President Hennessy

Leadership 'n Lunch

May 7th at noon.

Sign up here


John L. Hennessy joined Stanford’s faculty in 1977 as an assistant professor of electrical engineering. He rose through the academic ranks to full professorship in 1986 and was the inaugural Willard R. and Inez Kerr Bell Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from 1987 to 2004.


From 1983 to 1993, Dr. Hennessy was director of the Computer Systems Laboratory, a research and teaching center operated by the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science that fosters research in computer systems design. He served as chair of computer science from 1994 to 1996 and, in 1996, was named dean of the School of Engineering. As dean, he launched a five-year plan that laid the groundwork for new activities in bioengineering and biomedical engineering. In 1999, he was named provost, the university’s chief academic and financial officer. As provost, he continued his efforts to foster interdisciplinary activities in the biosciences and bioengineering and oversaw improvements in faculty and staff compensation. In October 2000, he was inaugurated as Stanford University’s 10th president. In 2005, he became the inaugural holder of the Bing Presidential Professorship.


A pioneer in computer architecture, in 1981 Dr. Hennessy drew together researchers to focus on a computer architecture known as RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer), a technology that has revolutionized the computer industry by increasing performance while reducing costs. In addition to his role in the basic research, Dr. Hennessy helped transfer this technology to industry. In 1984, he cofounded MIPS Computer Systems, now MIPS Technologies, which designs microprocessors. In recent years, his research has focused on the architecture of high-performance computers.


Dr. Hennessy is a recipient of the 2000 IEEE John von Neumann Medal, the 2000 ASEE Benjamin Garver Lamme Award, the 2001 ACM Eckert-Mauchly Award, the 2001 Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award, a 2004 NEC C&C Prize for lifetime achievement in computer science and engineering, a 2005 Founders Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the 2012 IEEE Medal of Honor, IEEE's highest award. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences, and he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.


He has lectured and published widely and is the co-author of two internationally used undergraduate and graduate textbooks on computer architecture design. Dr. Hennessy earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Villanova University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

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Thursday, May 7th, 12pm

Cardinal Room (Rm 101), Clubhouse, Old Union Complex

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What is Leadership n' Lunch?


  • Weekly lunch series held throughout spring based on The Leadership INITIATIVE

  • Lunch provided; 12-1 pm

  • 15 minute informative lecture and 40 minute Q & A

  • Location varies

  • Lunch series speaker, dates, and locations depend on room availability

  • Each session is limited to 20 students per session

  • CardinalSync sign-ups will open and be posted on this page the Monday of the week before the scheduled topic


Lecture Themes: INITIATIVE

  • Improvisation: How do I learn to learn to lead without a script?
  • Navigating Ethics: What is ethical leadership?
  • Inspiration: What makes a leader inspiring?
  • Teaching and Mentoring: How do I teach and mentor others?
  • Identity: How do my social identities affect my leadership?
  • Allyship: What does it mean to be an ally for others as a leader?
  • Truth seeking: How do I validate the information I learn?
  • Innovation: How do I lead in an ever-changing world?
  • Values: How do my personal values affect leadership?
  • Entrepreneurship: When and how should I take risks in my leadership?


Each of the themes ties into one of the four “Aims of Stanford University” in the SUES report:

  • Adaptive Learning (Improvisation, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship)
  • Personal and Social Responsibility (Identity, Allyship, and Values)
  • Owning Knowledge (Navigating Ethics and Truth Seeking)
  • Honing Skills and Capacities (Inspiration and Teaching & Mentoring)


Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Adopt specific skills and knowledge and apply them to current leadership practices
  • Discover different perspectives on leadership from guest speakers
  • Connect with other student leaders
  • Begin to understand how to develop a leadership template for the remainder of their college careers


Spring 2015 Speakers

  • President Hennessy
  • David Shaw
  • Aleta Hayes
  • John Powers
  • Patti Gumport
  • Jeff Chang
  • Harry Elam
  • Michael McFaul
  • Steve Loughlin
  • Sheri Sheppard