Fall 2016 Letter from the President of the Alumnae Board

It has been an honor to serve as president of Cap and Gown for the past year and a privilege to serve in the year that we celebrated 110 years. That is such a significant milestone and I was so delighted to hear about Cap and Gown women from all generations meeting together across the country and around the world to celebrate. That experience of connection and support between women leaders is at the essence of what makes Cap and Gown such a phenomenal organization that I am so grateful to be a part of today more than ever. I have spent much of this past year thinking about what makes Cap and Gown unique, how we can best uphold our traditions, and what the future of the organization might look like. At first this was instigated by reflection on what it means to be an organization that lasts for over a century. Then changes in the enforcement of university policies for student and alumni groups prompted a thorough examination that has led to some significant changes in how we operate as an organization while also enabling us to reinforce our core principles. Last year, the Alumnae Board became aware of the policy of the Stanford Alumni Association to provide open membership to all Stanford alumni for all alumni groups. As a selective honor society, we have been out of compliance with this policy. Over the summer, the new Actives Board became aware of a similar policy for student organizations under the ASSU. The administrative organization for the ASSU known as Student Activities and Leadership (SAL) asked us to...

Fall 2016 Letter from the Outgoing Actives Presidents

So many emotions swirl as we write this letter of aloha, saying “hello” and “goodbye” in the same breath. Hello to the much-anticipated “real world” of life post-graduation. For Caroline, that means graduate school on a familiar campus; for Marisa, full-time work at Microsoft in Seattle. Hello to the tribulations and triumphs of adulthood—monthly apartment bills to pay and grocery shopping to do…but candles and pets that do not have to be hidden and dinner parties where not a Solo cup is to be found. Hello to the strange and sad realization that friends are not just a few steps away down a dormitory hall, but hello also to the comfort of a network of incredible alumni—most especially, the Cap and Gown alumni!—greeting us with open arms. Goodbye to our roles as Actives Co-Presidents, posts we held with pride and humble honor. Goodbye to the Cap and Gown structure of days past, which opened its doors to only a select few women. Goodbye to the way we have been doing Tapping Tea and the exclusivity it embodied. Goodbye to the moments of disappointment when some women were tapped while their friends were not. Hello to a new era of Cap and Gown, and the tremendous power we unleash in expanding our circles to all those who support the Cap and Gown mission. Hello to creating community through a clear mission and building a stronger organization through a more engaged student membership. As we leave the Actives leadership in the capable hands of Negin Behzadian and Anna Zappone, along with the terrific team of leaders on the Actives Board, we...

What does Hillary losing mean for women leaders?

Back in 2008 a relatively unknown woman took the national political stage as the chosen vice presidential candidate. The world waited with baited breath to find out who she was. She appeared on that stage calm and collected—an everyday woman in a well-tailored skirt suit—unabashedly feminine. She was immediately labeled a soccer mom, but she was in the position of a leader. In that moment, I remember thinking how much more appealing she was than Hillary Clinton. I admired how she embraced her femininity and didn’t apologize for it. She sounded intelligent and relatable, that was until she opened her mouth without a teleprompter… By the end of that election cycle, I did not find her to be a compelling politician, but that one speech gave me a glimmer of what leadership could look like in a skirt. Fast forward eight years and America was given the choice to elect a female leader—not just as vice president, but as president. While it is difficult to flesh out a political resume for Sarah Palin, the opposite is the case for Hillary Clinton. She has been called the most qualified person to ever win a major political party’s nomination in the US. Hillary was prepared. She had binders full of policies and plans to execute, and she lost. Fast forward eight years and my appreciation for Hillary as a leader has grown. This election has brought her supporters out of the woodwork to applaud her relational leadership style and call attention to her approval ratings when she is doing a job as opposed to asking for a raise. I’ve now had...
Cap and Gown Events Update

