Stanford University has reversed its decision and is continuing 11 varsity programs to make Stanford 36 Sports Strong. This is a big win for Stanford, its students, alumni and supporters. We can’t thank you enough for how you have helped.
There is more work to be done. We hope you will stay involved. Please fill out the form below and indicate how you can support Stanford Athletics.
Stanford Commits to 36 Sports!
Stanford to Continue 11 Cut Varsity Teams
PALO ALTO, Calif. - 36 Sports Strong has been officially informed by President Marc Tessier-Lavigne that Stanford University has completed its consideration of the 36 Sports Strong petition and will continue supporting all 11 varsity teams.
The following joint-statement can be attributed to the 36 Sports Strong leadership team:
“President Tessier-Lavigne, Provost Persis Drell and Athletic Director Bernard Muir listened and worked with us to find a better way forward for Stanford Athletics. They deserve a lot of credit. We are grateful for their engagement, and we are looking forward to getting to work with them.
“Champions persevere, and they find new ways to win. That’s what Stanford has done here. Facing challenges, Stanford and its alumni have come together to build a solution that will cement its status as the best Athletics Department in the country.
“A year ago, the world was in a pandemic-caused panic. Now that we’ve nearly emerged from that crisis, we can look ahead to a brighter and more sustainable future for Stanford Athletics.
“We did this for the students, who never stopped fighting and competed against all odds this year. They made this happen. Today is their day.
“To the more than 5,000 alumni and Cardinal faithful who signed our petition: Stanford heard you. This is the beginning of a better future for Stanford Athletics, and it was only possible because of your support. Thank you.”
36 Sports Strong
Jennifer Azzi, ‘90, Basketball
Adam Keefe, ‘92, Basketball and Volleyball
Kathy Levinson, ‘77, Field Hockey, Basketball, Tennis
Alex Massialias, ‘16, Fencing
Nathalie Weiss, ‘16, Rowing
Robert Hatta, ‘97, Wrestling
Jeremy Jacobs, ‘06, Volleyball
Working with Stanford to Continue the Teams
36 Sports Strong was formed with the backing of a marquee list of alumni and quickly grew a petition to continue the teams backed by more than 5,000 alumni and supporters. At the beginning of March, we initiated a dialogue with the school. Over four separate meetings, taking place over April and May, we laid out a vision for a new way to fund varsity teams. We answered questions. We presented our own analysis. We challenged assumptions.
At the same time something amazing was happening. Wrestler Shane Griffith captured the attention of the college sporting world by winning a national championship. Senior Jacklyn Luu led synchronized swimming to a national title, the Men’s Gymnastics team repeated as NCAA champions taking the winners podium wearing “36 Sports Strong” t-shirts and the Field Hockey team reached the elite-8 in NCAA tournament play, earning gestures of support from their competitors along the way. Four freshman fencers earned All-American honors and the sailing team achieved three top-10 finishes at the ICSA Singlehanded Championships.
What the students were doing in competition combined with our meetings led the school to re-evaluate its decision. There were several factors, including the post-pandemic financial health of the school, the new potential for future alumni involvement and the merits of the new funding model. The key which helped us unlock a solution was Marc Tessier-Lavigne’s, Persis Drell’s and Bernard Muir’s willingness to consider new ideas.