WE GOT STORIES
Before Mary Stevens spent 14 years in the commercial real estate industry in Silicon Valley, she played on the women’s soccer team herself. She has served on the Board of Trustees since 2012, on the Board of Fellows, and on the blue-ribbon athletics task force.
Mark Stevens, an active philanthropist and former partner in the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, serves on the University’s investment committee. “I see Santa Clara as the best Catholic institution in the Pacific Rim,” he says. “This gift is an investment in future leaders who will have the advantage of a strong grounding in academics, athletics, and global human values.”
We like the sound of that. We also recall that the Stevenses gave $7 million to build the Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Student Activities Center. The new training facility is next door.
CARRY ON THE TRADITION
Finally, there’s a ritual that soccer players know well: At the end of a match, as a sign of respect, they exchange jerseys. That bit of knowledge sets the stage for what occurred at undergraduate commencement on June 14, when Mary Stevens was onstage for the ceremony and soccer star Brandi Chastain ’91 delivered the commencement address.
To wrap up her address, Chastain stoked the new grads’ excitement by taking off her ceremonial academic garb to reveal a soccer uniform underneath. “It’s OK if you feel like ripping your shirt off!” she enthused. (As in the World Cup, she did; this time she had another underneath.) “And whip it around your head!” (She did; the jersey was red and white with No. 21 emblazoned on it.) “This is the number I wore here at Santa Clara,” she said. “I want to give this to Mary Stevens for what she’s given to Santa Clara University as a memento of thanks for what is to come in the future here.”
The crowd went wild.