President of the Science Philanthropy Alliance France Córdova ’69 and Netflix co-founder and co-CEO Reed Hastings M.S. ‘88 will speak at this year’s commencement ceremonies on June 11 and June 12, respectively, according to a recent University announcement.
This year’s commencement will feature two in-person ceremonies for both the Class of 2022 and the Class of 2020. Hastings will address 2022 graduates, while Córdova will address 2020 graduates along with 2021 graduates who were unable to attend their commencement ceremony, according to Stanford News. According to an update released April 5, registration is not needed to attend Commencement weekend due to changes in both “COVID conditions and state health protocols.”
“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,” Senior Class Presidents Maya Guzdar, Juyon Lee, Nidhi Mahale and Shreyas Parab told Stanford News. “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.”
After receiving a B.A. from Bowdoin College, Hastings worked for the Peace Corps, teaching high school math in Swaziland. He went on to receive an M.S. in artificial intelligence from Stanford and co-founded Netflix, the most popular subscription video streaming service in the world. Hastings is also known for his advocacy in education reform. He is a former member of the California State Board of Education and continues to serve on the board of multiple educational organizations.
Córdova’s career has also spanned multiple sectors, from education to government. After receiving a B.A. in English from Stanford and a Ph.D. in physics from the California institute of Technology, Córdova went on to become a chief scientist at NASA.
Afterwards, she was appointed Chancellor of the University of California, Riverside, where she was a driving force for the eventual creation of the UC Riverside School of Medicine. Following her time at UC Riverside, Córdova became the 11th President of Purdue University, where she is credited for leading the school to “record levels” in funding, rankings and retention.
Córdova was appointed as the head of the National Science Foundation in 2014 by President Barack Obama. She stayed there until her retirement in 2020. Most recently, she was named the president of the Science Philanthropy Alliance, which aims to increase philanthropic support for scientific research.
“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.” President Marc Tessier-Lavigne told Stanford News.