Stanford in Government celebrates 50 years of idealism

Stanford in Government leadership and fellows gather on the steps of the National Building Museum in D.C.

More than 350 alumni, faculty, students and friends gathered in Washington, D.C., last month for the 50th anniversary celebration of Stanford in Government (SIG), a student-led affiliate of the Haas Center for Public Service dedicated to increasing political awareness and connecting students to public service. The gathering was held in the historic Great Hall of the National Building Museum.

SIG was established in 1963 when ARMIN ROSENCRANZ, JD ’62, MA ’63, PhD ’70, then student body president, secured 14 Capitol Hill internships for Stanford students. Fifty years later, the organization returned to its roots.

Attendees at the 50th anniversary celebration included Congressmen Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), MS '89; Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), '96; and Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), '80, JD '84. (Photos courtesy Stanford in Government)

SIG now offers 34 endowed fellowships and 15 internship stipends annually. It also runs civic education programs in local schools from the United States to India, hosts policy lunches with faculty and visiting scholars, and brings prominent speakers to campus such as former Sen. OLYMPIA SNOWE (R-Maine) and former Vice President AL GORE.

Speakers at the June celebration included HARRY ELAM JR., vice provost for undergraduate education; CARLOS PASCUAL, ’80, special envoy and coordinator for energy affairs at the U.S. Department of State; ELISE TIMTIM, ’13, SIG chair; and LARRY DIAMOND, Haas Center faculty co-director and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. The speakers praised SIG for inspiring generations of students to engage in public policy and civic life.

“SIG is out in front of the wave of exciting initiatives in experiential learning now underway at Stanford,” Elam said. “What defined the program of Stanford in Government some 50 years ago makes this program all the more vital now as it scripts its next 50 years.”

—STEFAN NORGAARD, Haas Center for Public Service