The Inauguration of a President

“In an era that questions the existence of truth, the relevance of beauty, and the very possibility of goodness, I invite you to work with me to build a university that declares that such ideals matter.” – SCU President Kevin O’Brien, S.J., in his inauguration address.

Friends and family, alumni, faculty, and staff gathered in Mass, in ceremony, through dedications and special events as Santa Clara University’s 29thPresident, Kevin O’Brien, S.J. took office.

It was a whirlwind week of events this October, culminating with dignitaries from around the world gathered in the Leavey Center for the inauguration of O’Brien as president.

“The work of Santa Clara is could not be in better hands than Fr. Kevin O’Brien,”  says John J. DeGioia, Georgetown President and longtime friend of O’Brien, to the gathered crowd.

For his part, O’Brien invited the Santa Clara community to join him in a new adventure—the furthering of Santa Clara values out in the world and on campus by reaching out to one another with open hearts and minds.

“I ask you to join me in continuing to create Santa Clara as a place of generous encounter, as a gathering place where conversations take place that are steeped in truth, beauty, and goodness,” he says, “and where we and our students are inspired to truly encounter others in places well beyond this beautiful corner of the world.”

The University is, O’Brien says, a place where truth, beauty, and goodness should thrive as is Jesuit, Catholic tradition.

“We will be saved by beauty because in appreciating beauty we become more human: grateful for the beauty in and around us, we live more gently, humbly, generously,” O’Brien says. “We don’t just become better scholars and students pursuing truth: saved by beauty, we become better people.”

There has never been a time when these values are more vital.

“In an era that questions the existence of truth, the relevance of beauty, and the very possibility of goodness, I invite you to work with me to build a university that declares that such ideals matter,” O’Brien says. “Together, we will accomplish much for the greater glory of God and the good of humanity.”

-Images by Scott MacDonald, Charles Barry, and Jim Gensheimer