Sunday Message: Outstanding Alumni

Dean Jon Levin writes to the Stanford GSB community acknowledging outstanding alumni and mental health in the workplace.

April 04, 2021

Happy Easter and welcome to the start of spring quarter. And what a great NCAA finals game … Go Cardinal!

I’ve enjoyed seeing more people on campus the last few days, and the feeling of increased vibrancy. As we enter a period with more opportunities to interact, let’s be mindful of our continuing responsibility to protect the health of those around us so we can successfully navigate this next phase of the pandemic.

This week we’ll be starting to open more areas of campus. On Wednesday, Arbuckle will reopen with limited service. Beginning Thursday, it will be possible for classes being offered in hybrid format to have in-person components. On Monday, April 12, we plan to open the Bass Center for students to study individually.

It feels a lot better to be opening things rather than closing them.

I have a few updates to share.

School Updates

  • Some of you may have seen the inspiring story about our alumnus Brandon Haase (MBA ’93) stopping an attack against an Asian-American woman in San Jose. I was proud to read about Brandon, and also to see the effort of Dave Lu (MBA ’04) to organize Asian-American business leaders, including many Stanford GSB alumni, to pledge their support for organizations working to combat prejudice and violence against Asian-Americans. Stanford GSB is planning content and events for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, in May, to honor the history and impact of the AAPI community at this important time.
  • The Corporations and Society Initiative has been running recent events at the intersection of politics and business. This month, CASI is sponsoring a Politics and Industry Workshop led by lecturer David Dodson and Michael Porter from HBS. It will bring together students from Stanford and Harvard to discuss the role of business in our polarized political system with prominent CEOs and political leaders.
  • I have been meaning to share a recent article by Jeff Pfeffer on mental health in the workplace, which is especially timely given the stresses of the Covid pandemic. Jeff starts with a story about Stanford GSB alumnus and lecturer Lenny Mendonca, who stepped down last year from his position as chief economic advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom, and then wrote courageously about his struggles with severe depression.
  • Lastly, I wanted to make sure you saw the wonderful story and video highlighting three of the five women in the class of 1972. In honor of Women’s History Month, the Communications team brought together Susan Phillips, Anne Thornton, and Barbara West via Zoom to talk about their experience at the school and how they answered the frequently asked question: “What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?” With more than 200 women in each of the current MBA classes, we have come a long way in the last 50 years.

I’m looking forward to the coming quarter with excitement and optimism!

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