Honoring alumni and SCU ideals

Celebrating recipients of the Ignatian Award for Community Service Awards and Bannan Award.

Honoring alumni and SCU ideals
From left: Joseph M. Goethals '99. '05, National Alumni Association president; Kevin Eagleson '70; Julie Burns Christensen '70; Judge John McInerny '49, J.D. '54; President Paul Locatelli, S.J. '60. Photo: Russ Lee

On April 29, as part of the Santa Clara University Alumni Association’s 125th anniversary celebration, three remarkable alumni were honored for their service to the community and the Association, and for upholding the ideals of SCU.

Ignatian Award for Community Service

The Ignatian Award recognizes alumni who live the SCU ideals of compassion, conscience, and competence, and who have been a credit to the University, through outstanding service to humanity.

Julie Burns Christensen ’70

Trading in graduate school acceptance letters for the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Christensen found her calling in campus ministry. At Gonzaga University she became one of the first laywomen to work in campus ministry, and she has offered spiritual leadership at Western Washington State College, the University of Nevada-Reno, Rosemont Alternative School in Oregon, and the University of Portland. Today, Julie remains on her path of service. Her main focus is the Pilgrims’ Partner Foundation, which she co-created five years ago. It is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide free training for nonprofit organizations in the Western U.S. that serve low-income and disenfranchised populations.

Kevin Eagleson ’70

As a Bronco basketball player in the late ’60s, Eagleson was part of a talented squad that captured three WCAC titles and advanced to three NCAA Tournaments. But Kevin is more than just a skilled athlete who contributed to Bronco basketball history; he is an extremely humble man who always puts service before self: He returned to SCU as assistant coach and has taught and served as principal at schools in the Bay Area, including at Sacred Heart Nativity School, educating socioeconomically disadvantaged boys. He has helped many students learn to believe in themselves, and many of those that Kevin works with have expressed how his passion toward education empowers them to want to work harder.

Bannan Award

Established in 2000, the Louis I. Bannan, S.J., Award is given once a year to a single individual or couple who has given distinguished and outstanding service to the Alumni Association and University.

Judge John McInerny ’49, J.D. ’54

During his undergraduate years as a Bronco, John made the President’s Honor Roll and was given the Santa Barbara Medal for earning the highest GPA in the ROTC’s military science courses. Law studies were put on hold to serve in Korea, but John returned to complete his degree, then went on to serve as Deputy Attorney General for the state of California, as legal advisor and clemency secretary to Governor Pat Brown, and, beginning in 1966, as Superior Court Judge for the State of California. In 1995, SCU benefited from his work as national president of the Alumni Association. He made it policy to personally visit each alumni chapter, near and far. When he wasn’t traveling, he used his legal expertise to update the Association constitution. Judge McInerny appointed the first student to the board, and, along with Fr. German, he launched the Alumni For Others program. To this day, John remains an active board member, encouraging alumni to make connections and attend Santa Clara events.

A Crescendo of Achievements

Nicolás Lell Benavides ’10 shares how his Santa Clara experience and passion for composition led to the creation of his largest project to date: “Dolores.”

Haunted or Not? We Ask the Winchester Historian

“One day, I was at the house very early when no one else was there, and I heard the clearest footsteps treading on the metal roof above me.” Meet Janan Boehme ’81, the first-ever historian of the Winchester Mystery House.

Impact That Lasts

“Steve and I want whatever is left when we die to make a real difference for people and the planet.”

A California Leader

Richard Riordan ’52 leaves a lasting California legacy as a distinguished leader, committed philanthropist, and a visionary innovator.