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John Ralston Credit: Unknown

John Ralston Leadership Initiatives

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In our quickly changing global landscape, we have a responsibility to ensure that a Stanford education is not only about one’s discipline, but also one’s ability to lead. Our students will be leaders of communities, industry, and government. We bear a responsibility to ensure their leadership changes and shapes our world  for the better.

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More About the John Ralston Leadership Initiative

John Ralston Credit: Unknown

We are pleased to announce that thanks to a generous lead gift, in recognition of the extraordinary leadership example of John Ralston (1927-2019), head football coach of Stanford Football from 1963-1971, this new program will be named in his honor. The program launches on the eve of the 50th anniversary of his second Rose Bowl win against the #4 ranked Michigan Wolverines on January 1, 1972. This is a fitting tribute to a leader who was more teacher than coach, more philosopher than disciplinarian, and more mentor than boss. It is also fitting because this new program focuses on developing purposeful leaders who can: lead with confidence, humility, and self-discipline; lead teams of experts effectively; manage, mentor others and build stronger, more resilient relationships; and inspire and influence others while achieving collective goals. John Ralston exemplified these qualities, as well as the confidence to recruit, hire and mentor  people who could become more successful than he was. Indeed his positive approach to life and his empathetic leadership style created one of college football’s most enviable coaching trees and it is timely that the inception of the idea for this leadership program, the first of its kind at Stanford, coincided with the 50th anniversary of Coach Ralston’s signature 1970 Pac-8 championship season and Rose Bowl victory over the #1 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on January 1, 1971. The extraordinary leadership traits that John Ralston embodied are exactly what we hope to instill in our undergraduate students through this program. 

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Leadership Training 

The office of the Vice Provost of Student Affairs will design and implement leadership training for undergraduate and graduate students who hold leadership roles across the campus, including student organization leaders, ASSU officers, RAs, and athletes, as well as students who may not have formal titles, but who are interested and would benefit from the program.  

Stanford coach John Ralston is carried off the field by his players after they defeated Ohio State in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 1971.(Associated Press)

John Ralston Leadership Initiatives Training

ICIL has committed to train its senior leaders including the leadership of the Centers for Equity, Community and Leadership (Community Centers), Career Education, Office of Student Engagement (including Fraternity and Sorority Life and student organizations), and the Office of Inclusion, Belonging and Intergroup Communication (diversity, equity and inclusion training) on the leadership framework for implementation across their units.