As a member of one of the most prominent political families in America, Chelsea Clinton has been a public figure for most of her life. Known for her work as a philanthropist and advocate of women's rights, Clinton began her professional career in 2003 when she joined the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, becoming the youngest person in her class to be hired. After three years with the firm, she joined the hedge fund Avenue Capital Group. In subsequent years, her wide range of experiences prepared her for a role as Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, where she currently works to help create economic opportunity, improve public health, and inspire civic engagement around the world.
In addition to her Foundation work, Clinton also teaches at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and has written several books for young readers. More recently, in 2020, the former First Daughter announced that she intended to return to her finance roots by starting a venture capital firm called Metrodora Ventures.
Not unlike her famous parents, Clinton has always shown a proclivity for academics, leading to her 1997 enrollment at Stanford University. Unlike other Stanford students, however, Clinton wasn't allowed to transition into adulthood with the benefit of privacy. The only daughter of the current U.S. President, she arrived at Stanford in a motorcade with her parents, Secret Service agents, and almost 250 journalists. For her security, Secret Service agents in plain clothes lived in her dorm. Bullet-proof glass was installed in her dorm windows and surveillance cameras were placed in hallways. In addition to this pressure, her sophomore year was fraught with complications from the news of her father's affair.
After the initial media coverage, however, Clinton soon found herself enjoying a relatively normal college experience. She spent long hours in the library, cheered at Stanford basketball games, and hit the Stairmaster at the campus gym. She also worked as a reading and writing tutor and volunteered at the Children's Hospital. Academically, she excelled. Her 167-page honors thesis was on the role of her father's administration in mediating the peace agreement in Northern Ireland. In 2001, Clinton received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history, achieving highest honors.
Although Clinton's notoriously busy schedule has largely kept her away from the Palo Alto area, over the years she's made efforts to show appreciation for her alma mater. In 2020, for instance, Stanford University was on Clinton's mind for a rather grave reason: the recent passing of one of her favorite professors, the academic and poetess Eavan Boland. For her part, Clinton participated in a program designed to honor Boland's life and work. Specifically, Clinton read one of her favorite poems by Boland, "Talking to my Daughter Late at Night." Looking back, Clinton also noted that she was just one of "countless students whose lives [Boland] touched while at Stanford." And perhaps, as Clinton continues to forge her own legacy of public service, future Stanford students will be honoring her with the same thoughtful sentiments.