Why Stanford: To the Contrarian Class of 2027

Why Stanford: To the Contrarian Class of 2027

We know that the past few months have seen an uptick in media coverage of Stanford’s leftist gaffs and fiascos. From bureaucrats stifling social life to a ‘harmful language’ initiative to DEI-fueled scoldings of a federal judge, Stanford hasn’t exactly maintained its commitment to a culture of academic and political openness. Yet, here at the Review, we still believe that new conservative admittees should choose Stanford over any other university in the country.

First, our academic life is unbeatable. The opportunities available to conservative students are unlimited, as the right-leaning Hoover Institution located on campus provides an ample supply of leading conservative intellectuals with a wide range of focuses.

Interested in national security? Take a class with one of the multiple former Republican National Security Advisors who now work at Stanford. Interested in economics? Take Thomas MaCurdy’s introductory seminar on the welfare system, a Review favorite. Interested in history? Take Michael McConnell’s famous course on the creation of the Constitution. What other university in America offers a class about political theology co-taught by Peter Thiel and Russell Berman? What other university houses both Scott Atlas and Jay Bhattacharya, the renowned pair of COVID-19 truth-tellers? These are just a few examples of the possibilities available only to Stanford students; the options are virtually endless.

Second, there are a plethora of extracurricular opportunities available to conservative students. Here at the Review, you can develop your writing skills, publish your ideas for an audience of tens of thousands across the United States, and connect with some of the most important figures on the Right. For the students who want to help bring conservative ideas to the forefront of campus discourse, you can help organize speaker events with the Stanford College Republicans. And in the background of this rich extracurricular activity is the Zephyr Institute—an academic community that hosts seminars and talks on the important politico-philosophical questions, ranging from the politics of modern technology to the truth about Watergate.

Third, you will be right in the middle of the most vibrant entrepreneurial and political scene in the country. Sure, Stanford has a track record of producing grifters like Elizabeth Holmes and Sam Bankman-Fried, but alongside the bad apples, Stanford draws and cultivates only the most exceptional people from across the world. Alumni like Larry Page, Mukesh Ambani, John Steinbach, and countless others are some of the brightest innovators in the world and are pushing the limits within their fields.

You’ll find the same kind of thrift in Stanford’s conservative political scene. From Peter Thiel to Senator Josh Hawley to Blake Masters, Stanford has been the hub of a new and exciting flavor of conservatism—one that does not blindly adhere to old-school orthodoxy but is quick to adapt and innovate. At Stanford, you’ll meet futurists, primitivists, syndicalists, and all the other kinds of people at the forefront of the emerging Right.

You certainly won’t agree with all of them. In fact, you might even be one of those classical liberals that they love to argue with. Regardless, it’s much more fun to express your disagreement over a meal in downtown Palo Alto or a debate at the Review than in an online comment section. Want to be surrounded by the same old establishment consensus that you could pick up from browsing Yahoo News? Stay far away from Stanford. Want to be immersed in the fast-paced and exhilarating world of the future American Right? The Farm is the place for you.

Finally, if you agree that a crucial aspect of conservatism is a disposition of gratitude, then you will never run out of things to appreciate at Stanford. The campus itself is extraordinary, and so expansive that you will never be able to see all of its features. The weather is simply unbeatable. Your classmates are bright, inquisitive, and fascinating. The academic work is challenging, but tremendously rewarding. The architecture is distinct and delightful. When armed with a conservative sensibility, it is difficult to be unhappy here for more than a rough day or two.

In your first year, you will experience several moments in which you are biking back to your dorm at sunset, perhaps after a lengthy exam, and you look around at the palm trees, the fountains, and the inevitable tour groups. At some point, a feeling of profound gratitude will sweep over you as you think to yourself, “I’m at Stanford!” Yes, you are.

So, to the contrarian class of 2027, we say: choose Stanford! Once you arrive, you will find a tight-knit community of like-minded students, ready to embrace you as one of their own.

We’ll see you soon.


The Review wants to help conservative high-schoolers learn more about what it’s like to be at Stanford. Email eic@stanfordreview.org if you have any questions about Stanford and stop by our table at the admit weekend club fair!

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