How They Feel About Stanford
By Elaine Ray
he overwhelming majority of Stanfords alumni of color who
participated in a recent survey look back fondly at life
on the Farm. They take pride in their undergraduate degrees and feel they
got a better value at Stanford than they would have elsewhere.
But those same alumni feel that after graduation they are essentially out
of sight and out of the universitys mind, according to a report
to the Board of Trustees in October by its Task Force on Minority Alumni
The task force, headed by trustee Charles Ogletree Jr. (A.B. 74, A.M.
75 Political Science), spent two years examining the attitudes and
experiences of minority alumni across the country. It found that 98 percent
of minority alumni surveyed say they are satisfied with their undergraduate
experience, but, like white alumni, barely 20 percent believe strongly that
the university makes them feel that they are still an important part of the
Moreover, only 25 percent of respondents express a very strong personal
commitment to the institution. Although these statistics include responses
from both graduate and undergraduate alumni, the primary focus of the task
force was on undergraduate alums.
To encourage increased engagement, the task force offered eight
recommendations, including the creation of an Alumni Volunteer Clearinghouse
responsible for identifying and coordinating opportunities for all alumni
regardless of ethnicity to participate in university life.
The task force also suggested that the university continue and expand
research and data collection on alumni of color and develop an
student feedback system to understand the experiences of current
undergraduates. Also proposed was the establishment of opportunities for
minority student-alumni interaction, including a career mentoring program
and visits by alumni to undergraduate residences.
Of Stanfords nearly 150,000 alumni, 10 percent identify themselves as
Asian American, Chicano/Latino, African American or American Indian.
According to the report, 35 percent of all Stanford alumni under 30
represent those racial groups. ST