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Past What Matters to Me and Why Speakers

Thomas Ehrlich, Visiting Professor in the School of Education, shared his story in October 2014.


Since 1994, some of the most influential people on the Stanford campus have shared their stories through What Matters to Me and Why.

Spring 2019

April 10: Priya Satia, Professor of Modern British History

May 1: Michael A. McFaul, Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; Ken Olivier and Angela Nomellini Professor of International Studies, Department of Political Science; Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution; Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; Director of the Ford Dorsey Master's in International Policy

McFaul gives heartfelt talk on “what matters”

Winter 2019

February 6: Jonathan Levin, Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean of Stanford Graduate School of Business

Fall 2018

October 17, 2018: Susie Brubaker-Cole, Vice Provost for Student Affairs

November 14, 2018: Chris Lorway, Executive Director, Stanford Live and Bing Concert Hall

Spring 2018

April 11, 2018: Farouk Dey, Associate Vice Provost of Student Affairs and Dean of Career Education

Winter 2018

February 7, 2018: Steven Denning, former chair of the Stanford Board of Trustees

Article: What Matters to Steve Denning and Why

Article: Former Board chair talks ‘What Matters to Me’

March 7, 2018: Dereca Blackmon, Associate Dean and Director of the Diversity and First Generation Office


Fall 2017

October 11, 2017: David Kelley, Donald W. Whittier Professor in Mechanical Engineering and founder of the

November 15, 2017: M. Elizabeth Magill, Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean of Stanford Law School

Article: SLS Dean Magill speaks on ‘What Matters to Me and Why’

Spring 2017

May 10, 2017: Mehran Sahami, Professor and Associate Chair for Education, Computer Science

May 24, 2017: Alexander Nemerov, Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor of Arts and Humanities, Department of Art and Art History

Winter 2017

February 22, 2017: Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Stanford University's 11th President

Article: President Tessier-Lavigne delivers What Matters to Me and Why lecture

Article: President Tessier-Lavigne outlines what is important

Fall 2016

October 5, 2016: Lloyd Minor, Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine

Article: What matters to Dean Lloyd Minor? Integrity, diversity, family and Stanford Medicine

November 9, 2016: Nicole Taylor, Associate Vice Provost and the Dean of Community Engagement and Diversity

Article: Taylor reflects on election during ‘What Matters to Me and Why’

Spring 2016

April 28, 2016: John Hennessy, President

May 4, 2016: Sidney Drell, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus and former Deputy Director, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and Persis Drell, Frederick Emmons Terman Dean, School of Engineering

Winter 2016

January 13, 2016: Lucy Shapiro, Professor of Developmental Biology & Director of Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medecine

Article: What matters to Stanford’s Lucy Shapiro, and why

Fall 2015

October 4, 2015: Connie Wolf, Director of Cantor Arts Center

Spring 2014

April 9, 2014: Jennifer Summit, Professor of English

May 14, 2014: Jeff Chang, Executive Director of Institute for Diversity of Arts + Committee on Black Performing Arts

Winter 2014

January 8, 2014: Yvonne Maldonado, Professor of Pediatrics

February 12, 2014: Dave Evans, Lecturer, Design Program, Mechanical Engineering

Fall 2013

October 9, 2013: Ron Albucher, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

November 13, 2013: Bernard Muir, Director of Athletics

Spring 2013

April 17, 2013: Thomas Schnaubelt, Executive Director, Haas Center for Public Service and Resident Fellow, Branner Hall

May 8, 2013: David Abernethy, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science

Winter 2013

February 6, 2013: Steven P. Weitzman, Daniel E. Koshland Professor of Jewish Culture and Religion

February 27, 2013: Karen Biestman, Associate Dean and Director of the Native American Cultural Center

Spring 2011

April 27, 2011: Pam Karlan, Associate Dean for Research and Academics in the Law School and Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Law

May 4, 2011: Marilyn Yalom, feminist literary scholar and cultural historian and Irvin Yalom, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emeritus

Spring 2010

April 28, 2010: Jack Rakove, W. R. Coe Professor of History and American Studies and Professor of Political Science

May 5, 2010: Anne Firth Murray, Consulting Professor in Human Biology, Michelle R. Clayman Institute Faculty Research Fellow

Winter 2010

February 10, 2010: Jim Steyer, CEO and Founder of Common Sense Media

February 24, 2010: Deborah Golder, Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Residential Education

Spring 2006

May 3, 2006: Sekou Sundiata, Resident Poet

Article: Sundiata talks about the blues, imagining a ‘possible future’

March 15, 2006: Deborah Gordon, Professor of Biological Sciences

Article: What Matters to Deborah Gordon

March 1, 2006: Albert Camarillo, Leon Sloss Jr. Memorial Professor in History

Article: What Matters to Albert Camarillo

Winter 2006

February 15, 2006: Carole Pertofsky, Vaden Health Center Staffer

Article: What Matters to Carole Pertofsky

Fall 2005

November 16, 2005: Arthur Bienenstock, Vice Provost and Dean of Research and Graduate Policy

Article: Road to prosperous life brings Arthur Bienenstock full circle

Miss a Talk?

WMMW lectures are available to check out at Green Library on the Stanford Campus. Go to the basement’s Media/MicroText Center and look up on the computer the call number of the tape you’d like to listen to, by searching for “What Matters to Me and Why” and/or the name of the speaker.