I’ve been to the campus a few times before and got a chance to explore it again recently.
Stanford has an endowment of $21.4 billion and of course an extremely strong academic reputation. It was opened as a coeducational university in 1891.
There’s a widespread rumor that Leland and Jane Stanford visited Harvard University and spoke with the president there in hopes of creating a memorial for their son. They were said to have been dressed in rags. In discussing the memorial, they were assumed to be poor and unable to provide a big memorial yet when they found out how much a building cost, they decided to just build a whole university in honor go their son, Leland.
In actuality this did not happen and they met with a number of officials at universities on the East Coast on the way back from a trip to Europe. Unfortunately during that trip Leland died from typhoid fever. To read more about this click here. There is a link on the page that discusses the rumor.