From the Nominator
Graphic novelist and Stanford alumnus Jonathan Fetter-Vorm, '05, tackles a multifaceted university history story with witty language and skilled illustrations, zooming in on a little-known but critical narrative in the founding of modern psychology. The tale follows one of the younger brothers of university co-founder Leland Stanford, Thomas Welton Stanford, a spiritualist who often hosted séances in his home in Melbourne, Australia, and who helped fund Stanford's psychology department. The story weaves together the personal stories of the Stanford family with the university's administrative decisions at the time, the revelations of one professor's research, and the broader global and national climate on spiritualism to reveal the importance of individual contributors to some of society's most foundational beliefs.
From the Judges
The graphic novel approach was unique and well done, combining an interesting story with a creative technique. Plus, it was a story on an aspect of campus history that in many cases wouldn't be told, as it was not particularly flattering for the institution.