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About Stanford Town Center

The Stanford Town Center project is re-imagining the White Plaza region of Stanford’s campus as the heartbeat of the university, focusing on intellectual vitality, social engagement, and community-building.  See the full charge here. The Town Center design team is chaired by Matthew Tiews, Associate Vice President for Campus Engagement.  If you would like to be part of a focus group or conversation about the Town Center, please contact us.

Our vision document is available here. A preliminary outline of potential program clusters is available here.

The Town Center project will be guided by the mission, values, and areas of focus articulated in the Vision that emerged from Stanford’s Long-Range Planning process


Research: Extend the frontiers of knowledge, stimulate creativity, and solve real-world problems

Education: Prepare students to think broadly, deeply and critically, and to contribute to the world

Service: Deploy Stanford’s strengths to benefit our region, country and world


Ethics: Anchor education and research in ethics and human welfare

Boldness: Advance our mission boldly but with an eagerness to collaborate and learn from others

Foundations: Stay true to our values, including integrity, diversity, respect, freedom of inquiry and expression, tenacity and optimism


Our community is the foundation that supports excellence at the University. Our long-range planning process revealed the opportunity to more effectively support community members, to improve operations and stewardship and to build an inclusive and cohesive community. Our Community Initiatives include near-term and long-term steps toward our vision of an inspired, inclusive and collaborative community of diverse scholars, students and staff.


Our 21st-century students live in a globally-connected and rapidly changing world. They face constantly evolving societal demands that require not just mastery of knowledge but even more an ability to adapt. In addition, our students come from increasingly diverse backgrounds—socio-economically, geographically, ethnically. Research data indicate that students today learn differently. To fulfill the promise of a Stanford education in this contemporary setting, we must adapt our offerings to meet the needs of our students and their diverse learning styles, both in and outside the classroom. We have the opportunity to deepen learning through pedagogical and curricular innovation, by advancing the science of learning, and by development and adoption of technology to assist instruction, accessibility, and assessment. We also have both the opportunity and the responsibility to extend our impact to learners beyond our campus by partnering with other educators and through online learning.