Scientist, engineer and educator France A. Córdova and Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings will be speakers at Stanford Commencement ceremonies in June

Stanford’s 131st Commencement Weekend, June 9-12, 2022, will feature addresses by university alumni Reed Hastings, an entrepreneur with a deep commitment to diversity and innovation in education, and France A. Córdova, an astrophysicist and leader in higher education and government, in ceremonies honoring 2022 and 2020 graduates.

France A. Córdova and Reed Hastings, Stanford graduates with extraordinary achievements in research and innovation, will speak at the university’s Commencement ceremonies in June.

Hastings, co-founder and co-CEO of Netflix, will address 2022 graduates on Sunday, June 12, and Córdova, a former leader of major universities and government agencies who is president of the Science Philanthropy Alliance, will deliver remarks to 2020 graduates on Saturday, June 11.

“France Córdova and Reed Hastings are pathbreakers who will inspire our graduates,” said President Marc Tessier-Lavigne. “Through their words and their examples, they will both lift the sights of our graduates beyond everyday concerns and encourage them to anticipate, with great optimism, the ways their Stanford experiences have helped prepare them to make the world a better place.”

The university will have two in-person ceremonies this year, both in Stanford Stadium. One will be for 2022 graduates and the other for 2020 graduates, who had a virtual celebration due to the pandemic. Stanford has also invited 2021 graduates who were unable to be on campus for their Commencement to participate in the 2020 ceremony.


Reed Hastings (Image credit: Kwaku Alston / Netflix)

Reed Hastings, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, co-founded Netflix, which has revolutionized the entertainment industry. He also has provided extensive personal and financial support for education initiatives.

Prior to Netflix, Hastings founded Pure Software, which made tools for software developers and was later acquired by Rational Software. A former member of the California State Board of Education, he currently serves on the board of several educational organizations, including KIPP, a nonprofit network of free, public charter schools that largely serve Black and Latino students from low-income families, and Pahara, which supports sustainability, diversity and quality of leadership for education reform.

Hastings received a BA from Bowdoin College and an MS in artificial intelligence from Stanford. Between his time at Bowdoin and Stanford, he served as a Peace Corps high school math teacher in Swaziland.

“We are humbled and honored to have Reed Hastings as the 2022 Stanford Commencement speaker,” said Senior Class Presidents Maya Guzdar, Juyon Lee, Nidhi Mahale and Shreyas Parab, who worked with the President’s Office on the selection. “Although many know him as the co-founder and co-CEO of Netflix (perhaps a place many spent time on during quarantine), Reed Hastings’ diverse experiences, not just as a business leader but also in public service, exemplify what it means to do well and do good. We hope his intertwined stories as a founder, philanthropist, public servant and teacher will resonate with our class as we embark on the many journeys we’ll undertake and roles we can play in the world.”


France A. Córdova (Image credit: Courtesy of France A. Córdova)

France Córdova, an astrophysicist known for her contributions in space research and instrumentation, has deep experience in science, engineering and education. She is a role model for leadership in many areas – government, university and philanthropy.

President of the Science Philanthropy Alliance since 2021, Córdova has also served as president of Purdue University; chancellor of the University of California, Riverside; NASA’s chief scientist; and director of the National Science Foundation, which is the federal agency charged with advancing scientific discovery, technological innovation and STEM education. At Purdue, she established the College of Health and Human Sciences and the Global Research Policy Institute, and at UC Riverside laid the foundation for California’s first public medical school in more than 40 years.

Córdova graduated from Stanford with a BA in English and earned a PhD in physics from the California Institute of Technology.

“Our Stanford community is excited by the opportunity to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of three groups – our latest graduating class and 2020 graduates, as well as 2021 graduates who were unable to join in person last year,” Tessier-Lavigne said. “We are fortunate that Reed Hastings and France Córdova will be sharing their insights and wisdom, and we look forward to experiencing again so many of the traditions that make Commencement at Stanford a memorable, meaningful time for our graduates and their loved ones.”

More details about Commencement Weekend 2022, including a list of additional events, health protocols and deadlines for prospective graduates, are available on the Stanford Commencement website.

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