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Cardinal Service Graduation Pledge

Cardinal Service stonework

To promote and support students in choosing public service – either in their jobs or as volunteer activities – after they leave campus, Stanford seniors will be asked to sign on to a pledge:

"As a graduate of Stanford University, I will work toward a more just and sustainable world in my career or volunteer activities. I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work."

The second sentence is from The Graduation Pledge that started in 1987 as a project of the Bentley University Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility and has evolved into the Graduation Pledge Alliance.  Stanford has been a past participant and there are 80 colleges and universities listed as current participants.  Locally, these include UC Santa Cruz and Santa Clara University. 

This past year, 325 members of the Class of 2019 signed the Pledge. Class of 2020, are you ready to take the Pledge?

Featured Cardinal Service Graduation Pledge 2019 Signatories

Sam Feineh

Sam Feineh

Hometown: Sacramento, CA

Major: Political Science

Primary service interest(s): Public policy, Criminal justice reform

Service involvements at Stanford: Current Vice-Chair of Programming for Stanford in Government (SIG), Co-president of Stanford's Black Pre-Law Society, Haas Center Peer Advisor; Former Academic Lead on ASSU Executive Cabinet

Why sign the pledge?: I signed the pledge because I see myself being an advocate for criminal justice reform throughout my career, and potentially entering politics one day to serve the communities that made me who I am. Service to me isn’t a one-stop shop, but a continual mode of being. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

Post-graduation plans: I will be doing the Gardner Fellowship, which is one of the Haas Center’s post-graduate fellowships. Through this experience, I’m hoping to immerse myself into the nexus of civil rights policy, technology, and artificial intelligence.

Audrey Huynh

Audrey Huynh

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Major:  International Relations

Minor: Human Rights

Primary service interest(s):  Intersectional feminist advocacy and immigrant/refugee rights

Service involvements at Stanford: Stanford Womxn’s Coalition; Stanford in Government; StanfordVotes; Haas Center Service Liaison; International Institute of the Bay Area; Women and Youth Supporting Each Other; Cardinal Quarters at the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, U.S.Congress, Lawyers for Human Rights, and Justice Centre Hong Kong.

Why sign the pledge?:  As Stanford students, I believe we have a moral responsibility to pay forward all the incredible resources and privileges we have been afforded at this university (and in the rest of our lives) and contribute back to the communities that raised us. I am looking forward to pursuing a lifelong career in public service, advocating for the rights of immigrants/refugees, womxn of color, and other marginalized communities in the U.S. and beyond.

Post-graduation plans: I will spend the next year working in immigration/refugee/asylum law and policy as a John Gardner Public Service Fellow.


Maddy Lisaius

Maddy Lisaius

Hometown: Bellevue, WA

Major: B.S with Honors and M.S., Earth Systems

Primary service interest(s): To support fringe communities around the globe build healthier human-natural landscapes and to create more equitable land management regimes through a lifetime of collaborative science production.

Service involvements at Stanford: Cardinal Commitment to the Waorani Women’s Association; Founder and Former President of Bridging the Gap; Wrigley Field Program in Hawai'i; Former Environmental Justice Team Lead for Students for a Sustainable Stanford; Julie Kennedy Public Service Scholar.

Why sign the pledge?: I signed the pledge because I believe I have the responsibility and opportunity to build a just world through my lifetime in professional and personal life, in big and little decisions. I commit to always listening and learning from those around me, bringing others with me to the opportunities I am offered, and prioritizing equity and justice. In the research I will produce, the mentorship I will offer and the examples I set throughout my lifetime, I believe that I can contribute to a kinder and healthier world and I look forward to the process of doing so.

Post-graduation plans: After graduation, I will be working at a foundation on land rights and food security through the Tom Ford Fellowship in Philanthropy before starting my PhD focused on collaborative data for development.

Carson Smith

Carson Smith

Hometown: Palos Park, IL

Major: Political Science

Minor: Native American Studies

Primary service interest(s): Indigenous communities and conflict resolution

Service involvements at Stanford: Social Justice Fellow at the Native American Cultural Center; co-teacher for Indigenous Conflict Resolution Course during Cardinal Quarter; Indigenous Communities Fellowship; SIG Fellowship; Alternative Spring Break; Law School Policy Practicum for Tribal Communities.

Why sign the pledge?:  From my two-year plan to my 20-year plan, I am committed to working for indigenous human rights. I hope to one day act as a lawyer representing indigenous populations and culturally competent justice mechanisms. While I am on my way to accomplishing this goal, I plan to keep working on my research around these topics and directly collaborating and building relationships with the communities I work with.

Post-graduation plansReceiving my master’s degree at Oxford University


2017 Cardinal Service Graduation Pledge Signatories

 Take the Pledge