Who Needs The Humanities at Start-Up U’?

Stanford says everyone does, and wants to convince the world.

Freshman Saya Jenks comes from nearby Menlo Park, but she admits to having initially misjudged Stanford when weighing college choices. She had the Farm pegged as an imperfect place for someone with her interests, which start with theater. When two friends who were a year ahead of her in high school picked the University for its humanities programs, her main reaction was skepticism. “I thought it was such an engineering school,” Jenks says. Then came the revelations.

First, she signed up for a live audition in drama as an arts supplement to her application and landed in front of Dan Klein, ’90, who teaches improvisation in the drama department as well as holding classes and workshops at the Graduate School of Business and the d.school. Not only was that one session “the most fun I’ve ever had at an audition,” notes Jenks, it was a conversion experience. “What Klein showed me is people bringing all kinds of knowledge to the humanities and arts, and it made me think about exploring interests that I might not even know I’ve got.” Jenks felt some bonus gusto when she saw the Stanford Drama and Blackstage Theater Company production of The Color Purple and “was just blown away.” read more…