Stanford University renamed Serra Mall to Jane Stanford Way in October 2019, in recognition of the harmful impacts on Native Americans of the California mission system established by the street’s namesake, the 18th century Roman Catholic missionary Father Junipero Serra.
Changing the name of the pedestrian and bicycle mall was symbolic because it is also the official address of Stanford University, now 450 Jane Stanford Way. A university committee concluded that renaming the prominent campus thoroughfare after one of Stanford’s founders was more appropriate, given that Serra had no direct connection with the institution. The name of Serra Street on campus was not changed.
In 2016, the Undergraduate Senate and Graduate Student Council of the Associated Students of Stanford University passed resolutions requesting that the university rename streets and buildings bearing Serra’s name. A committee of faculty, students, staff and alumni was convened to review the matter and make recommendations to the Stanford Board of Trustees.