Cap and Gown Events Update

“Meet the Leaders” Recap: Our first fall event, “Meet the Leaders,” gave potential new members the chance to learn from our women leaders’ experiences. Here are a few takeaways: “Cap and Gown is as much about growing leadership and learning from other leaders as it is about being a leader yourself. You don’t need to have any specific qualifications to want to learn from others.”  — Lauren Newby, Students Supporting Body Positivity “It’s important to have a community of role models, supporters, advocates and sounding boards; I think that we need to be each other’s strongest supporters.”  — Maya Israni, She++ “I think we should all change unhealthy environments, and I think that starts with resilience and hard work; It’s about stepping up and being a leader, regardless of what other people say you can or should do.” — Shelby Mynhier, Stanford Improv, Theater Laboratory, JamPac’d  The event empowered attendees to take advantage of the vast activities and opportunities at Stanford. The panel speakers encouraged other students to not be afraid to challenge themselves and step out of their comfort zones, to pursue their passions, and to not be afraid to take initiative and step up as a leader. Upcoming Event: Our next fall event, Insights Over Ice Cream, is coming up soon! Please save the date. This event will be geared to all undergraduate students. The event will take place on Thursday, November 10th, from 7 – 9 PM at the Black Community Services Center (BCSC). At this event, prospective and current Cap and Gown members will be able to hear stories of growth and resilience from a panel of young...
Autumn Events Snapshot: Cap and Gown

Autumn Events Snapshot: Cap and Gown

Cap and Gown, Stanford’s oldest continuing student organization, has a proud tradition of promoting intergenerational community, honoring academic excellence, developing leaders, and serving the university. Alumni include Sandra Day O’Connor and Edith Mirrielees. Below are Cap and Gown’s upcoming events: “Meet the Leaders” Thursday, October 20th, 7-9:15 PM at the Women’s Community Center “Meet the Leaders,” Stanford Cap and Gown’s first fall event, is focused on highlighting the rich student leadership and initiative across the Cap and Gown actives body, and promoting student-student connections surrounding these interests, opportunities, and causes. Speakers’ List: Pre-Professional Leadership: Michelle Ramseier, President of SWE Grace Geng, Stanford Consulting Zabreen Khan, BASES Eli Margolin, The World Bank Community Building/Creative Expression: Holly Dayton, Executive producer of Ram’s Head Theatrical Society Shelby Mynhier, Performer at Stanford Improv & dancer at Alliance, Jam Pac’d Emily Stebbins, Stanford Outdoor House Sarah Hirshorn, SWEEP Community Service: Maia Miller, Chapter advisor for Challah for Hunger Lauren Newby, Co-president of Students Supporting Body Positivity Maya Irani, Director of Sponsorships at She++ Joanne Jang, Executive Events Team at Girls Teaching Girls to Code —————————————————————————————————————————————————— Insights Over Ice Cream  Thursday, November 10th, 7 – 9 PM @ BCSC Prospective and current Cap and Gown members will be able to hear stories of growth and resilience from a panel of young alumni before breaking out into small group discussions with ice cream sundaes.  If you’re a current Stanford undergraduate student interested in joining Cap and Gown this fall or seeking more information, please email our Membership Coordinator, capgownstanford@gmail.com, to be included in our mailing list! FAQs What is Cap and Gown’s mission? The mission of Cap and Gown...

My Long, Wonderful Life

by Margaret Strong At age ninety-four as the future shrinks and I contemplate my long, wonderful life I am struck by how completely Stanford has been woven into the fabric of that existence.  My father was one of Jane Stanford’s “poor boys” who graduated from Stanford in 1914.  He attended Stanford because his high school English teacher, Miss Post, who was among the first women to graduate from Stanford, recognized in him a keen intelligence and love of learning.  She also knew that he, like most young men then, assumed he would go to work and be self-supporting when he graduated from high school.  She convinced him that attending college was possible, particularly at Stanford. Armed with his Stanford degree my father found work opportunities that would not have been open to him without it.  Inspired by the efforts of Miss Post on his behalf, she became the role model he held up to his two daughters.  At a time when high school graduation marked the end of most girls’ formal education, my sister and I grew up knowing from the time we could remember that we were going to Stanford. Living in first Gilroy, and then Palo Alto, made frequent visits to the campus possible, including going to all the major football games; we had a sense of belonging long before we actually enrolled.  This feeling was reinforced by the Stanford Alumni Club’s frequent, family oriented social functions. My sister graduated before me and I saw her obtain a prized teaching position at the height of the depression because of her Stanford degrees.  Being selected to be a...