Members of our Stanford community,

This year’s long-anticipated Election Day has now passed. Thank you, first, to everyone in our community who participated in the democratic process, and particularly to those who supported voter registration and participation at Stanford and beyond. The StanfordVotes student group deserves special appreciation for all of its committed efforts.

At the moment, we don’t know the outcome of the presidential race. This may take time as ballots continue to be counted in several states. The US has a strong system of laws and democratic norms, and it is my hope and expectation that these will guide the country to an orderly outcome that is respected by all. We are called upon to exercise patience as the process completes its course. The uncertainty adds to the many challenges 2020 has brought to the country and to our own community.

I encourage you to take the opportunity in the coming days to connect with others, join online events, hear others’ perspectives and discuss your own. At Stanford we’re fortunate to be part of a university community that is able to bring multiple kinds of resources – academic, cultural, social, spiritual – to help us process this national moment.

Members of our community have been developing a range of online events for this post-Election Day period. They can be found at There are lectures and webinars exploring political, social and even technological dimensions of the election. There also are artistic offerings, virtual gatherings and support events that I encourage you to consider.

The election season has been intense and, for many people, a source of added stress and anxiety coming on top of the pandemic. Wherever you are physically, here on campus or elsewhere around the country or the world, please know that Stanford is here for you. The website listed above offers university support resources for students and postdoctoral scholars, and for faculty and staff.

The Stanford community has a strong tradition of engaging in the important issues of the day and supporting the reasoned discussion of diverse ideas, within a culture of mutual respect. These are things America itself needs. Let us continue to extend care and support to one another in the coming days, whatever our views on the issues, with steadfast hope for a timely election resolution that inspires confidence and aids our country in the task of moving forward.


Marc Tessier-Lavigne