- SCU Home Page
- About SCU
- On Campus
- News & Info
Listen for your greatest desires...and turn off your phones
Commencement with the Class of 2008
That sweet moment: Next stop for double-degreed 2nd Lt. Trevor Dean Mallo ’08 M.S. ’08 is the U.S. Air Force.
Photo: Charles Barry
Looking to the future so often involves looking to the past.
So it was on June 14 at Buck Shaw Stadium, a day when the sun shone but California wildfires cast a threatening shadow. Graduates clad in black robes and mortarboards—brightened by adornments including pink and white leis, plumed hats, and sparkly high-heeled sandals—celebrated the end of their undergraduate studies and the beginning of the next phase of their lives.
They heard words of wisdom from someone who had traveled the same road, beginning here at Santa Clara, 48 years prior. Speaking at his last Santa Clara commencement as president of the University, Paul Locatelli, S.J., likened today’s political and social climate to that of the early 1960s, when he graduated from college. Back then, much like today, electronic communication was globalizing politics, civil and human rights struggles were providing hope and despair, and the world was in crisis. The mood of college graduates was similar, Locatelli said: “We were ready to change the world. I pray that, like past graduates of Santa Clara, you will bring new hope and your exceptional gifts to our beautiful but sometimes tragic world.”
But the tone of the commencement was not overly somber. Parents clapped and cheered when Locatelli advised the Class of ’08, “Both your heart and mind need nourishment. So, turn off your cell phone and laptop often. Limit text messaging and your time on Facebook. Rather, spend time in solitude—reading and listening to discover where your greatest desires lie.”
Locatelli strove to be “concrete and personal” in offering advice to the crowd of 1,000 undergraduates, who were joined by 12,000 family members and friends. He spoke of his fondness for plays, museums, art galleries, poetry, and photography. He said that enjoying the arts helps him “to see the transcendence and beauty of God on earth, at one end of the spectrum, and at the other, the mystery of human adventure that redeems the pain of living and tragedy of dying.”
He offered four specific suggestions for making a successful transition into the educated world:•Have confidence in yourself.
• Pay attention to your deepest desires.
• Imagine a better future for yourself and others, especially the most fragile and marginalized in our world.
• Have the courage and the perseverance to construct a more human, sustainable, and just world for yourselves and future generations.
After 20 years at the helm of the University, Locatelli will be stepping down during the 2008-09 academic year in order to serve as Secretary of Higher Education for the Society of Jesus in Rome. The University will be commemorating his two decades of leadership in October.
As part of graduation ceremonies, the president and Board of Trustees conferred honorary degrees upon SCU trustee Michael J. Carey ’71, a business leader, entrepreneur, and a leader in the National Football League; Dr. Ronald J. Stoney ’55, a professor of vascular surgery at the University of California, San Francisco; and Roselyne “Cissie” Chroman Swig, founder and president of ComCon International and a leading philanthropist in the Bay Area.
"One small favor"
On the evening of June 13, philanthropist and venture capitalist B.J. Cassin told the graduate students receiving their degrees to “work hard, laugh often, and keep your honor.”
Degrees were presented to 445 graduates of the School of Education, Counseling Psychology, and Pastoral Ministries, the Leavey School of Business, and the School of Engineering.
Cassin and his wife, Bebe, a partner in the Cassin Educational Initiative Foundation, received honorary degrees and were recognized for their longstanding support of education and for creating the foundation, which works with religious and other groups to establish faith-based, college-preparatory middle schools and high schools in economically disadvantaged areas.
Cassin, a former member of the advisory board for the Leavey School of Business and co-founder of the Fortune 500 company Xidex Corporation, began his commencement address by describing it to the audience as “the next grueling hurdle in your academic career.”
Just as Locatelli did the following day, Cassin offered four pieces of advice for the students assembled: “Be a real player. Put yourself in the game. Regardless of your career choice, don’t be just a passive participant.” Also, “Ask for help. Train yourself to think outside the box. Test the status quo.” And finally, “Do this world one small favor. Remember the people struggling alongside you and below you.”
Read President Locatelli’s commencement address in its entirety.
It's a great time to be a lawyer
Keeping it brief, Hamilton gave the audience two pieces of advice: “Strive to be the best person you can be,” and “Don’t be afraid of change; change can be good.”
Hamilton was presented with an honorary degree by President Locatelli.
Business on the move
Along with the beginning of fall quarter comes the opening of the new $49 million Leavey School of Business building, Lucas Hall. Slated to be inaugurated in September, the 85,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility is more than twice as large as the former business school building and unites under one roof business and executive education programs that had been spread across campus. The new building is also equipped with executive seminar rooms, wired and wireless classrooms, a cyber café, and a business services center.
This May fundraising for the new facility was given a $1 million boost thanks to a grant from the San Francisco-based Koret Foundation, bringing fundraising to $41.7 million.
