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A group of Stanford theater students gather around Sawyer Niehaus, ’25

Support from every corner

Sawyer Niehaus, ’25, describes Stanford’s culture of ‘yes’ and the students, faculty, staff, and alumni who make it all possible.

Sawyer Niehaus, ’25, describes her journey at Stanford as defined by unwavering support from her peers, faculty, and generous donor community.

For Sawyer Niehaus, '25, Stanford is a melting pot of zeal, where academic pursuits intertwine seamlessly with artistic expression, political engagement, and the celebration of life itself.

A self-proclaimed puzzle enthusiast, Sawyer chose to major in Classics and computer science, viewing these disciplines as unique and complex puzzles to be deciphered, deconstructed, and built anew. Entering her frosh year, Sawyer expected college to be a place where she gained invaluable knowledge and expertise. However, she has found an even more lasting impression from the people. 

“I’ve found a broader worldview, interest in topics I’d never thought about before, and lifelong friendships with people who share my passions and have given me new ones,” she says.

Initially worried about how she might establish a community on campus, Sawyer immersed herself in student life by joining the Stanford Shakespeare Company and the Stanford Harmonics. These groups, from high-quality productions to experimental sounds, provide platforms for students to channel their passions, no matter how niche or broad.

Sawyer's journey at Stanford has been defined by unwavering support from all corners—from her peers, faculty, and the generous donor community. She is adamant about how students can thrive in a culture of “yes,” a culture of endless possibilities, where ambitious ideas are met with resources and enthusiastic collaboration. 

This culture, nurtured by passionate self-starters and bold thinkers, is also sustained by the generosity of Stanford Fund donors, who support initiatives ranging from comprehensive financial aid to enriching student life. Grateful for her experiences on the Farm, Sawyer believes that the generosity of donors and alumni are essential to fostering the uniquely Stanford culture and community that persists today. “It’s a family and you’re giving down the line.”