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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 podcast and video. They address important topics including Stanford’s relationship with the Silicon Valley, Stanford peace movement, and the history of women at Stanford. Program recordings will be uploaded continuously as they become available. Our programs are mainly funded by membership dues. As you enjoy the recordings, we hope you would consider becoming a member or making a donation to support our programming. 

May 19, 2020 | Video
Speaker: Paul V. Turner, Wattis Professor of Art, Emeritus, Stanford University
This 90-minute video, from an online talk delivered May 19, 2020, is about John Carl Warnecke, class of 1941, a Stanford football tackle who went on to become one of the most successful architects in America from the 1960s to the 1980s. Turner explained the importance of Warnecke’s work, especially his pioneering role in the development of “Contextualism” in architecture—as seen, for example, in his work in Washington, D.C., for John F. Kennedy. Warnecke was the president’s favorite architect, and his friendship...
April 15, 2020 | Video
Author Roland De Wolk speaks about his new book, American Disruptor: The Scandalous Life of Leland Stanford.
From the publisher:
American Disruptor is the untold story of Leland Stanford – from his birth in a backwoods bar to the founding of the world-class university that became and remains the nucleus of Silicon Valley. The life of this robber baron, politician, and historic influencer is the astonishing tale of how one supremely ambitious man became this country's original "disruptor" – reshaping industry and engineering one of the greatest raids on the public treasury for America’s...
February 18, 2020 | Video
Speaker: William D. Nix, Lee Otterson Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, Stanford University
Stanford’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering celebrated its centennial in the fall of 2019, having been founded as the Department of Mining and Metallurgy in 1919. Today, the department is at the forefront of nano-sciences and biosciences, with a special interest in environmental and medical applications.
In this talk, Professor Nix discusses the ever-changing needs of industry and society, scientific developments, as well as the evolving nature of the University itself and the...
January 30, 2020 | Audio
Speaker: Gavin Jones, Rehmus Family Professor in the Humanities, Stanford University
John Steinbeck attended Stanford University, off and on, from the Fall of 1919 to the Spring of 1925, when he left without completing his degree. According to an article in Stanford magazine, the relationship between Stanford and Steinbeck is “puzzling, mutually unappreciative, even debilitating.” In his talk, Professor Gavin Jones argues that nothing could be farther from the truth. It was at Stanford that Steinbeck honed his craft in creative writing classes, learned to fuse the arts and sciences in...
November 18, 2019 | Video
David M. Kennedy, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History, Emeritus, Stanford University
The 150th anniversary of the driving of the fabled Golden Spike at Promontory, Utah marks an opportune moment to reflect on the history of the great western region. Professor David Kennedy, founding Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West, will recollect the saga of the railroad and reflect on the development of the American West over the last century and half.
The building of the Transcontinental Railroad in the late 1860s was a transformational event in the history of the United States....
October 30, 2019 | Video
Ray Purpur, Deputy Director of Athletics, Stanford University
In this program, Ray Purpur will take us through the important history of Stanford athletics after the Great World War.
Stanford University dropped football amidst the national football crisis of 1905 and the game did not return to the Farm until 1919, following World War I and the flu outbreak of 1918. Much had changed about football since then.
The first student body team to compete after the war was varsity rugby, followed by other sports including basketball, baseball, rowing, and track and field. Although women’s sports were...
October 16, 2019 | Audio
Speaker: Steve Staiger, Palo Alto City Historian
It is one of the oldest businesses on the Peninsula, established in 1852, the year Leland Stanford first arrived in California. More than 165 years later, the Alpine Inn in Portola Valley continues to attract customers to the roadhouse/beer garden on the banks of Los Trancos Creek. Following its most recent change in ownership and a major renovation, the Stanford Historical Society will examine the history of an institution whose relationship with Stanford University has been difficult from the viewpoint of the university’s administration, but...
September 26, 2019 | Audio
Christopher Wasney, ’80, Founder, Cody Anderson Wasney Architects, Inc. and Lecturer, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University
Mike Ryan, Director of Operations, Frost Amphitheater
Since it opened in 1937, Frost Amphitheater has played a key role not just in Stanford student life but also in the greater performing arts community of the Bay Area, from theater productions and graduation ceremonies to symphony and rock concerts. Frost has hosted such diverse talent as the San Francisco Symphony, the Boston Pops, and the Grateful Dead (who played there 14 times in the 1980s)....
May 7, 2019 | Audio
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 through mountainous terrain many said was...
April 7, 2019 | Video
Steve Staiger, Palo Alto City Historian; Former Board Member, Stanford Historical Society
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,...
April 6, 2019 | Audio | Video
Richard White, Margaret Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University
Hilton Obenzinger, Associate Director, Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project, Stanford University
James Campbell, Edgar E. Robinson Professor in United States History, Stanford University
Laura Jones, Director, Heritage Services and University Archaeologist, Stanford University
The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad connected the vast expanse of the United States with safe and convenient transport, reducing coast-to-coast travel from six months to just one week. In addition, the railroad...
March 7, 2019 | Video
Estelle B. Freedman, Edgar E. Robinson Professor in U.S. History, Stanford University
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...