A supportive teacher known for encouraging his students to explore their own ideas, Stewart Woodford Young conducted a broadly varied research program in physical chemistry during his 37 years at Stanford University. He is described as creative and fond of art and living things. He developed a garden oasis within a seven-acre Menlo Hills property, where broad oak trees sheltered flowers, shrubs and ponds, with nest boxes and bathing fountains for wild birds.
Professor Young was born in Orient, New York in 1869, He studied at Cornell University (BS 1890) and served as assistant in chemistry there until 1891. After three years as instructor at Swarthmore College, he moved to Stanford in 1893. In 1894 he rose from instructor to assistant professor, then associate professor in 1901. He served as full professor in physical chemistry from 1906 until his death in 1931.