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Cardinal Commitment for Program Directors

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What is Cardinal Commitment?



Cardinal Commitment is one of four major areas of Stanford’s Cardinal Service initiative. In Cardinal Commitment, students receive support to make a sustained service commitment for three or more quarters through signature Stanford programs, student-led service organizations, or community organizations. Students apply what they are learning to make a difference and be part of a tradition of service at Stanford. Cardinal Commitment honors the long legacy of students making significant service commitments at Stanford and the innovative approaches they bring to creating social change, developing service programs with impact, and shaping the future of service at Stanford.


Students declare a Cardinal Commitment by submitting a brief 1-3 sentence personal mission statement describing the commitment they are making and goals.

In this process, students join one of many service programs or organizations across Stanford and in the local community. Many students will already be serving through a designated program or organization, so submitting a personal mission statement is a way to be recognized as part of the formal Commitment program.


As part of Cardinal Commitment, students receive ongoing support from an organizational mentor, including quarterly meetings to discuss learning, new developments, and progress within the Commitment. They can also meet other students who care about service and ground their work in critical reflection through training on Stanford’s Principles of Ethical and Effective Service.


At the conclusion of students’ service, program mentors will certify that the Commitment is complete and help students think about next steps in their service journey.

Become a Cardinal Commitment program or organization

Please contact Kelly Beck, Director of Cardinal Commitment, for more information.

Community of Practice

Please contact Kelly Beck, Director of Cardinal Commitment, for more information.