Food for Thought

It’s a place to meet, eat, study, and coffee up. Since 1963 the Robert F. Benson Memorial Center has hummed with student life. It’s home to Campus Ministry and a raft of student organizations—from radio station KSCU to the Santa Clara Review literary journal. This summer Benson got a major face-lift: a new glassed-in atrium and bright and airy dining spaces.

Art Rendering Of Benson

THREE LEVELS What’s now the California Mission Room was once a bowling alley. The center also once housed a barber shop and coffee shop, game rooms, and locker rooms for day students.

Benson Center bowl
Benson Center bowl

WHAT’S THE NEWS? In 1969, when this pic was taken, it might have been men on the Moon—or the Beatles’ last live gig. Styrofoam cups for coffee? Not in ages. Next to go will be plastic straws, in a move to reduce plastic waste and help toward SCU’s goal of zero waste by 2020.

Benson Center Students

Namesake Robert F. Benson was orphaned at 10 and went to work on a ranch. He arrived in the valley without a dime and died a millionaire—thanks to success selling Studebakers and Lincolns. He helped the poor, especially children.

Benson Center Art

ART HOUSE The Benson Center purchases and proudly displays generations of student artwork, like Cultural Blend by Alejandra Germann ’12. It’s thanks to a program founded by Kelly Detweiler, professor of art, and Matt Cameron, assistant vice provost for student life.

WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? More Asian fusion options, for one. Ramen is the new poke, says Thierry Bourroux, manager for Bon Appetit. Or have some jerk chicken from Global, pasta primavera at 540, or a reuben burger at Fire.

Pork Intestine Thin Noodles
Benson cafe 2018

FRESHLY BREWED Pick up a muffin with your Americano at the Mission Bakery and pull up a chair. Even indulge in a salted caramel mocha—or, if you must, a pumpkin spice latte.

From Scratch

The new leader of SCU’s adolescent mental health concentration wants to design better mental healthcare delivery systems to help more kids, now.

Green Is the New Black

Leaders in sustainable fashion shared career advice with student designers at SCU’s popular EcoFashion Show.

Hop 2 It

How do you get from hops to beer? Sustainability interns found out by turning hops grown at SCU’s Forge Garden into “Forge Ahead,” an English-style pale ale.

Racking Up

Tess Heal ’26 is nabbing awards left and right thanks to a stellar freshman year with Santa Clara women’s basketball.