2008年10月cheers雜誌引述錯誤了,以下是網路故事:

好幾年前,哈佛的校長對人的錯誤判斷,付了很大的代價。

一對老夫婦,女的穿著一套褪色的條紋棉布衣服,而她的丈夫則是穿著布製的便宜西裝,也沒有事先約好,就直接去拜訪哈佛的校長。校長的祕書在片刻間就斷定這兩個鄉下老土根本不可能與哈佛有業務來往。

先生輕聲的說:「我們要見校長。」

祕書很不禮貌的說:「他整天都很忙。」

女士回答說:「沒關係,我們可以等。」

過了幾個鐘頭,祕書一直不理他們,希望他們知難而退,自己走開。他們一直等在那裡。祕書終於決定通知校長,「也許他們跟您講幾句話就會走開。」

校長不耐煩的同意了,校長很有尊嚴而且心不甘情不願的面對這對夫婦。女士告訴他:「我們有一個兒子曾經在哈佛讀過一年,他很喜歡哈佛、他在哈佛的生活很快樂。但是去年,他出了意外而死亡。我丈夫和我想要在校園裡為他立一紀念物。」

校長並沒有被感動,反而覺得可笑,粗聲地說:「夫人,我們不能為每一位曾讀過哈佛而死亡的人建立雕像的。如果我們這樣做,我們的校園看起來會像墓園一樣。」

女士很快的說:「不是,我們不是要豎立一座雕像,我們想要捐一棟大樓給哈佛。」

校長仔細的看了一下條紋的棉布衣服及粗布的便宜西裝,然後吐一口氣說:「你們知不知道建一棟大樓要花多少錢嗎?我們學校的建築物超過750萬元。」

這時,這位女士沈默不講話了。

校長很高興,總算可以把他們打發了。
只見這位女士轉向她丈夫說:「只要750萬就可以建一座大樓?那我們為什麼不建一座大學來紀念我們的兒子?」她的丈夫點頭同意。

這讓哈佛的校長覺得很混淆和困惑。

就這樣,史丹佛先生夫人(Mr.and Mrs. Leland Stanford)離開了哈佛,到了加州,成立了史丹佛大學(Stanford University)來紀念他們的兒子。




而事實是...他們的兒子於1884年家人在意大利旅行時死於傷寒

http://www.stanford.edu/home/stanford/history/begin.html



History of Stanford
Home » About Stanford » History
The Birth of the University
In 1876, former California Governor Leland Stanford purchased 650 acres of Rancho San Francisquito for a country home and began the development of his famous Palo Alto Stock Farm. He later bought adjoining properties totaling more than 8,000 acres. The little town that was beginning to emerge near the land took the name Palo Alto (tall tree) after a giant California redwood on the bank of San Francisquito Creek. The tree itself is still there and would later become the university's symbol and centerpiece of its official seal.


The Stanford Family
Leland Stanford, who grew up and studied law in New York, moved West after the gold rush and, like many of his wealthy contemporaries, made his fortune in the railroads. He was a leader of the Republican Party, governor of California and later a U.S. senator. He and Jane had one son, who died of typhoid fever in 1884 when the family was traveling in Italy. Leland Jr. was just 15. Legend has it that the grieving couple said to one another after their son's death, "the children of California shall be our children," and they quickly set about to find a lasting way to memorialize their beloved son.

The Stanfords visited several great universities of the East to gather ideas. An urban legend, widely circulated on the Internet but untrue, describes the couple as poorly-dressed country bumpkins who decided to found their own university only after being rebuffed in their offer to endow a building at Harvard. They did visit Harvard's president but were well-received and given advice on starting a new university in California. From the outset they made some untraditional choices: the university would be coeducational, in a time when most were all-male; non-denominational, when most were associated with a religious organization; and avowedly practical, producing "cultured and useful citizens" when most were concerned only with the former.

The prediction of a New York newspaper that Stanford professors would "lecture in marble halls to empty benches" was quickly disproved. The first student body consisted of 559 men and women, and the original faculty of 15 was expanded to 49 for the second year. The university’s first president was David Starr Jordan, a graduate of Cornell, who left his post as president of Indiana University to join the adventure out West.

The Stanfords engaged Frederick Law Olmsted, the famed landscape architect who created New York’s Central Park, to design the physical plan for the university. The collaboration was contentious, but finally resulted in an organization of quadrangles on an east-west axis. Today, as Stanford continues to expand, the university’s architects attempt to respect those original university plans.

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