Richard Wall Lyman

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Richard Wall Lyman
Seventh President of
Stanford University
In office
Preceded by Kenneth Pitzer
Succeeded by Donald Kennedy
Personal details
Born (1923-10-18)October 18, 1923
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Palo Alto, California
Spouse(s) (Elizabeth) Jing Schauffler
Alma mater Swarthmore College, Harvard University
Profession Historian

Richard Wall Lyman (October 18, 1923 – May 27, 2012), the seventh president of Stanford University, was an American educator, historian, and professor.

He served as the provost of Stanford between 1967 and 1970. He then served as president of the university from 1970 to 1980. During his tenure as provost and president, he confronted campus dissidents involved in protests against the Vietnam war and other social issues of the 1960s. In the spring of 1969, he called in law enforcement authorities to evict and arrest students who were occupying campus buildings and removing administrative files.[1][2] In referring to his leadership during his tenure, both of his immediate successors as president of the university have said that "Dick Lyman saved Stanford." [3]

In 1983 he founded the Stanford Institute for International Studies and became its first director. He was the president of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1980 to 1988.

Lyman earned his bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College and his master's degree and PhD from Harvard University. He was a Fulbright scholar at the London School of Economics from 1951 to 1952. He came to Stanford in 1958 as a professor in history.[4]

The Richard W. Lyman Award was established in 2002 by the National Humanities Center in honor of Lyman.[5]

He married Jing (1925-2013) in 1947 and they have four children. Jing Lyman was herself very active in the university and supported the founding of the Center for Research on Women (now the Clayman Institute for Gender Studies) in 1974.[6][7] She was a "leading national figure in initiatives promoting fairer housing, community development and women’s economic empowerment."[8]

The Lyman Graduate Residence built in 1997 on the west side of campus is named for Richard Lyman and the Jing Lyman Commons Building within it for his wife.[9]

He died in 2012 of heart failure, aged 88.[10]


  1. "Stanford University under siege", Palo Alto Online, Palo Alto Centennial. Wednesday, April 13, 1994..
  2. "At the Hands of the Radicals", Stanford Magazine. January–February, 2009.
  3. "The Stanford Presidency," at Stanford on iTunes (iTunes U:Stanford:Campus Life:Stanford History-Video), Donald Kennedy at 19:30 mark of video; Gerhard Casper at 37:00 minute mark.
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  5. The Lyman Award, National Humanities Center.
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  7. Kathleen J. Sullivan, "Jing Lyman, former 'first lady' of Stanford, dead at 88", Stanford Report, November 21, 2013.
  8. "Jing Lyman, 1925-2013", Times Higher Education, December 19, 2013.
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Academic offices
Preceded by President of Stanford University
Succeeded by
Donald Kennedy