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Alexander Agassiz Laboratory

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The First Building at Hopkins Marine Station

This building, which had no formal designation from its opening in 1918, was formally named for Alexander Agassiz in 1929, when the Jacques Loeb Laboratory was completed and became the second structure in Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station on the southern Monterey Bay.

An old, black and white portrait photograph of Alexander Agassiz, looking off slightly to his right.
Marine biologist and oceanographer Alexander Agassiz Photo courtesy of Harold A. Miller Library at Hopkins Marine Station

At that time, the structure housed efforts associated with the Hydrobiological Survey of Monterey Bary, and the Stanford Board of Trustees named it the Alexander Agassiz Laboratory, after one of America’s leading oceanographers of his day. Today the building hosts research laboratories, classrooms, and Hopkins’ administrative unit.

Black and white photograph of the Hopkins Marine Station building in 1922
The Alexander Agassiz Laboratory, which has been the home of extensive research in marine science. Photo courtesy of Harold A. Miller Library at Hopkins Marine Station

Alexander Agassiz was born in Switzerland, eventually immigrating to the United States to be with his father, Louis Agassiz, a leading naturalist. Louis Agassiz was an ardent promoter of polygenism, which holds that human racial groups have different ancestral origins and are unequal. A statue of Louis Agassiz on the Palo Alto campus was removed and relocated in 2020 at the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Renaming Jordan Hall and Removing the Statue of Lous Agassiz, which found his beliefs antithetical to Stanford’s values of community and inclusion.

Last updated October 21st, 2021