Dean Posner to step down
Barry Posner, dean of the Leavey School of Business, announced in May that he will step down at the end of the 2008-09 academic year. After a year of sabbatical, he plans on returning to the faculty as a professor of leadership.
Posner’s leadership helped build the Leavey School of Business into one of the top-ranked institutions in the country. With the support of alumni and corporate colleagues, he said, “We’ve been able to make exciting changes and enhance the value and values of the institution, and develop graduates who can provide leadership in these turbulent times.”
—DP and ECE
A mighty fine place to work
Santa Clara University has once again garnered a top spot in the “Best Places to Work in the Bay Area 2008” survey, conducted by the San Francisco Business Times, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, and the East Bay Business Times.
The University ranked No. 10 in the “big companies” category, for businesses with 501 to 1,500 employees. Other top Bay Area employers in this category are Webcor Builders, HOPE Services, and Brocade Communications. Santa Clara is the only higher education institution in the top 10.
As part of the confidential survey, nearly 200,000 Bay Area employees evaluated their satisfaction with their workplace, assessing management practices and policies, satisfaction with benefit offerings, work climate and culture.
The big 10
The Center for Science, Technology, and Society celebrates its first decade
At the 10-year anniversary dinner for the Center for Science, Technology, and Society (CSTS) in May there was much to celebrate—namely, a decade of pioneering social entrepreneurship and championing science and technology for the good of all humanity. And, as is the high tech way, there were a number of changes and new releases in the works.
The Center welcomed two new members to its advisory board: Larry Hambly of Sun Microsystems Inc. and Anthony Bettencourt ’82, CEO of Autonomy ZANTAZ. Center founder James Koch and advisory board member Jim Morgan joined Center Director Geoff Bowker to offer reflections on the past decade. And Regis McKenna, one of the Center’s guiding hands since its founding, stepped down as chairman of the advisory board, passing the baton to Bill Coleman, founder of BEA Systems Inc. and chairman of Cassatt Corp.
Coleman, who became involved with the Center through an invitation from President Paul Locatelli, S.J., sees the next decade as one characterized by fear and hope, with populations booming in the poorest nations and declining in the richest, income gaps increasing and national resources decreasing. But still, he says, globalism is lifting more people out of poverty; and the Internet can leverage the strength of humanity.
“The Center is a ray of hope,” Coleman said. “There is no better place than Silicon Valley for this work. There is a need and a desire to give back. And there is no better place in the Valley than SCU, where we are building a basis of global learning.”
Morgan concurred that the CSTS was launched “in an optimal time. The Valley had wandered culturally, and needed to look at technology in the context of society.” He credits Locatelli for recognizing that Santa Clara had the visionary culture and values to make such a center work.
McKenna notes that the Center “started before Sept. 11, before Google and social networking as we know them, before the synthesis of the human genome.” Yet in this brave new world for students, teachers, and innovators, the Center’s mission remains the same: engage issues of technology and pay special attention to the underserved populations around the world.
For the record: The admissions 10K
Even before they arrive on campus this fall, this year’s freshmen have already broken a few records. Most notably, the total number of applications for Fall 2008 topped 10,000 for the first time in history. Altogether 10,123 students applied—nearly 50 percent more than applied just five years ago. Along with that comes an increase in mean GPAs (to 3.63 for admitted students) and average SAT scores (624 verbal/644 math for admitted students).
The enrollment targets for the Class of 2012 were set with an eye for balance and equality in gender, disciplines, and ethnic background; to that end, this is the first year SCU has allowed students to identify themselves as multiracial, a growing demographic all over the country. This year’s applicant pool also showed an increase in black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Native American students. Plus there are more applicants from Jesuit high schools.
Another rare accomplishment for Santa Clara, at a time when well over half of all college students are women: This class has an almost equal number of male and female students.
Rich Toomey J.D. '82, associate vice provost for enrollment management, says he expects about 1,220 students to arrive this fall, a slight “melt” from the 1,280 who accepted a place in the class. The melt is another growing trend in college admissions, as the exceptional students who apply to schools like SCU take their time making a decision between their top few schools.
Catholic identity and Jesuit mission: What does it all mean?
The Ignatian Center's Bannan Institute marks 25 years
Jesuit colleges and universities of today are not the same as they were 50 years ago. To some, this leads to a soul-searching question: Are we still Jesuit and Catholic?
Charles Currie, S.J., raised that question and offered some answers in a talk on campus May 2. When it comes to such weighty questions, Currie is no stranger: He’s president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, and he was at SCU to deliver the keynote address for a conference celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Ignatian Center’s Bannan Institute.
Currie lauded Santa Clara for being “at the center of all that is good about contemporary Jesuit higher education,” which he called “the holistic pursuit of excellence in all that you are doing, and a vibrant, engaged Jesuit, Catholic institutional identity.”
