private coeducational institution of higher learning at Stanford, California, U.S. (adjacent to Palo Alto), one of the most prestigious in the country. The university was founded in 1885 by railroad magnate Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane (nee Lathrop), and was dedicated to their deceased only child, Leland, Jr.; it opened in 1891. The university campus largely occupies Stanford's former Palo Alto farm. The buildings, conceived by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and designed by architect Charles Allerton Coolidge, are of soft buff sandstone in a style similar to the old California mission architecture, being long and low with wide colonnades, open arches, and red-tiled roofs. The campus sustained heavy damage from earthquakes in 1906 and 1989 but was rebuilt each time. The university was coeducational from the outset, though between 1899 and 1933 enrollment of women students was limited to 500
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