Stanford University, located between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of California's Silicon Valley, is one of the world's leading teaching and research universities. Since its opening in 1891, Stanford has been dedicated to finding solutions to big challenges and to preparing students for leadership in a complex world. Stanford University is one of the world's leading research universities. It is known for its entrepreneurial character, drawn from the legacy of its founders, Jane and Leland Stanford, and its relationship to Silicon Valley. Areas of excellence range from the humanities to social sciences to engineering and the sciences. Stanford is located in California's Bay Area, one of the most intellectually dynamic and culturally diverse areas of the nation.