As for the question, “‘Are we still Jesuit and Catholic?’,” Currie said, “we can respond that we are engaged in an ongoing quest to realize the promise of being Jesuit and Catholic—no easy task, but a magnanimous venture. With the strengths we have built in our schools, we have opportunities (and responsibilities) to participate in the transformation of our Church, nation, and world.”
Currie also reminded listeners that questions over how a Catholic university should relate to the Church isn’t new to our place and time. Over the centuries, universities at Bologna, Paris, Oxford, and Cambridge struggled with those questions. And St. Thomas Aquinas got into trouble with the Archbishop of Paris.
Where the Church does its thinking
Central to Santa Clara’s Jesuit, Catholic identity is the work of the Bannan Institute for Jesuit Education. The center was founded in 1982 and named in honor of Louis I. Bannan, S.J., a longtime University teacher and counselor. In 2005 the University brought the Bannan Center for Jesuit Education and the Arrupe Center for Community-based Learning together to form the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education. Participants at the 25th anniversary conference explored ways a Catholic university engages in dialogue with culture— as “the place where the Church does its thinking.”
Panelists included scholars, alumni, and community partners of Santa Clara, as well as visiting scholars from Georgetown, College of the Holy Cross, and Loyola University Chicago. They discussed “engaged pedagogy” and the role of community-based learning; faculty and staff engagement in Jesuit education; and Ignatian spirituality on campus.
Margaret Taylor ’65, M.A. ’76, MBA ’86 observed that the University was very different than the one to which she was admitted in the early ’60s. But that was a good thing, said Taylor, now chairman of board of directors for United American Bank in San Mateo. She praised the Jesuits who taught her philosophy and theology for teaching students “how to think, how to question, how to ponder, and then how to take action.” But, she said, as a student she didn’t have the benefit that today’s students have of a campus ministry, the centers of excellence, and community- based learning programs.
Katherine McElaney, director of the chaplain’s office at College of the Holy Cross, argued that Ignatian ideals meet profound needs for this generation of students. Millennials, she said, “have almost no silence in their lives.” Yet they consider themselves spiritual, and they react well to being part of a community.
Tom Powers, S.J., executive director of SCU’s graduate program in pastoral ministries, noted that "Ignatius did not write exercises for Jesuits" but for his own conversion. The Spiritual Exercises, he said, offer an inexhaustible source of what we need.
"Maybe we aren't saints," Powers said, "but peace and commitment sound strikingly holy, don't they?"—SBS
Read more from the conference and hear podcasts of the talks.
Mooney named Udall Scholar
Meghan Mooney '09
Photo: FJ Gaylor Photography
Creating a sustainable world requires cleaning up the messes we’ve made—and, says Meghan Mooney ’09, helping those who scavenge for garbage to survive. This spring Mooney, an applied anthropology major focusing on environmental health, became the first Santa Clara student to be named a Udall Scholar.
The award is presented by the Morris K. Udall Foundation and provides a $5,000 grant as well as travel to Arizona to meet with other scholars and elected officials. Recipients are selected for showing commitment to careers in the environment, health care, or tribal public policy; leadership potential; and academic achievement.
Mooney’s particular interest is studying public health and community welfare in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, and researching environmental health issues among urban garbage scavengers. “I hope that this research provides valuable information on the health status of informal waste workers,” she says, “and sheds light on the need for an integrated approach to waste management in the developing world.”
This isn’t Mooney’s first moment in the sun: She was the communications and community outreach coordinator for SCU’s celebrated 2006-07 Solar Decathlon team, which took third in the international competition last fall.—ECE
One outstanding Oxonian
Last year the coveted Santa Clara Honors Program fellowship took Nicholas Obradovich ’09 to Oxford University. The economics and environmental studies major kept up with his coursework across the Atlantic and, during his first term, landed the Mansfield Visiting Student Prize for top academic performance. He followed this accomplishment by training for spring track and field. Did it pay off? Competing against Cambridge University in a track meet, he won the discus, nabbed second in the 60-meter hurdles, came in third in the high jump, and finished fourth in the 60-meter sprint. Which was the biggest challenge? Definitely the hundreds of pages of reading and two papers due each week, Obradovich said.
Summer found him back stateside, doing economics research and working part time at Intel Corp. as an environmental sustainability analyst.—ECE
Eyes wide open
Courtesy of Tim Sennott '09
Since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, more than 4,000 American soldiers have been killed—approximately 450 from California alone. On May 5 and 6, with the “Eyes Wide Open” exhibit, the campus community was given a solemn reminder of this tragic human cost. Sponsored by Campus Ministry, the traveling exhibit was created by the American Friends Service Committee. One pair of boots representing each fallen soldier from California, as well as shoes representing Iraqi civilian deaths, were arranged in a labyrinth for a walking meditation.