Posts Tagged ‘alumni’

Freshmen, Welcome to the RED ZONE

Friday, October 5th, 2012

RedZone demonstration of the loud, proud first-down cheer.

Daniel Kozlowski is Vice Chairman of the Stanford Axe Committee, the student group responsible for the protection of Stanford’s most prized possession “The Stanford Axe.”

Welcome, freshmen. I hope you have enjoyed your first three weeks here at Stanford.  I remember this being an exciting time for me two years ago.  I was in a new, interesting, exciting, and fun place with some of the most articulate, intelligent, and friendly 18-22 year olds in the world (pat on back).  I had just turned in my first PSET and finally had a vague understanding of where my classes were.  It was also around this time that Stanford Stadium hosted its first football home game when school was in session.  It was a big game…not THE BIG GAME (that came later in the year, in which we clobbered that other school across the Bay 48-14 and got back the Axe).

Our beloved Cardinal were playing the University of Spoiled Children Southern California Trojans.  Stanford hadn’t beaten the Trojans in Stanford Stadium since 2000, a full decade prior; needless to say, the excitement was palpable.  A back-and-forth game between the two teams featured some heavy hitting (by a quarterback-turned-linebacker) and its fair share of drama.  The game came down to Stanford kicker Nate Whitaker, who earlier in the game had missed a PAT that stood as the lone difference in a 35-34 game.  Turning from goat to hero, Whitaker split the uprights and gave Stanford the win it had been waiting ten years for.  Fans, many of them students, came rushing onto the field as the Cardinal celebrated its victory.

Side Note: Since then, we have extended our win streak against USC to four (the longest ever) and won eleven regular-season games in back-to-back years (before 2010, we had never won more than nine games in a season), leading to two BCS Bowl appearances (2011 Orange Bowl, 2012 Fiesta Bowl).  Stanford has become a football powerhouse.

That game was Stanford’s closest (and most exciting) of the 2010 season, made all the more special because of the support of the RED ZONE (the student section), which can actually affect the outcome of games: loud crowds cause opponents to incur False Start and Delay of Game penalties; they also throw off the opponent’s rhythm and give the defense a tactical advantage.  Our alumni, awesome as they are, are not the best at being loud; sometimes, they need a push.  The RED ZONE gives them that push.  Here are some DOs and DON’Ts for the student section that will help our team win on Saturdays:


  • Come to all the home games and the Big Game (which is at Cal’s newly-renovated-but-still-crappy Memorial Stadium this year). This week we have a home game against Arizona (Kickoff at 12PM on Saturday).
  • Attend the viewing parties on the Row and show that we support our team even when they aren’t playing at home.
  • Wear Cardinal Red (or some color in the red family) on game day.
  • Yell/cheer/make noise (bang on the seat backs, shake maracas, perform light construction work with a jackhammer, etc.) while we are on DEFENSE, especially on 3rd and 4th downs.
  • Be respectful of the opposing team’s fans. Stanford is a world-class institution and you, as students of the University, should represent it with pride and class. (more…)

Alumni Are Just Like Us!

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

This post is inspired both by Reunion Homecoming Weekend (#StanfordRH) and that section of every celebrity magazine titled, “Stars are just like us!” and it has pictures of celebrities feeding the parking meter or carrying groceries or wiping their kids’ noses.

Anyways,  I love alumni weekend for the sole reason that it makes me look at the alums who have gone before me and wonder if I will turn out to be like them.

I know we just had an Overheard at Stanford post, but please allow me to share a few of the things that I heard alums say over the weekend:


(This is from two men who were pretty clearly in their 50s)

Man 1:  Is there a dress code for the party tonight?

Man2:  I think the important thing is that you keep your clothes on!

(From a man in his late 70’s)

They used to say that 9 out of 10 girls is attractive and the 10th one goes to Stanford, but now…….


(From a women in her 30’s)

Ten seconds later you had ditched me and I kept thinking, “Wow this is the worst reunion of my entire life …


(From a woman in her 60’s)

We have to get a table on the opposite side of the room from that man who has been  hitting on me all day.  Damn, why are all these men so old?


But seriously, it is pretty crazy to see all the Alumni walking around campus.  We start out at this school as bright-eyed freshman wearing name tags and lanyards, and years later we come back to this school, amazed at all the changes and all the non-changes and we wear those same red lanyards and name tags that we ditched the moment NSO was over.

I had the chance to talk to a couple alumni and ask about sagely advice that they might give and the overwhelming response I got was to 1) try everything and 2) take time to enjoy Stanford every once in a while.  So take some time for self-reflection and have some Stanford-appreciation time.  And apply for everything!  That is, however, just my advice, not that of alums.


I guess my take-home from this post is:  In case you are wondering what you’ll be like as time goes by, it turns out that you will be more or less the same, except older, and with more life experiences.  Ain’t that something?


Note:  I have had the difference between the words alumni, alumnae, alums, and alumnus explained to me several times, and I still don’t think I quite understand it.  Please excuse any errors.

Advice from Alums

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Homecoming weekend means that alumni from over 50 years ago to less than 5 months ago converge upon campus to show off to their former classmates how much they have accomplished. Because these reunions typically fall in increments of 5, it also gives a beautiful longitudinal cross-section that we at TUSB wanted to mine for wisdom. Ultimately, they all said about the same thing, but here’s some of the advice that they gave to current Stanford students, sorted by class year:


How Stanford Ensures Future Generations of Double-Legacies

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

I walked by. It was awkward.

Not pictured: the “tweetup,” which I still don’t understand. But we tweeted about it!

Oh, the joys of Reunion Homecoming weekend.