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President's Award for the Advancement of the Common Good

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Stanford President's Seal

With the President’s Award for the Advancement of the Common Good, Stanford celebrates the work and commitment of undergraduate and graduate alumni making a difference in their communities and the world through their dedication to public service. 

Award nominees exemplify the university’s mission and values, and demonstrate a commitment to learning, social responsibility, and ethical and effective service. Recipients will likely have been engaged in one or more of the Haas Center’s Pathways of Public Service and Civic Engagement (Community Engaged Learning and Research, Community Organizing and Activism, Direct Service, Philanthropy, Policy and Governance, Social Entrepreneurship and Corporate Social Responsibility).

Award recipients’ contributions demonstrate exemplary Purpose, Action, and Impact, through some combination of their professional and personal endeavors. 

  • Purpose is the reason for seeking change and the values demonstrated through the process of bringing about the change.
  • Action is shown by how direct and essential this changemaker has been in advancing the endeavor within, and potentially beyond, the organization. Advancement of the common good involves teams of dedicated individuals and institutions, and there are often individuals whose unique contributions have been essential to the success of the endeavor. The innovation of the endeavor or idea is also evaluated.
  • Impact captures the magnitude of the advancement of the common good that results from the contribution(s), considering such factors as the number of lives improved, the nature of those improvements, positive change in the world, and/or the ways in which the contributions have enabled/inspired others. 

Nominate or let us know about living alumni, from recent graduates to those with more established careers. Self-nominations are accepted. Once submitted, nominations remain active for three years. Recipients will be selected by a committee that includes alumni, staff, and faculty. The award will be presented at Commencement in June.

As Stanford lives its vision as a purposeful university, highlighting alumni that engage their talent and education in ways that positively advance our society serves to inspire action for us all. Thank you for assisting us in identifying such models.

The deadline to nominate alumni for the 2024 award was November 1, 2023. Nominations for the 2025 award begin June 1, 2024.

Contact Peggy Propp with questions.

Past Recipients


Dianne Calvi, ’84

Calvi, president and CEO of Village Enterprise, advocates for the most vulnerable and works to end extreme poverty in rural Africa. The organization focuses on strategic partnerships; innovation and technology; rigorous monitoring and evaluation; and building a passionate African team. 

Rey Saldaña, ’09, MA ’10

Saldaña is president and CEO of Communities in Schools (CIS), the country’s largest nonprofit providing student support inside schools, ensuring students are empowered to stay in school and on a path to a brighter future. CIS is the country’s largest provider of student support inside schools with more than 4,000 staff embedded in over 3,000 Title I schools in 26 states.

Read the 2023 Stanford Report article


Jimmy Chen, ’10

Chen, founder and CEO of Propel, created an anti-poverty software company that has measurably improved the lives of low-income Americans and shown the scale and impact of social entrepreneurship. The company focuses on financial services for low-income families through the free app Providers, which allows people to track food stamp balances, government benefits, and more.

Camara Phyllis Jones, MD ’81

Jones, a family physician and epidemiologist in Atlanta, Georgia, has conducted groundbreaking research and advocacy that have changed the national conversation on racism and health. Her work has been critical in most U.S. states and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formally declaring racism as a public health crisis, helping direct resources toward addressing systemic racism and health inequities.

Read the 2022 Stanford Report article