Start the Presses

For 50 years, Stanford has been telling the story of the university and its alumni. See what else just became vintage.

September 2023

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Start the Presses

VOLUME I, ISSUE 1: Jack Cardoza of Peninsula Lithography, center, shows off the first cover to magazine staffers Della van Heyst, Peter Voll, ’65, Cynthia Fry Gunn, ’70, Debby Fife, and Kay Daley, ’48. Photo: Stanford University Archives/Department of Special Collections

Some of the goings-on in the 1973–74 school year seem perennial. Escalating food costs plagued the dining halls. Professors debated the extent of academic freedom. A pair of fraternity brothers plotted to steal the Axe from Cal.

Other events were more particular to the era. A professor witnessed a coup in Chile. A benefactor committed to donating 89 Rodin sculptures. Skylab 3 orbited Earth with Stanford’s first astronaut aboard.

Against that backdrop, an alumni magazine debuted. It was part of a renaissance among campus publications—the Alumni Association’s Stanford Alumni Almanac had recently become a quarterly supplement to the university’s monthly Stanford Observer newspaper, and the Stanford Daily had established its independence from the university the previous winter. In the 50 years since, Stanford has chronicled the story of the university and its alumni, from scholarship to sports, history to humor, profiles to poems. 

On the pages that follow, we take a look into a selection of events from the academic year of our birth, and how they have affected our community since.

Kathy Zonana, ’93, JD ’96, is the editor of Stanford. Email her at kathyz@stanford.edu.

Vintage 1973 Collection

Stanford is 50! It turns out we’re not the only one. Walk with us down memory lane as we sample some of the wonders and horrors of the 1973–74 academic year on the Farm, and in the world around.

Start the Presses

Were Golden

89 Rodins Find a New Home

A Godfather Delivers a Ransom Payment

A Splashy Debut

The Winds of Freedom

SLE Club

‘Until the Birds Took Over the Singing’

The Poet and the Coup

Steps Toward Saving Salamanders Are Set in Motion

A Sequel for Supersonic Flight?

The First Stanford Astronaut Returns from Space

The End of the Nursing Education Era

Keepers of the Flame

50 Years After the Stanford Murders, Three of Four Families Have Answers

A Classic Is Released

A Young Lawyer Wins an Educational Equity Case

Joining the Force


The Axe Is Stolen One Last Time

Fit to Be Tried

For Commencement Speaker, a Watergate Special Prosecutor

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