One in a Million

A letter from President Michael E. Engh, S.J.

One in a Million
The Leavey Challenge met: 9,000th donor Anton L.V. Avanceña ’12 and No. 9,739 Sabrina Ayllon ’03. An ER nurse, Ayllon says her work reflects values that Santa Clara instills: “As you learn here, you treat the whole person—physically, spiritually, mentally.” Photo by Charles Barry
A personal note of thanks to the SCU alumni. You came through in record numbers to secure a $1 million challenge grant for the University.

Dear Alumni,

You have made a tremendous gift to Santa Clara through your participation in the Leavey Challenge, and I thank you. Santa Clara University is better and stronger, not only because we secured a $1 million grant from the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation, but, more important, we did it as a community. You responded to the challenge to increase the number of alumni contributions to 9,000 donors. You blew through that goal, and 9,739 of you stepped up for your alma mater—more than 25 percent of all undergraduate alumni contributed $9,600,790. You are amazing! Congratulations!

Let me add that gifts of less than $100 from you and other friends of Santa Clara amounted to $963,651 last year. As you can see, every gift makes a mighty impact because so many of you joined together to pay it forward in support of our terrific students.

Two of you warrant special notice. Anton L.V. Avanceña ’12 made the 9,000th gift that put us over the top and qualified us for $1 million from the Leavey Foundation. Anton is pursuing a career in global public health, inspired by his experiences on an SCU immersion trip to Peru. Clearly, his Santa Clara education has transformed his life to give back for the good of many in great need. Sabrina Ayllon ’03 made the final donation, No. 9,739. Sabrina, an emergency-room nurse in San Jose, provides hands-on medical care and attends to her patients’ fears. Without scholarship help, she remarked, “students like me would never be able to attend Santa Clara.” Her gift went to the Alumni Family Endowed Scholarship Fund to ensure that students in need continue to have access to a great SCU education.

Let’s now continue the pace in our four-year upward climb in alumni participation (an increase of almost 10 percentage points). You should be proud because so much of this increase came from our younger graduates who became first-time donors. The Class of 2013 closed the year exceeding a 50 percent participation rate on their Senior Gift—which bodes well for their gifts in the next years as alumni. A big thank-you to our graduated seniors! And you should be proud that Santa Clara is among only 30 colleges and universities in the country to have increased alumni participation in the last four years. You should also be proud that we beat every other school in the West Coast Conference in alumni participation. Go Broncos!

Your personal investment shows your belief in Santa Clara’s potential to impact our students, our communities, and all God’s people. Thank you again, and congratulations on this great achievement … which I pray you continue. God bless you, each and every Bronco!

Sincerely, and with great pride,

Michael E. Engh, S.J.
President, Santa Clara University

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