David Starr Jordan Hall renamed Michael Jordan Hall

Satire by

Throughout Stanford’s 125+ years of existence, perhaps one of its most problematic figures is David Starr Jordan, the seventh president of Indiana University and first president of Stanford in 1891. Out of all of the buildings in California named after him, the most prominent one is Stanford’s “Jordan Hall,” where the department of psychology is currently housed.

He isn’t problematic just because he never fountain-hopped The Claw or enjoyed Wilbur Brunch on a Sunday, but because of his close involvement with the eugenist movement, which promoted deeply problematic views including racism and support for compulsory sterilization of the disabled.

On April 20, Stanford administrators started to review requests submitted by the psychology department, as well as by student-led groups, to change the name. Last Sunday, it was leaked by anonymous sources that a new and proper name will reflect Stanford’s illustrious psychology department: Michael Jordan.

The department building will go from being known as David Starr Jordan Hall to Michael Jordan Hall. According to the source, a member on the commission designed to review the name change was inspired to rename the hall honoring the NBA star after watching the new Netflix miniseries “The Last Dance,” which follows the Chicago Bulls and Micheal Jordan’s thrilling 1997-98 NBA season.

The reception to this news has been mixed. John Donah ’22, a sophomore studying electrical engineering, said the University is taking the right step in replacing David Starr Jordan’s legacy on campus: “It’s great to see academia starting to give respect to the legacy of Michael Jordan.” 

Some students are confused by the administrators’ decision. With a puzzled look, psychology co-term student Lin Jung asked, “How is Michael Jordan related to psychology?” Somewhat similar sentiments were held by roommates Lexi Sikeman ’23 and Leslie Hollman ’23, who lived in Cedro until this spring.

“At least he’s a better pick than a eugenist,” they said.

Other potential names included “Big Neck” Ed Hall, Anthony Fauci Hall, and Arrillaga Hall. Sources have reported to us that one distinctive reason why Michael Jordan was chosen is because, by injecting his name into the history of Stanford, school administrators would consequently have no reason to demolish the current “Jordan Hall” written in brick. Doing so would result in savings that could be invested toward one-third of a palm tree. 

The Daily has reached out to President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Provost Persis Drell for comment. Understandably, neither responded, as both Tessier-Lavigne and Drell are feverishly campaigning for seats in the Undergraduate Senate.

Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.

Contact Tenzin C. Kartsang at tenzink ‘at’ stanford.edu.

While you're here...

We're a student-run organization committed to providing hands-on experience in journalism, digital media and business for the next generation of reporters. Your support makes a difference in helping give staff members from all backgrounds the opportunity to develop important professional skills and conduct meaningful reporting. All contributions are tax-deductible.

Get Our EmailsDigest

Tenzin Kartsang '22 is from Portland, Oregon and is majoring in Political Science with a minor in Poverty, Inequality, and Policy. He writes satire for The Stanford Daily and is the Co-Chair of Stanford's Tibetan Student Union.