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Photo-closeup of a Hoover Tower top

Stanford GSE kicks off anniversary celebration

April 24, 2017
By GSE Communications
A birthday cake
The anniversary cake, adorned with a picture of the School of Education building. (Photos: Marc Franklin)
Photo of Dan Schwartz
Dan Schwartz toasts the community at the GSE centennial party.
Picture of Marc Tessier-Lavigne and Dan Schwartz
Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and GSE Dean Dan Schwartz cut the anniversary cake.
Photo of crowd at centennial
Anthony Muro Villa speaks to the community at the GSE centennial party.
A toast to the power of education and its vital role in society marks the beginning of the GSE's centennial year.

The Stanford Graduate School of Education kicked off its 100th anniversary celebration on April 20 with a community party featuring remarks from Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne and student guild leader Anthony Muro Villa, and a toast by Dean Dan Schwartz.

The event, which drew alumni, students, staff and faculty of the GSE, was held outside the main School of Education building and begins a year of special programming around the school’s centennial.

“Over the next year we’re celebrating the accomplishments of the past, as well as the promise and power of education in the future,” said Schwartz. “We acknowledge there is still much work to be done but we will honor the great trust that society puts in great universities like Stanford to make a richer, more interesting and ultimately better world.”

The Stanford Board of Trustees voted in spring 1917 to elevate the Department of Education at the university to a school, recognizing its rigorous research and professional training.

The school counts more than 400 students from undergraduate to the doctoral level who study policy, economics, history, science, math, psychology and other subjects in the context of education. A quarter of the students are preparing to be teachers.

“You should be very proud of all that you’ve accomplished and all that the school has accomplished over these years,” said Tessier-Lavigne. “Ensuring access to quality education for all is so vital to human rights and to the well-being of people, our nation and the world.”

The centennial year celebration will include events as well as an opportunity for digital engagement. A new website is collecting stories from alumni and other educators and producing content on school history and contributions.

“At Stanford, we have always pushed ourselves to think about how we can be transformative,” said Villa, who is pursuing a PhD.

 The anniversary also provides an opportunity to think about the next 100 years – at Stanford and in education.

“What will the next 100 years look like? This is a very fun guessing game,” said Schwartz.

But while there are many unknowns, he continued, there are some constants.

“We will always be working to help people, communities and nations create their own future,” he told the crowd. “I want to thank you for being a part of this important journey.”