Hoover Institution (Stanford, CA) – The Hoover Institution kicked off its Winter 2024 Board of Overseers Meeting by unveiling the George P. Shultz Building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sunday, February 25, dedicating the structure to a statesman who exemplified American qualities of duty, public service, and civility. Secretary Shultz passed away on February 6, 2021.

George Pratt Shultz served in four different federal cabinet posts during his time in government, one of the only two people in US history to do so.

He served as secretary of labor, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and secretary of the Treasury in the Nixon administration. His public service culminated in a seven-year stint as President Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state between 1982 and 1989.

An economist by trade, Secretary Shultz was the dean of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business (today the Booth School of Business) in the 1960s. Between his service in the Nixon and Reagan administrations, he was an executive of the Bay Area–located Bechtel Corporation, rising to become that company’s president and CEO. After retiring from government in 1989, Shultz returned to the Bay Area to join the Hoover Institution fellowship, where he was, until his passing, the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow.

Of all of Shultz’s accomplishments, he was most proud to be a US Marine. During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, one of the Marines Corps 11 bands paid tribute to the late Secretary Shultz with a rendition of the US national anthem.

“As I think about the world we live in, what we need is more of what George Shultz embodied —that sense of public service, of trust and honor…the sense of duty toward the greater good that he, as a very proud Marine, brought to every great challenge put before him throughout his life - that is what we need today,” said Condoleezza Rice, Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution, at the ribbon-cutting.

The 55,000-square-foot building, adjacent to the Hoover Tower, will house offices for Hoover fellows, multiple conference spaces on its ground floor, and, in its basement, a state-of-the art digitization studio, which will enable greater access to Hoover Institution Library & Archives’ material. The ground floor will feature a revamped version of the circular Annenberg Conference Room, personally designed by Shultz, for the Lou Henry Hoover Building, which previously stood on the site of the Shultz Building. Conducive to face-to-face meetings, this room burnished his reputation as a great convener of interdisciplinary groups of scholars, policy practitioners, and thought leaders to generate solutions for America’s biggest challenges.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the building took place in October 2021, the day following Secretary  Shultz’s memorial service. Charlotte Maillard Shultz, Secretary Shultz’s wife, was in attendance. Mrs. Shultz passed away in December 2021.

Fellows and staff are expected to move into the Shultz Building in April 2024.

Stanford president Richard Saller said the example of civil discourse Secretary Shultz set throughout his life is especially meaningful and relevant today.

“The importance of civil discourse that he modeled is exceptionally important right now. We need to encourage our students to debate ideas rather than to shout insults at one another.”

Saller said the building “will be a lasting tribute to the work and example that [Shultz] provided.”

General Jim Mattis, USMC, Ret., Davies Family Distinguished Fellow, spoke about Secretary Shultz’s heroic service in the Pacific Theater during World War II. General Mattis also underscored how Secretary Shultz radiated qualities that inspired excellence and integrity in those who knew him:

“The reason I think we are all here today is we all meet some people in life who make us stronger. And we’re stronger as soon as we are within the arc of their presence, and they possess a quality of loyalty to comrade and principle that’s given to very few people.”

General Mattis said he would always feel lucky to have known Secretary Shultz.

“This magnificent building will be a mountain of strength for Hoover, for Stanford, and for our country. Because it will be stronger than all the steel and stonework it contains. This building houses George Shultz’s spirit.”

The construction of the building was made possible by generous contributions from Thomas and Barbara Stephenson; Bloomberg Philanthropies; John and Cynthia Fry Gunn; Charles and Ann Johnson; Jay Precourt; Charles and Helen Schwab; George P. Shultz and Charlotte Maillard Shultz; and the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.

The George P. Shultz building was designed and constructed through the efforts of William Rawn Associates in partnership with CAW Architects, and Devcon Construction, Inc.

overlay image