Santa Clara University

Mission Matters
SCU partners with Catholic Relief Services

When SCU welcomed Catholic Relief Services (CRS) president Ken Hackett to campus May 4 to sign a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations, it formalized the collaboration initiated approximately 18 months ago between SCU and the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community.

“This collaborative partnership will enable us to cooperate in advancing a common interest in social justice and to advance solidarity with our one human family, especially with the poor and needy overseas,” said University President Paul Locatelli, S.J.

The Catholic Bishops of the United States founded CRS in 1943 as an international relief and development group. Now with a local presence in more than 90 countries, the agency strives not only to help the poor and disadvantaged globally, but also to educate Americans about their moral responsibility to remove the causes of poverty and to promote social justice worldwide.

A number of program areas provide opportunities for collaboration between the University and CRS, Locatelli said, including student volunteer and service-based learning; faculty and student research; and links to SCU Centers of Distinction.

According to CRS-West partnerships officer Joe Symkowick, the collaboration is an opportunity for creativity. “For us, it fulfills our need for the kind of talent the University has,” he said. “They are the theory; we are the practice. The theory puts forth new ideas, the practice puts them in action.”

SCU’s Future Direction

Earlier this year, University President Paul Locatelli, S.J., announced a special project called Future Directions: Achieving National Prominence as a Catholic, Jesuit University. “The purpose of Future Directions is to stimulate conversations among SCU faculty, staff, and students about what a Santa Clara education should be in the globalizing world of the 21st century,” said Locatelli in an e-mail to the campus community.

Input from discussions with students, staff, and faculty will be summarized and brought to the University Planning Council, which will use this input in drafting changes to the University’s Strategic Plan.

In addition, faculty members wrote papers on several topics, including SCU’s mission, the future of a Santa Clara education, the teaching scholar model, and selected program areas such as student life, campus ministry, and athletics.

To read these papers online, visit:

Keep a virtual eye on campus

Live images of Benson Memorial Center and the Mission Gardens are now available via SCU’s two new campus Web cams at “We like showing off our beautiful campus to prospective students and faculty coping with winter in Boston, Washington, D.C., or Chicago,” says Susan Shea, director of communications and marketing at SCU. “I even had a parent e-mail me to say ‘thanks’—It makes her feel just a bit closer to her freshman to know what his day is like.”

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