Married in the Mission
David Smearden ’88 and Leslie (Pender) Smearden ’94 met on campus and were married in Mission Santa Clara in 2001.
Both worked in the University’s mailroom while they were undergraduates but didn’t meet until they attended a retirement party for mailroom supervisor Bob Couture several years later. David earned a degree in engineering, while Leslie’s was in communication.
Today, they live and work in San Jose while raising daughter Corinne, 1. David is a software engineer at Boeing Inc. in Sunnyvale, and Leslie teaches at Sakamoto Elementary School in San Jose.
“I think we’re both better people because of our experiences at the University,” David says. “We both believe it’s a special place, and the religious component of the school was important to us,” he adds, recalling Sunday night Mass, interacting with Jesuits, and the religion classes each took.
The couple has been a member of the President’s Club for several years. “I received a scholarship,” says David, “so I feel a responsibility to give back.” President’s Club donors give $1,000 or more annually and are invited to a special dinner each October. More than 1,000 alumni are members.
David also recently joined the SCU Ambassadors, and he speaks to potential freshmen to encourage them to enroll at SCU. And he is on campus weekly, working on a master’s of science in engineering management.
Three decades of support
John Cromwell ’76 of Woodside has made annual donations to Santa Clara University since graduating with a degree in finance. He recalls his college years with fondness and says that it was a time of many changes in his life. Today he is a managing director of SVB Alliant in Palo Alto, an investment bank that focuses on emerging technology companies and also does mergers and acquisitions advisory work.
Cromwell calls his SCU education “an enriching experience.”
“Santa Clara was the right scale,” he recalls. “I started out as an art major and got interested in banking and finance. I can attribute my practical side to what I developed at Santa Clara,” he explains. While at SCU, he was a cartoonist for the campus newspaper and also ran a small printing business.
SCU has managed its growth well, says Cromwell. “One thing I’ve been impressed by is they’ ve continued to invest in the infrastructure,” he explains.
Four employees at his company are SCU graduates, and he says he sees the University’s imprint on them as well. “They’re intelligent, well-grounded, and they’re not prima donnas,” he says.