Stanford alum Michael Tubbs receives inaugural Ira D. Hall Under 30 Service Award established by former Stanford trustee

Michael Tubbs
Michael Tubbs

Michael Tubbs, BA/MA ’12, mayor of Stockton, California, was named the inaugural recipient of the Ira D. Hall Under 30 Service Award at the Black Community Services Center’s annual Academic and Community Awards ceremony.

During his years at Stanford, Tubbs, who earned his undergraduate degree in comparative studies in race and ethnicity and a master’s degree in policy, leadership and organization studies in the Graduate School of Education, served as Black Student Union Youth Empowerment Conference co-chair, president of the NAACP chapter and ethnic theme associate at Ujamaa.

Tubbs was awarded a Truman Scholarship to support public service leaders and received a Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for distinctive and exceptional contributions to undergraduate education.

Throughout his life, Tubbs has been committed to uplifting his hometown of Stockton. He served the Youth Advisory Commission of Stockton for two years as its chairman, and he organized a campaign called “Save Our Stockton,” which was able to engage the city government effectively on issues of youth and crime.

He helped found the Summer Success and Leadership Academy, which empowers young people in Stockton to create change for their city. Tubbs also founded and maintained the Phoenix Scholar program, which is still run by Stanford undergraduate students, to help hundreds of students in California attain college and university admission.

During Tubbs’ senior year at Stanford, he was elected to the Stockton City Council. Oprah Winfrey donated to his campaign. Former President Barack Obama endorsed him. Tubbs was the youngest council member.

In 2016, he became the youngest and first black mayor of Stockton.

Jan Barker-Alexander, director of the Black Community Services Center, marveled at how Tubbs “is only 26 and you can already say he’s had a lifelong commitment to service.”

The idea for an award to “celebrate young alumni who have demonstrated a commitment to service” came from Ira D. Hall, BS ’67, MBA ’76, and the first African American member of the Stanford Board of Trustees. Hall was 26 when he joined the board and served from 1970 to 1974.

Ira D. Hall
Ira D. Hall

Hall, of Oklahoma City, comes from a family of educators where service to others was an expectation. He became president of his senior class at Stanford. He was also heavily involved in issues of equality in East Palo Alto.

As a young engineer, Hall joined Hewlett-Packard, where the firm’s former CEO, John Young, mentored him. Hall was also mentored by William Hewlett and David Packard. Before returning to Stanford for business school, Hall was elected a trustee of Stanford; he also served on the board of the National Urban Coalition and headed the Stanford Mid-Peninsula Urban Coalition. He went on to a career on Wall Street and with other companies, including serving as treasurer of IBM U.S. and Texaco Inc. Before retiring in 2004, Hall was president and CEO of Utendahl Capital Management.

The award was his way, Hall told the Stanford Daily, “to help motivate people to get engaged with public service early and throughout their career as opposed to what is some people’s model of … ‘Well, I’ll graduate and then I’ll go get established and then I’ll become successful and then I’ll have a family and then I’ll get engaged in public service.’

“That can wind up being later than many people intend.”

Hall added that Tubbs embodies the practice of making service an early priority.