1956 – Packard Speeches

Box 1, Folder 1 – Stanford


April 24, 1956, Land Development Program, Stanford Club, Los Angeles


4/24/56 Typewritten speech, with notations, given at Stanford Club in Los Angeles.


As a preface to the main subject of Stanford’s land development program, Packard first describes some current projects, such as new dormitories. Regarding space for academic functions Packard says, “There has been great improvement in the housing for the academic functions. Some of the areas in the old quadrangle have been rehabilitated, new buildings have been added or plans are in progress for the electrical engineering department, for the physics department; a new building for chemistry, a new building for the mineral sciences, just to name a few. Plans are now completed and work will soon begin on a beautiful facility for the music department, a memorial to Mrs. Dinkelspiel, and work is progressing on the plans for the Tressidor student center in the area around the Union. Work is progressing on plans for additional faculty housing, and last and certainly not least, we expect to let the contract this year to begin the Medical School facilities on the Stanford campus.”

Moving to the main topic Packard quotes Senator Stanford at the first meeting of the Board of Trustees on November 14, 1885: “The endowment of lands is made because they are in themselves of great value and their proper management will insure to the University an income much greater than would be realized were their value to be invested in any reliable interest bearing securities. Again, they can never be alienated and will therefore be an unfailing support to the institution which they are designed to benefit.” Packard says “(the Stanfords) expected these lands to yield an income to the university from some kind of agricultural operations. Packard points out that “much of the land is useful only for grazing and it has almost  continually been rented out for grazing purposes.”  He says, agricultural uses have provided the university a net income “in the neighborhood of about 10 to 15 thousand dollars per year.”

“These thousands of acres of rolling foothill land around the campus have been maintained relatively unspoiled by this limited agricultural usage. They have the land.  And so it is not strange when the Board of  Trustees embarked upon a land development program which would convert some of these beautiful lands into industrial tracts residential areas, which would place Veterans Hospitals and shopping centers upon part of them that the             local     residents accused Stanford of wantonly spoiling the land simply because the             Trustees hate land and love money”

Packard points out that “The compelling reason for the land development program is simply to make possible some of the things which I have described to you. It has to do with the vision held by the Board of Trustees and the President that Stanford is destined to maintain its leadership as a cornerstone for freedom in higher education. It is the belief that Stanford can and must set the pace in the fields of science and engineering — in the fields of medical education and medical research — to provide leadership in education, and perhaps above all to provide leadership in the great field of humanities and human relations where we are engaged in a life and death struggle with our Russian adversaries for the control of men’s minds.” So “bold and aggressive measures are called for” and “it seems obvious that certainly here is a great resource which should be made more useful to the university”

Packard describes some of the considerations before the Board of Trustees: “First, could we spare some of the land for commercial development or should it all be reserved for future campus and academic use? Second, is it possible to develop land which cannot be sold, and how do you do it? Third, if the land can be spared and if a practical plan for development is possible, is this the proper time to go ahead with the development?”

Packard says the Board approached the question of how much land could be spared for commercial development “with great caution because it has been the experience of nearly every university which has sold or otherwise committed some of its land to commercial development that it has found itself severely limited for academic expansion some years later” Based “largely on the recommendation of the Presidents office and the faculty advisers…the Board of Trustees have set aside 3800 of the 8800 acres as a campus reserve untouchable in the land development program.”

Packard goes on to the second question about how it might be possible to develop lands that cannot be alienated. Having little experience in this area “they ventured upon some limited programs to explore the possibilities. They found it would be possible, for example, to develop a shopping center on leased land, and after rather lengthy negotiations they were able to conclude the first industrial lease with Varian Associates on land to the south of the campus….it seems clear now that the university will be able to obtain as much or sometimes even more for a 99-year lease than other people can obtain from the outright sale of comparable land. Also, some exploratory development of the residential areas have gone ahead. these also demonstrate clearly that land for residential use can be developed on a 99-year lease, and it too will be worth as much to the university as though it were sold outright. It seems, then, that the second question has been clearly answered. These lands can be developed without violating the restrictions of the founding grant.”

Regarding considerations of timing for a land program Packard says, “Here, studies of population trends, real estate values, and I might add much soul searching by the Trustees, have lead to the conclusion that this is a good time to move.

Regarding implementation of the program Packard says “There are three separate areas in the Land Development Program and each of them requires a different treatment. the area bounded by the campus on one side and Menlo Park on the other side along El Camino is being developed into a Shopping and Professional area.”  “The area bounded by the campus on one side and Barron Park on the other side, that is the area on the opposite side of the campus from the Shopping Center, is being developed for industrial use.” “The rest of the land, that back toward the hills both behind Menlo and in the direction of Los Altos, is to be developed for residential use. We have already demonstrated to our satisfaction that the residential area can be developed on a 99-year lease basis. A great amount of work is going into this part of the development because we are anxious that the residential development be in keeping with the spirit of the University. “And so we are undertaking this land development program primarily because it is an important supporting element for Stanford’s march to leadership. But, in closing I would like to make it clear to you, and especially to you who have been so generous in your help with our fund-raising activities, that the land development program will in no way eliminate the need for additional finds for current use. At the present time we receive only about two million dollars from our total endowment income against a current budget of twelve million dollars. And so even though this land development program will provide a substantial increment to the endowment income, the potential yield from this program is nowhere near as great as the potential yield from our fund-raising program, and we hope that while the Trustees are actively going ahead with the land development program and all of the other work that is being done to build a great University that we can continue to count on The loyal support of the Stanford Club of Los Angeles to keep Stanford on the march.”


4/24/56, Typewritten copy of above speech. Appears to be an earlier draft.


2/15/56 – 4/26/56 Letters between Alfred B. Post, Chairman of Program Committee , Stanford Club of Los Angeles, about scheduling Packard talk to the club on the subject of land development at Stanford.

2/21/56 Memorandum to Mr. Packard, Dr. Sterling, and Mr. Brandin from Richard F. O’Brien, Stanford Associates, confirming topics and time schedule agreed upon for the dinner Friday evening, February 24. He says the topic is to be broken down something like this:

1. Mr. Packard – “Why we are doing it” – a historical description of the problems faced by the University and why (the trustees) made the decision to go ahead at this time.

2. Mr. Brandin. “What we are doing” – what is going on at the shopping center, light industrial, and residential.
Box 1, Folder 35D – HP Management

April, 1956, A typewritten text titled: HP Philosophy. This discusses, organization (three divisions), instrument development policy, company growth, sales philosophy, and government contract policy. Packard mentions the “some 800 people in the plant.”