The Midpeninsula Free University
MFU Commentary
by Jim Wolpman
MFU Articles From
The Stanford Daily

The Midpeninsula Free University

What eventually became the Midpeninsula Free University may have had inspiration from the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley followed by The Free University of Berkeley and The Experimental College at San Francisco State. In 1964, a small group at Stanford, known as the Graduate Coordinating Committee, was interested in educational reform and it began having meetings. This seed sprouted, and the following year people began planning programs for a wider audience. In early 1966, workshops and courses were offered to the Palo Alto community, under the name of the Free University of Palo Alto.

Also in 1966, a Stanford, campus-based, organization, The Experiment, began operations. In 1967, The Experiment merged with the Free University of Palo Alto, forming the Midpeninsula Free UniversityMFU for short.

During the next three years, the MFU grew in membership while also going through changes in leadership. As an organization, the MFU was separate from A3M, but its members tended to be left leaning, many of them supported A3M’s goals, and some participated in A3M’s actions.

In 1970, new MFU leadership became increasingly radical. The following year, MFU membership declined precipitously, and the MFU as an organization disbanded.

Jim Wolpman has posted a history of the Midpeninsula Free University, at Alive in the 60s: The Midpeninsula Free University.

The Stanford Daily's coverage of the Midpeninsula Free University, from 1966 through 1969, is available here, with links to transcripts of the articles published in the Daily, as well as links to the actual newspapers now available in The Stanford Daily online archive