While Mr. and Mrs. Stanford and their son were on a grand tour of Europe, their son caught typhoid and died at age 15 weeks later while they were still in Europe.
Leland Stanford Sr. told his wife, Jane Stanford, that "the children of California shall be our children. To honor their son upon returning to the United States, Mr. & Mrs. Stanford devoted their fortune to a memorial in their son's name, Leland Stanford Jr. University.
In the chapel is this inscription:
"It is by suffering that God has most nearly approached to man; it is by suffering that man draws most nearly to God."