Series 1 of the collection contains oral history interviews with friends, family, and
colleagues of John W. Gardner. Participants reflected on the imapact Gardner's work had on
their own lives and American soceity. Series 2 of the collection contains interviews with
alumni of the John Gardner Public Service Fellowship. It also includes a group interview
with founders of the John Gardner Fellowship Association.
John W. Gardner (1912-2002) earned his BA and MA degrees in psychology from Stanford and a
PhD in psychology from University of California, Berkeley. He remained connected to his alma
mater throughout his illustrious career, serving on Stanford's Board of Trustees from 1968
to 1982. As the president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York from 1955 to 1967, he
became known as "one of the most powerful behind-the-scenes figures in education." Gardner
served as Lyndon B. Johnson's Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) from 1965 to
1968. He founded two influential public advocacy groups, Common Cause (1970) and Independent
Sector (1980). Gardner spent the last thirteen years of his life at Stanford. He was a
founding member of the national advisory board of the Public Service Center (later the Haas
Center for Public Service) and the first Miriam and Peter Haas Centennial Professor in
Public Service. The John Gardner Public Service Fellowship and the John W. Gardner Center
for Youth and Their Communities are just two examples of Gardner's lasting legacy at
Stanford and beyond.
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