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|The procession: en route to Locatelli's inauguration. Photo: Sue Bowling
In this area, Santa Clara has developed two new Core Curricula, each one broader and deeper than the one it replaced. The Core Curriculum of 1988 possessed great strengths in the areas of writing, Western culture, ethics, religious studies, and the scientific method.
The Core Curriculum implemented in the mid-1990s added requirements in world cultures and the social impact of technology. The core that will begin to be implemented in Fall 2009 seeks a more holistic integration of Santa Clara’s educational experience. Some of the integration is geographical—the curricular integration of the West into an increasingly globalized world. Some of the integration is intellectual— the integration of the dynamics of science and technology with the study of social change. And some of the integration is pedagogical—the integration of courses students take in their majors with courses they take in the Core Curriculum.
Me and my RLC
In 1988, as the faculty began to process into Leavey, we passed two residence halls on our right, Graham 100 and Campisi. (At the time, the Graham pool was still operational; alas for students, new insurance requirements meant having to cover it over in 2004.) Today these buildings retain the same names, but they have been incorporated into two “Residential Learning Communities,” named “Alpha” and “Communitas.” The overwhelming majority of undergraduates are members of the nine Residential Learning Communities (RLCs) on campus.
|Study on: Anessa Patton '11 and Maxine Goynes '11
Photo: FJ Gaylor Photography
Professors sometimes hold class discussions or office hours in the residence halls. Because they are living together, students find it easy to organize study and discussion groups in their halls. The hope is that, unlike in Las Vegas, what happens in the classroom does not stay in the classroom! Because two of the new buildings that have been constructed (Casa Italiana and Sobrato) are apartment-style residence halls, more upperclass students can continue to live on campus and experience the residential learning community for all four of their undergraduate years.
This upgrading of student residential life was part of a larger effort to bring Santa Clara’s academic and nonacademic components together by organizing student social life around themes and events more consonant with the University’s overall mission. After years of conversations with the social fraternities and sororities on campus, and with their national representatives, the administration decided to withdraw its recognition from these organizations in 2001, and to undertake a greater effort to foster student social programming on campus, rather than in social fraternities and sororities, which now operate independent of the University. A greater variety of student events in the Bronco, and the planned construction of a new student recreational center, are parts of this ongoing effort.
As is the case at virtually every educational institution at every level in the state of California, Santa Clara students are much more ethnically diverse than they were two decades ago. In light of the broad demographic changes which have affected our state and region, something like this was definitely going to happen. In this new demographic environment we have tried to pay special attention to attracting and retaining students from underserved and immigrant communities who are the first in their own families to attend college.
Years ago Paul Locatelli’s aunt Lina described to me how her sister—Paul’s mother, Marie—came as a young immigrant to the U.S., sailing by ship into New York Harbor and past the Statue of Liberty. Having a president who was himself from an immigrant family certainly affected the way Santa Clara has related to the “new immigration” our country is experiencing.
Also, California’s Jesuit communities are increasingly filled with young men who were not born in this country. These younger Jesuits have made American Jesuits as a whole very conscious of the way in which underserved and immigrant people ought to be primary subjects of the Society’s emphasis on the interaction between “faith and justice.”
This diversity has had a tremendous effect on the way in which teaching and learning are accomplished here at Santa Clara. For instance, I teach my survey course on the American Revolution much differently than I did two decades ago. I am much more conscious of the necessity to relate events on our shores to comparable events along the Pacific Rim and in Latin America and Asia. Many other faculty members have had similar experiences, and I think that we would all agree that our teaching is more broadly focused now than it was in the past.
Bend it like Broncos
In 1988, as we approached the Leavey Center, we passed seven tennis courts on our left. This space is now occupied by the Pat Malley Fitness and Recreation Center. Used by more than 1,200 people every day, Malley is one of the busiest facilities on campus. It points to the dramatic changes in Santa Clara athletics the past two decades have seen.
|Victory hug: Broncos Marian Dalmy, Jordan Angeli, Meagan Snell, and Dani Potts just after they’ve bested University of San Francisco 4-0. October 2006.
Photo: Don Jedlovec
Other sports have also seen tremendous improvements. A new tennis complex has been constructed for both intercollegiate and recreational players. A new aquatics center was constructed during the summer of 2008 for the use of both the men’s and women’s water polo teams and for lap swimmers and others. The construction of the Malley Center and the concurrent renovation of the Leavey Center affected virtually every student for the better, as intercollegiate and recreational athletic events were no longer scheduled inconveniently around each other’s times on the single shared center court in the gym.
The most dramatic and difficult decision concerning Santa Clara athletics was the controversial move in 1993 to drop intercollegiate football. In a cover story for West magazine that fall, Locatelli joked, "When I go people will say, 'He's the guy that got rid of fotball.'" (The author of the article was Michael S. Malone '75 MBA '77; he assessed that "Locatelli and a number of other Jesuits at the top of the University are formulating a vision of Santa Clara University for the 21st century.") In retrospect, it is hard to argue with the decision. As the costs for intercollegiate football, even at the Division II level, continued to escalate, Santa Clara’s drastic action proved prescient. Of the 11 teams the Broncos met on the gridiron during the 1988 season, five—including our archrival St. Mary’s—have since been forced to drop their own football programs.
