A Day on the Farm

May/June 2002

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A Day on the Farm

News Service

It probably was the only community festival that included 19th-century buried treasure as well as a dunk tank. Part street fair, part day camp, part historical celebration, Stanford’s first Community Day welcomed thousands of local residents to the Farm on April 7 for activities ranging from daredevil bicycle stunts to Arabic calligraphy to a couple dressed as Leland and Jane Stanford, riding in a horse-drawn carriage. Geared toward families and designed as a gesture of goodwill to nearby communities, the event involved more than two dozen student groups and more than 600 volunteers.

The centerpiece of the day was the founders’ celebration, an annual event that this year included an extra twist—the opening of a time capsule Jane Stanford had placed in the cornerstone of Building 160 in 1898. University archivist Margaret Kimball, ’80, and Mrs. Stanford (drama lecturer Patricia Ryan) opened the time capsule during a ceremony at the Mausoleum. Inside the capsule were several documents from the University’s early days; mint-condition coins ranging from a nickel to a $20 gold piece; an 1898 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle (the front page described events from the Spanish-American war); a Bible inscribed by Jane Stanford; and other publications.

University officials want Stanford itself to seem like less of a mystery from now on. “We hope this event will promote partnerships and increase understanding among and between Stanford and its neighbors,” says President John Hennessy.

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