In the 19th century it was London and in the 20th, New York City. And now it is Silicon Valley, the cultural, intellectual, and technological hub of which is Stanford University. With 19 Nobel laureates, 27 billionaire alumni, 286 Olympic medals since 1976, a record-making fundraising campaign that acquired over $1 billion last year, Stanford’s list of excellence goes on. Yet impressive as these numbers may be, they are only the end of the story, the impressive byproducts of an even more inspiring process.
To understand my point, walk into any dorm on a weeknight, and you will have little difficulty finding a group of friends engaged in a deep, introspective discussion. Or a few students working late into the evening debugging the code for their next big startup. Or that student successfully completing a problem set for a challenging graduate-level course. Or yet another student writing a chapter of her thesis on the cultural anthropology of an indigenous group in a third-world country.
Stanford not only educates innovators—it is home to innovation. Innovation defined as the continuous discovery of ways to improve ourselves, our school, and, ultimately, our society.
Amidst this vibrant milieu of continuous innovation and improvement, one could easily question the relevance of a “conservative” student publication. And it is in this sense that I do not like the word “conservative,” as if one were associating the principles embraced by those concerned about the fiscal and social future of not only the university, but society at large, with an old boys’ club that desperately clings to irrelevant ideals from days gone by.
This could not be further from the truth. A student publication that seeks to enrich campus culture with perspectives that exhibit concern for its fiscal and social future is precisely the opposite. It is not backward-looking, but forward-thinking.
And it is in this forward-thinking manner that The Stanford Review commits itself to providing the university with continuous lights for precisely this ongoing process of innovation. From the perspective of investigative news, we aim to bring to light the areas in which students, faculty, and administrators can improve. From the perspective of opinions, we aim to bring to light those viewpoints which so many students often feel they cannot openly express on campus. From the perspective of features, we aim to bring to light many positive aspects of university life that would otherwise be kept hidden. From the perspective of the publication as a whole, we aim to bring to light the truth to people’s hearts and minds. We hope that, with these lights, Stanford will continue to thrive as the hub of intellectual, social, and technological innovation.
This paper will continue to look ahead, and for the road that lies ahead, Fiat Lux!