Stanford University News Service



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Haas Center to break ground for new building June 2

STANFORD-- The Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University will break ground for its new building in ceremonies at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, in front of Owen House on the Stanford campus.

A short program featuring Stanford President Donald Kennedy, major donors and students will begin at 4:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

Kennedy established the Haas Center in 1983 to serve as the focal point for local, national and international voluntary student efforts. Today, 70 percent of undergraduates say they have engaged in public service during their Stanford careers (up from 49 percent in 1984). Together, they contribute more than 70,000 volunteers to the community each academic year.

More than 400 agencies, many in the local communities, work with these Stanford students. The center has developed a significant partnership with the Ravenswood Elementary School District in East Palo Alto.

Among the Haas Center's other accomplishments:

  • The center is a magnet and training ground for student leaders. Eight of the 10 most recent Rhodes Scholars were actively engaged in the center's activities, as were many Marshall and Truman Scholars.
  • Nationally recognized as a model program, the center has been featured in Carnegie Foundation reports, The New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education and Time magazine.
  • The center successfully raised an endowment fund during the Stanford Centennial for the Stanford-in-Washington program, stipends/fellowships for student projects, two Centennial professorships and core operating costs.
  • The center works with faculty, students and community advisers to integrate service into the fabric of Stanford, into the professional schools and departments, the undergraduate curriculum, student services and alumni/ae programs. It developed a model academic program with the Freshman English Program to encourage students to write for community agencies.
  • The center developed and implemented the Stanford-in- Washington program, which has received outstanding academic evaluations by students and is considered by many faculty to be an important innovation for undergraduate education.
  • The center has hosted national meetings, including Campus Compact's national institute on integrating public service with academic study. Fifteen teams from colleges and universities nationwide attended.

The Haas Center began with a single office in Owen House, quickly grew to occupy the entire building and then exceeded its capacity.

The new 14,000-square-foot building will ensure that student organizations and university-run programs promoting volunteerism have a permanent home on the Stanford campus.



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