Our Decade with President Engh

A glimpse of how Santa Clara has been transformed

Our Decade with President Engh
Here to listen and lead: a moment with Michael Engh, S.J., and students at Sacred Heart Nativity School in San Jose / Photo by Charles Barry

Momentous news broke at the beginning of summer on the Mission campus: Santa Clara University President Michael E. Engh, S.J., M.Div. ’82 announced that he would conclude his presidency on June 30, 2019, following his tenth anniversary as President at the end of the 2018–19 academic year. 

To tell the story of his presidency is to trace a transformative decade for the University—the place and the people who shape it. His words: “Santa Clara is prospering and rising to new heights of achievement in teaching, curriculum development, scholarship, creative expression, and service to our students and the broader community.”

Amen. Among those heights for students: Three Santa Clara alumni have been named Rhodes scholars in the past eight years alone. In 2018 eight students and recent alumni were named Fulbright scholars. And in September U.S. News & World Report named SCU the No. 1 regional university in the West—as well as esteeming SCU the No. 1 university in the West for veterans. There have been Schwarzman and Knight-Hennessy scholars and Udalls and Goldwaters and a Truman nominee.

“I have immense gratitude for the Santa Clara community’s whole-hearted dedication to our shared mission of educating women and men to create a more just, humane, and sustainable world,” President Engh said. “I am proud of all we have accomplished together and look forward to spending the upcoming year working with the community to continue to further our goals.”

We’ll be telling some of those stories in a forthcoming special edition of this magazine. Meanwhile, here’s some recent past as prologue: We’ve seen the design (with construction soon to begin!) of the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation, which will bolster the University’s leadership in STEM education. We have the beautiful Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building, a striking new home for the School of Law in the Howard S. and Alida S. Charney Hall of Law, a gateway to the University in the Patricia and Stephen Schott Admission and Enrollment Services Building, and the new Finn Residence Hall rising on the south side of campus. The center of campus is now a bucolic place for walkers and skateboarders, with Abby Sobrato Mall and Franklin Street pedestrian mall. There has been rebuilding and renovation of the buildings in which students live and eat and learn, to which alumni return, where our athletes train and play, and where scholars teach. Places transformed: the Donohoe Alumni House, Guadalupe Hall, and the Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Student Activities Center; the Swig, Dunne, and McLaughlin-Walsh residence halls; the Benson Memorial Center, the Delia L. Walsh Administration Building, Heafey-Bergin Hall, and Varsi Hall; Stevens Stadium, Stevens Soccer Training Center, and Buck Shaw Field, and the Softball Field; and University Villas, plus a rebuilt and expanded Graham Residence Hall.


The breadth and caliber of the student body have blossomed, while the financial footing of the University is stronger than ever, and the award-winning Center for Sustainability has helped embed the culture of sustainability among the entire University community.

It has been a busy decade indeed. SCU’s Board of Trustees has assembled a search committee to identify Santa Clara University’s next President. 

For updates, visit scu.edu/presidential-search.

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