Memories of “Lu”: Celebrating the founder and visionary of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford


This week, we are celebrating Lucile Salter Packard, our hospital’s founder and visionary, in honor of what would have been her 100th birthday. Her dream was simple: to nurture both the body and soul of every child.

Mrs. Packard’s affiliation with children’s health dates back to her student days at Stanford University, when she volunteered at the Stanford Convalescent Home helping children recuperate from illness. It was during this time that she met her husband David Packard, and helped him and his friend William Hewlett establish the Hewlett-Packard brand. She became a member of the Woodside Atherton Auxiliary supporting children’s health in 1946, joined the Children’s Hospital board in 1972 and was elected chairperson in 1983.

Mrs. Packard and her husband contributed $70 million toward the realization of the children’s hospital. In making this gift, the Packards challenged the community to contribute the final $20 million needed to fund the project.

“My mother had always hoped that the hospital would be embraced by others in the community,” says daughter Susan Packard Orr, board chair of Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. “She would be touched by the depth of affection that so many old and new friends have demonstrated for our children’s hospital.”

Two weeks before her death in 1987, the American Hospital Association honored Mrs. Packard with its Citation for Meritorious Service, noting her “extraordinary contributions to the health and well-being of children.” Thank you to Mrs. Packard for your vision, and to our doctors, staff, volunteers, and donors for carrying on her legacy of extraordinary care every day.

This week, in honor of what would have been Lucile Packard’s 100th birthday, we are hosting our first ever birthday pledge drive to carry on her vision for children’s health. In lieu of birthday gifts, we encourage community supporters donate their next birthday by asking friends and family to make a donation to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.  Pledge your birthday today:

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