Thursday, August 03, 2006

Stanford University -- June 2003

As with my previous entry (below) on the University of Oregon, my trip to Stanford was in conjunction with a Track & Field News tour, to the 2003 USA national championships.

I've found when conversing with people about attractive college campuses that Stanford is frequently mentioned. The beige-brick style of the buildings, red-tile roofs (or is it "rooves"), and abundant use of arches give Stanford a very distinctive look, as shown in the following pictures (on which you can click to enlarge them).

Don't get me wrong -- Stanford's is a nice-looking campus. However, I did not feel mesmerized by the aesthetics and ambience. While visiting with a couple of my former Michigan psychology professors who had moved to Stanford, we agreed that Stanford did not have the "buzz" of energy and excitement that Michigan has. In large part, this is because the UM campus blends seamlessly with the Ann Arbor community, whereas Stanford's size and clear demarcation of its perimeter left me feeling distant from its Palo Alto surroundings.

A better parallel may be between Stanford and Texas Tech, where I'm on the faculty. No less an authority than Red Raider basketball coach Bob Knight, whose son Tim went to Stanford, told a story on Larry King Live (transcript) about how they thought the Texas Tech campus looked similar to Stanford's. You can judge for yourself (albeit based on a small number of photos) by comparing the Stanford shots in this entry to pictures of Texas Tech I posted in an earlier one.

This entry wouldn't be complete without a photo from the track meet, so here's one of Texas Tech's Jonathan Johnson in the men's 800 meters (second from the right, wearing red).