The Mike Kirst Biography Project has over 1,000 Subscribers!

Installment 7: Audio Transcripts

Clip 1: More on High School Principal

(November 2013, 0:42)

Kirst: There was a particular…high school teacher, who was also the assistant principal, who had been to Columbia Teachers College, and he was doing history…problems of democracy and government. He was very, very strong as a teacher, but I was already interested. He just intensified it. But since he was also…yeah, he was principal as well. He was a teaching principal. He wrote recommendations for me that I think were crucial in getting into college. And was very aware of which colleges had strong programs in government.

Clip 2: Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship: “I never paid another nickel at Dartmouth after the freshman year.”

(March 2020, 1:10)

Kirst: How I got selected was off freshman grades. I didn’t apply for it. They just gave it to me. I got a letter, and the letter then proclaimed that this pays all of your tuition and all of your living and travel costs. So, I never paid another nickel to Dartmouth after the freshman year.

And the football scholarship…that had a work component in it, which I worked in the dining hall in my freshman year. So, it was a package of financial aid and work. Somehow, they gave me a bank account, as I remember, for my expenses. Some years I ended up with money in the bank at the end.

Essentially three years of my Dartmouth education were funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and one year was from a package of Dartmouth of work [study] and financial aid. And I think there was a parental contribution in there. Sloan paid for everything. Only the first freshman year [at Dartmouth] had any parental contribution.

Clip 3: Alfred P. Sloan

(March 2020, 0:59)

Kirst: How did it affect me?

You know, the work took time. And I could use that time. I actually… [hesitates and restarts his thought] …you know, applied that time to studies.

And then I worked for the Daily Dartmouth newspaper…on the business side.

I’m going…we’ll get to that later…but I thought I was going to be in business. So, I liked the newspapers. And so, I got…in the business side was raising money through advertising. And I got on quickly that I could complete this job most easily by just calling up cigarette companies. Every cigarette company I called said they wanted to put an ad in the college newspaper…without any cajoling from me.

So, I really had a lot of time to study. And I liked doing that. And so, it really turned me… [hesitates and restarts his thought] …you know, I was able to do a lot more academic work.

Clip 4: Business School Dorm Living in Senior Year

(March 2020, 1:38)

Kirst: You actually moved from the undergraduate campus to the business campus. It’s like moving to Harvard Business School from one of the houses on the other side of the river.

So, I went to live at the business school, and I had one other roommate. The rooms were nicer. It was quieter. You know, living in the fraternity house would have been, sort of, you know…. So, I went down there physically. We had our own dining room and enrolled in the business school, literally and physically. And then since I dropped out, they let me stay in their dorm; they weren’t going to rent it to anybody else.

So, I lived at the business school, even though my second semester there, I took regular courses in the undergraduate program and went back into government economics and majored in economics then.

Jung: So, the only time you were really in the business school was actually in the senior year of your BA?

Kirst: Yeah, for one semester.

Jung: One semester. But you got the quieter room, [the use] of the [business school] dining room, and a chance to continue to focus even more on your studies.

Kirst: Yeah. Because, as you know, an MBA first year is a strong and rigorous curriculum. The people doing that were in a different mood than the guys in their senior year at the Theta Delt [fraternity house]. They were, you know, bouncing around the walls, I assume.

So, I actually never lived in the fraternity house. I didn’t miss that. You know, I wanted that when I wanted it.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Join our more than 1,000 subscribers

By signing up for our emails you agree to receive our newsletter. We promise not to share your information with any other entities. We promise not to spam you with unnecessary emails.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

About the Project

The purpose of this biography project is to make a fascinating man’s life and accomplishments come alive. Dr. Michael W. Kirst, while recognized in influential academic and policy circles, is generally unknown to those most actively engaged in American education in the trenches of the nation’s classrooms and local boardrooms, including teachers, principals, and school district leaders.

Read More

About the Author

Dick Jung first met Dr. Michael W. Kirst four decades ago. Mike, then Professor in the Schools of Education and Business, was completing his first year as President of California’s State Board of Education. During Jerry Brown’s first term as Governor, as Mike tacked between Palo Alto and Sacramento, Dick served as the Teaching Assistant for Mike’s Stanford “Politics of Education” course.

Read More

About the Team

Dick is supported by a project team of content, digital research, and online experts that includes a senior education policy reviewer, a digital archives manager, and a website and multimedia design coordinator.

Read More
Scroll to Top