Yet one fundamental aspect of athletic programs has remained constant. To put it simply: Santa Clara intercollegiate athletes are real students. They attend class, have GPAs which compare favorably with the student population as a whole, graduate in impressive rates, and enter a wide variety of professions after they leave Santa Clara. When I joined the faculty many years ago, I was enormously impressed by the intense concern Pat Malley’s athletic department had for the academic well-being of all of its student athletes, scholarship and non-scholarship alike. The same is true today, and that is no small achievement.
Bursting the bubble
The formal inauguration of our new president was held in the Leavey Event Center. In 1988 the center’s roof consisted of a huge white bubble, which covered the air-supported structure and always made entering or exiting the old Leavey a breezy experience. This architectural style was all the rage in the 1970s when Leavey was constructed. The Minneapolis Metrodome, for example, completed in 1982, employed the same style.
|Righting a wrong: In November 1991, two black students were racially harassed by white students. A demonstration of 400 students was organized by the Multicultural Center. Locatelli greeted them on the steps of the Walsh Administration Building. Students asked him to speak through a bullhorn so everyone could hear him.
Photo: Charles Barry
One of the seminal events which has shaped Santa Clara during the past two decades was the killing of six Jesuit priests and two colleagues at the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), the Jesuit University in San Salvador, in 1989. One of the murdered Jesuits, Ignacio Ellacuría, had given the Santa Clara commencement address in 1982.
Santa Clara quickly became the focus of American Jesuit response to this brutal atrocity. Jesuit Jon Sobrino, a faculty member at UCA who escaped death only because he happened to be in Thailand when the assassinations occurred, was welcomed into the Santa Clara community. Another staff member at UCA, who had seen the soldiers on campus prior to the killings, found refuge at Santa Clara, where she was interviewed for “60 Minutes.” A number of Santa Clara alumni generously helped her and her family adjust to the traumatic relocation. Eight crosses commemorating those who were killed remain in front of the Mission Church since that time.
After the massacre, faculty-staff-student immersion trips to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico became a regular part of the Santa Clara experience. Some of the trips were organized by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and others by the Eastside Project, which, along with the Bannan Institute, subsequently became part of the Ignatian Center. Campus Ministry, the Ignatian Center, and RLCs have organized immersion trips for students in the western United States and Tijuana. The focus of these visits has always been not just to “help other people,” but also to learn from the marginalized, and to bring what they learned back to the campus and to their own communities. A similar consciousness has also begun to pervade the study abroad experience. The Office of International Programs has fostered a number of experiential learning opportunities abroad, including the Casa de la Solidaridad in San Salvador, an innovative and demanding program in which students from many Jesuit universities in the United States learn from the people of El Salvador.
Through the efforts of the Ignatian Center and Campus Ministry, hundreds of students each quarter go out to various parts of the local community to learn and to serve. Campus departments and centers are engaged in a wide range of discussions and projects with organizations throughout the U.S. and the world on such topics as bridging the digital divide, the development of a global ethic, environmental sustainability, and educational reform.
The three C's
Let’s go back to where the walk began: the Mission Church, where the inaugural Mass was celebrated, and the seed from which the campus grew. Everything that has been constructed here since Santa Clara College opened its doors in 1851 has been built around this church and derives much of its meaning from it.
|“Our University community is a sign of God’s love to this earth,” Locatelli said, “which, as the Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins says, is ‘charged with the grandeur of God.’ My hope has long been that together, we have helped make that grandeur come alive in the community.”
Photo: Charles Barry
In the autumn of 2008, we are in the final stages of cementing a close union between ourselves and the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. This union is a testament to the strength of our remarkable religious studies faculty. It is also a promise that the Catholic character of Santa Clara University will be enhanced in the future and that we will be deeply involved in all of the issues facing the universal Church.
From the Jesuit perspective, the challenge has been to bring the “promotion of justice,” which the Jesuits decided in 1974 should be a central part of all their ministries, into the life of the University in an appropriate manner. In the early 1990s, the University leadership decided that Santa Clara’s way of responding to this call would be to place the themes of “competence, conscience, and compassion” at the center of student learning.
Some faculty members initially balked at “competence,” fearing that it set the bar for intellectual rigor and creativity much too low. Also, the precise manner in which education for “compassion” could be developed within the context of academic freedom was the subject of stimulating discussions. We found ourselves passionately engaging in some fundamental pedagogical issues, such the question posed at the outset of Plato's Meno: “Can virtue be taught?”
|Front-page news: At the March opening of the new Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Technology Center, and Orradre Library, President Locatelli announced he would step down this year.|
Professor of History Robert M. Senkewicz has taught at Santa Clara since 1976. His most recent book is Testimonios: Early California through the Eyes of Women, 1815- 1846, co-written with Rose Marie Beebe '76.
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