W. Donald Fletcher and Van Duyn Dodge met in 1940 while working on a political campaign in San Francisco in 1940. Fletcher, 32, was a Stanford Law School graduate and Dodge, 45, was an investment counselor. While working side by side, the two began having deep discussions about the political process and what they could do to impact politics and government. They believed that in order to make an impact and effect change, they would need to cultivate a new generation of leaders.
The vision of Fletcher and Dodge led to the creation of the CORO Foundation on October 12, 1942. A vision for a program of educational discovery to prepare citizen leaders was a totally new concept. In that spirit, they chose the name, CORO – familiar, yet original and free of preconceptions. In the wake of World War II, Fletcher and Dodge began this innovative approach to leadership development by training young veterans to ensure our democratic system of government could work more effectively and behalf of its citizens. Because of their work, CORO has come to represent both discovery and exploration.