It’s been an illuminating year for women around the world. Tech companies came clean about the vast shortage of women in leadership and engineering. The media questioned why women’s earnings are just 77% of men’s overall. And we heard about shocking social and physical injustices to women in different parts of the world. On the bright side, it was the year that some major corporations began to take serious steps toward creating better workplaces for women, and Malala Yousafzai won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to further girls’ rights to education.
While the society around us considers how best to improve conditions for women nationally and globally, Cap and Gown remains steadfast in celebrating and fostering women leaders. We not only commend leadership, but also service to our communities. We recognize the power of human connections to make our lives more fulfilling and, in fact, to help us live longer. We create opportunities to connect with one another. Most of all, we support one another.
To me, Cap and Gown is the most inspiring and welcoming community of overachieving women that I can imagine. I feel immensely honored and fortunate to be a small part of this very special community and have the opportunity to serve all of you.
In the name of supporting one another, I’d like to issue a challenge to each and every of you, no matter where on the globe you call home: make a Cap and Gown connection. We are starting to facilitate this by piloting regional events, but you can also start by looking up Cap and Gown alumnae near you on the Stanford Alumni Association website at http://stanfordalumni.org. Then schedule a breakfast or a coffee or even just a phone call with a Cap and Gown woman in your area. Ask her about her own journey and what obstacles she has faced. And most of all, find one way you can support her on her journey, however small it may be. If you feel inclined to share your experience, I’d love to hear from you. If you don’t, that’s fine too. Either way, you just might make a big impact on someone’s life, as several Cap and Gown women have had on mind.
Cap and Gown had a wonderful year last year. We inducted another strikingly impressive class of Cap and Gown actives at Tapping Tea. We heard from Dr. Sharon Long about her life journey at the Stanford Women Winter Welcome and joined guided discussions to hear about one another’s Stanford experiences and challenges. At the Spring Brunch, we heard from Heidi Roizen and Miriam Rivera about each of their journeys as women in technology and venture capital, role models to young women, and hard-working mothers. On graduation day, we celebrated our new alumnae at the home of Cap and Gown Alumnae Board Vice President Kathy Chou. It was a rich and rewarding year.
This year, we look forward to celebrating 110 years of women leaders and continuing to focus on our core events while building on our charter to honor and bring together women leaders at Stanford.
Finally, I’d like to thank YOU for your leadership and service in general, and for your participation in Cap and Gown. It is you, our members, that define our organization and I am proud to be connected with all of you. I would also like to especially thank Michelle Galloway, Ellen Petrill, Kathy Chou, and the rest of the Alumnae and Actives Boards for preserving the essence of Cap and Gown and protecting the treasure that is our organization.
Here’s to another great year!
Samantha Quist, ‘03