Finn Hall Rising

Ground has been broken and work begun. Fall 2019 will bring a new residence hall to campus.

Finn Hall Rising
Architectural rendering by Devcon

Even as a first-grader at Saint Clare School across the way from SCU, Stephen A. Finn MBA ’76 dreamed of one day walking to class along the palm-lined drive of the Mission Campus. “I looked over, and I thought, ‘Gosh, I want to go there,’” Finn recalled recently. “‘I wonder if I could ever be smart enough.’”

Step forward to 2018. On January 30, ground was broken on the south side campus for a new building bearing his name: Finn Residence Hall. Finn Residence Hall will host 366 beds for first-year students and sophomores in a mini-suite style. Move-in is slated for fall 2019

As for Finn’s path, that almost didn’t lead to studies here. After completing his bachelor’s at San Jose State University, he applied for the MBA program at SCU and was turned down. But Finn was persistent. He met talked with the dean of the business school.

“I got a letter two weeks later,” Finn said. The envelope was thin. “There was one page. It said, ‘We’ve reconsidered.’”

Finn went on to a successful career in financial services, including serving as CEO of Trust Company of America. He has been a member of SCU’s Board of Regents and served on the Los Altos Hills city council. At the groundbreaking, he underscored what a tremendous difference Santa Clara has made for him. While proud of the new building, he also wants to put it in perspective.

Center CAT: Stephen A. Finn MBA ’76, University leadership, family, and friends. Photo by James Tensuan

“I challenge the University, my fellow regents, trustees, students, community,” Finn said. “How do we stay ahead? How do we stay relevant for the next generation? This building is nothing compared to the challenge we have ahead of us.”


The design of Finn Hall is meant to foster interaction among students while maintaining SCU’s hallmark commitment to small residential learning communities. Green technology and efficiency are key. Another factor: For students, college is often the first time they are empowered to make major decisions on their own and shape the community around them.

With that in mind, then-senior bioengineering major Patrick Tavelli ’16 took the initiative to offer a design sketch for the building itself. “The architects, as one would expect and hope, have done a marvelous job of transforming my really crude design into something really beautiful,” he said.


As we take this story live online, Howard S. and Alida S. Charney Hall, the new home to the School of Law, is opening its doors. Move-in and classes begin in the spring, with a dedication to take place later this year. More in our next edition.

Franklin Pedestrian Mall has been cleaned of construction dust as well—providing a pleasant stroll in front of the Jesuit Residence and the Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History building, anchor to the arts neighborhood.

And work is just beginning on a multi-phase project that is the biggest in the history of SCU: construction of the Sobrato Campus for Discover and Innovation. That campus will rise where Mechanical Engineering, Bannan Labs, Bannan Engineering, and Bannan Hall—which had housed some of the School of Law—now stand. In preparation, SCU begins what’s become known colloquially as the “STEM surge,” shaping up temporary homes for engineering programs in Heafey Law Library and Bergin Hall, 990 Benton, 3305 The Alameda; and Alameda Hall.

Cool mealtime news, too: This spring, the Bronco Patio gets a glass roof and is being joined to the Bronco eatery next door.

Drumroll, Please!

Santa Clara University’s renovated jazz studio gives music majors and non-majors more space to find their sound.

A Plan For Tomorrow

Santa Clara President Julie Sullivan unveils a new strategic plan, Impact 2030, with a focus on increasing access and opportunity, and, of course, SCU’s Jesuit values and Silicon Valley location.

Hoops of Hope

From pink socks to non-profit outreach, Santa Clara Women’s Basketball hosted their annual Pink Game to honor families impacted by cancer.

Flight and Food

Birds can be the key to understanding the environment and SCU students are taking a closer look.