Report Number: CS-TR-97-1579
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Computer Science
Title: From the Valley of Heart's Delight to Silicon Valley: A Study of Stanford University's Role in the Transformation
Author: Tajnai, Carolyn
Date: January 1997
Abstract: This study examines the role of Stanford University in the transformation from the Valley of Heart's Delight to the Silicon Valley. At the dawn of the Twentieth Century, California's Santa Clara County was an agricultural paradise. Because of the benign climate and thousands of acres of fruit orchards, the area became known as the Valley of Heart's Delight. In the early 1890's, Leland and Jane Stanford donated land in the valley to build a university in memory of their son. Thus, Leland Stanford, Jr., University was founded. In the early 1930's, there were almost no jobs for young Stanford engineering graduates. This was about to change. Although there was no organized plan to help develop the economic base of the area around Stanford University, the concern about the lack of job opportunities for their graduates motivated Stanford faculty to begin the chain of events that led to the birth of Silicon Valley. Stanford University's role in the transformation of the Valley of Heart's Delight into Silicon Valley is history, but it is enduring history. Stanford continues to effect the local economy by spawning new and creative ideas, dreams, and ambitions.