Report Number: CSL-TR-97-713
Institution: Stanford University, Computer Systems Laboratory
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
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