Santa Clara Trustee Mary Stevens ’84 and her husband, Mark, a prominent venture capitalist, have made a $7.7 million gift to create a more nationally prominent athletics program at Santa Clara University.
The gift will be used to build a new state-of-the-art soccer training center and to upgrade the current soccer stadium. It will also help build a new plaza to recognize and honor the importance and history of sports played on that field—including many years of NCAA football and women’s and men’s soccer.
“We thank the Stevens family for their generous gift that has brought us to this important moment for Santa Clara University athletics,” said Michael Engh, S.J., president of Santa Clara University. “After a great deal of thought, study, and reflection, we are moving forward with a new level of resources to reach our goal of having an athletics program that is nationally prominent, ethically focused, and a vibrant force on campus.”
Mary has served on the Board of Trustees since 2012, before which she served on the Board of Fellows for more than a decade. A soccer player while at SCU, she served on the president’s athletic commission, which explored the best role for sports at Santa Clara University. She spent 14 years in the commercial real estate industry in Silicon Valley.
“It’s a joy to be able to make this gift to my alma mater. I am proud to help the University build the foundation for a well-rounded experience for the next generation of elite student-athletes,” said Mary. “Santa Clara is uniquely positioned as an institution of strong Jesuit values that benefits from its location in the heart of Silicon Valley.”
Past gifts from the couple include $7 million to build the Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Student Activity Center, and a $500,000 scholarship for St. Mary’s Academy alumnae to attend SCU.
Mark, an active philanthropist and former partner in the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, was an investor in some of the most successful tech companies of the past decades, notably Google and LinkedIn. He has served on the University’s investment committee since December 2009.
“I see Santa Clara as the best Catholic institution in the Pacific Rim,” added Mark. “This gift is an investment in future leaders who will have the advantage of a strong grounding in academics, athletics, and global human values.”