Undergraduate Commencement: June 14
More than 12,000 family and friends of Santa Clara University cheered approximately 1,360 undergraduate degree recipients as they walked across an outdoor stage at Buck Shaw Stadium, celebrating the 152nd commencement.
Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano ’79 urged Santa Clara University graduates to hold themselves to strict standards of honesty as they step out into the world. “The most important value of a Santa Clara education is the realization that education and intellect are incomplete without character,” she said.
Napolitano, who was Santa Clara’s first female valedictorian when she graduated summa cum laude in 1979, asked the class of 2003 to make decisions that went beyond self-interest and participate in the affairs of the community. “The sense of ethics you take from here is even more significant than the academics you’ve absorbed,” she said. Napolitano received an honorary degree at the ceremony.
Napolitano served five years as U.S. attorney in Arizona. She created the first Office for Women to make issues affecting women a top priority, and implemented Arizona’s first statewide Domestic Abuse Public Awareness Campaign.
Elected Arizona’s first female attorney general in 1998, Napolitano oversaw an office with 900 state prosecutors and support staff. She targeted and reduced child dependency cases. In addition, Napolitano prosecuted drug traffickers who manufactured drugs in homes where children were present and implemented the Attorney General’s School Hotline.
Since taking office as governor in January 2003, Napolitano has been credited with helping create a prescription drug program for low-income seniors, aiding Arizona’s water conservation efforts, and leading discussions about children’s issues, family support services, and dropout prevention.
Graduate Commencement: June 15
Mary F. Bitterman ’66, former San Francisco and Hawaii public broadcasting executive, reminded recipients of post-graduate degrees from Santa Clara University of the importance of ethics and integrity in their professional lives.
“Subject matter will always change, but ethical behavior should know no season-what we ought to do must be embedded in our nature for all time,” the SCU alumna told the nearly 800 recipients of graduate degrees in business, counseling psychology, education, engineering, and pastoral ministries. “Let us underscore today the importance of that which is and must remain constant and immutable-the integrity you bring to your professions and the respect you hold for the people you serve,” she said. Santa Clara awarded an honorary doctor of public service degree to Bitterman at the ceremony.
A fourth-generation Californian, Bitterman has family ties to Santa Clara University, where her father and brother earned bachelor and law degrees and her daughter earned a law degree. A former director of the Voice of America, as well as former president and CEO of the James Irvine Foundation and of KQED public radio and television in San Francisco, Bitterman is director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. She is also on the advisory board of SCU’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society.
SCU President Paul Locatelli, S.J., presented six Ph.D. degrees in engineering and 785 master’s degrees: 376 in business, 60 in counseling psychology, 120 in education, 221 in engineering, and eight in pastoral ministries.
Law Commencement: May 24
Mary Alexander J.D. ’82, president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), urged law graduates to begin their professional careers with a “keen moral compass” and commitment to protect the finest legal system in the world.
SCU awarded 294 J.D. degrees and 13 LL.M. degrees at the ceremonies. In addition, 34 of the law graduates received certificates in public interest and social justice law, 36 in high tech law, seven in international high tech law, and 15 in international law.
In addition to her role as ATLA president, Alexander is principal in the San Francisco firm of Mary Alexander and Associates. She earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley. At the commencement ceremonies, SCU Provost Denise Carmody, awarded Alexander an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
The ceremonies also featured a speech by Edward Panelli J.D. ’55, former justice of the California Supreme Court, who stepped down in May as chair of the University’s Board of Trustees. Panelli urged graduates to ground their professional careers in their highest personal values, including justice and service. “It is most appropriate for each of you, as a prospective lawyer, to ask yourself: How much more justice will there be in the world because I chose to work in the law?” Panelli said.