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Wendy Kirst

"Conversations With and About Mike"

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John Gardner Legacy Oral History Project, Mike Kirst
Wendy Kirst. Photo courtesy Stanford Historical Society

Wendy Kirst Biography *
Wendy Kirst lives on the Stanford campus with her husband, Professor Emeritus Michael W. Kirst. Beginning in the late 1980s, the Kirst and Gardner families were campus neighbors and very well acquainted. Mrs. Kirst had also known John Gardner in Washington, DC, when, as a new college graduate, she worked for him at the Urban Coalition and Common Cause. Mr. Kirst had worked with Gardner in Washington, DC, during that period as well.

*Biography summary excerpted from Interview with Wendy Kirst conducted by Nancy Mancini, 2018. John W. Gardner Legacy Oral History Project (SC1355). Department of Special Collections & University Archives, Stanford Libraries, Stanford, Calif. p. 13.


Editor’s Note: The Appendix for “Conversations With and About Mike” contains transcripts for the recorded audio and video clips. To view the Audio Transcripts go to this page >


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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.

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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.

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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.

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