, fortunes, and society.

The Big Four
Richard White, Margaret Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford


March 7, 2019 | Video

At the time of its opening in 1891, Stanford University admitted both male and female students, in large part because Jane Stanford had strong views about the importance of educating women. Despite their initial inclusion as students, in subsequent generations women at Stanford experienced a range of exclusions, including a quota system that limited undergraduate enrollment and a paucity of female faculty. By the late twentieth century, students and faculty members advocated for gender equity not only in admissions but in all aspects of university life.

Estelle B. Freedman,...

October 11, 2018 | Video


  • Jeffrey Ball, Scholar-in-residence, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford Law School; Resident Fellow, Roble Hall
  • James T. Campbell, Edgar E. Robinson Professor in United States History, Stanford University
  • Laura Jones, Director of Heritage Services and University Archaeologist, Stanford University

When it opened in 1918 as Stanford’s residence for women, Roble Hall was hailed as “one of the most modern and best equipped dormitories in the United States.” An...

May 22, 2018 | Video

In 1968, the very concept of transplanting a beating heart from one human to another seemed like science fiction.  A visionary Stanford cardiothoracic surgeon named Dr. Norman E. Shumway set about to change that; and in the process created the standard by which nearly 2,000 life-saving surgeries are performed annually today. However Shumway’s legacy is cemented not only for those three hours of surgery in January 1968, but in his team’s decades-long commitment to further transforming transplant protocols and the translational science to lower patient rejection and increase...

April 19, 2018 | Video

Gerhard Casper, President, Emeritus; Peter & Helen Bing Professor in Undergraduate Education, Emeritus; Professor of Law, Emeritus; Senior Fellow at FSI and SIEPR
Susan Schofield, Academic Secretary to the University, Emerita
Peter Stansky, Frances and Charles Field Professor of History, Emeritus
Ethan Ris, Assistant Professor of Higher Education Leadership, University of Nevada, Reno
The Stanford Faculty Senate had its first meeting in September, 1968. To celebrate its first fifty years, ...

March 13, 2018 | Video

As part of its centennial celebrations, the Stanford Graduate School of Education convened a distinguished panel of faculty and alumnae to discuss the school's post-World War II ascent to eminence in research, policy and practitioner training. Martin Carnoy, Vida Jacks Professor of Education; Rachel Lotan, MA '81, MA '83, PhD '85, Professor Emerita of Education; Daniel McFarland, Professor of Education and, by courtesy, of Sociology and of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business; and Rita Sanchez, '72,...

February 20, 2018 | Video

Stanford Travel/Study began in 1968, at a time when Stanford, like many universities, was the site of student unrest. Rixford Snyder, ’30, MA ’34, PhD ’40, historian and retired dean of admissions, had recently taken over programming for the alumni summer college. He had the idea to hold the summer program on a riverboat in Europe—alumni and their families would listen to lectures while cruising the Rhine River. That trip inspired a whole program of international travel led by Stanford faculty. Combining travel with continuing education, it was different from anything that...

January 18, 2018 | Video

In this program, Alison Carpenter Davis, '79, discussed her book Letters Home from Stanford,a collection of handwritten and electronic correspondence sent home by generations of Stanford students published in February 2017.

From first letters home freshman year and firsthand accounts of historical events to questions about laundry and questions about self, Letters Home evokes a sense of the heritage, history, and shared experience common to generations of Stanford students. The collection includes a letter written the day before Stanford opens in...

November 15, 2017 | Audio

For much of the last 50 years, Stanford University Press (SUP) has publicly traced its founding back to 1925—and yet, evidence of the Press’s existence before this date exists in abundance. For instance, in 1917 Stanford erected a building custom-built for the Press on Lomita and Panama; meanwhile, books bearing the Stanford University Press imprint surface as far back as the 1890s. Through some archival...

October 26, 2017 | Audio

Alexander Kerensky was the charismatic leader of the Provisional Government that held a tenuous grip on power in Russia between the fall of the Romanovs in February 1917 and the storming to power of the Bolsheviks in the October Revolution. Kerensky first visited Stanford in 1955 and spent much of the next ten years on campus, conducting research in the Hoover Library & Archives, teaching seminars, giving guest lectures, and appearing on panel discussions devoted to the latest developments in the USSR. He left lasting impressions on Stanford students and faculty—and is even alleged to...