Generations to Come

For the Gagans, graduating from Santa Clara University is a family affair.

Generations to Come

Here is a graduation story. It exists not only in June 2022 but also in June 1954, in June 1919, and in some June far into the future.

The 2022 story: Four cousins graduated and embarked on the world together this June—twins Nick Gagan ’22  and Will Gagan ’22, and cousins Maria Gagan ’22 and Carolyn Gagan ’22.

Though unintended, attending SCU together had perks—they shared friends, tips on which courses to take, and helped one another through the pandemic and their grandmother’s death.

The foursome also met regularly with their grandfather, Brian Gagan ’54, who would travel down from San Francisco to lunch at the just-off-campus cornerstone he calls by its former name, the Maui Hut . Because, oh, he went to SCU, too.

“Campus just feels like a hometown, you know?” says Maria. “It’s a place we are from, that we know, even if we aren’t from here.”

The 1954 story: Brian was unsure he’d become a Bronco. Despite having grown up with SCU stories from his dad, another Brian Gagan, who graduated in 1919  , the younger Brian was a so-so high school student with no idea what he wanted to do. His mother, however, had a plan.

She loaded him on the train from San Francisco and took him to meet the head of SCU admission. It was Brian’s father’s dying wish that Brian attend Santa Clara, she said. The Jesuits agreed to take him on.

“That’s the thing she did for me—it was pivotal,” Brian says of his mother. “It’s made all of the difference in my life.”

The Jesuit values instilled in him—particularly an appreciation of hard work and a sense of justice—were planted in his own children’s lives, three of whom—Sue Sami ’81, Brian ’85, and Kevin ’87—also attended SCU.

Today, all the Gagans are passionate about sharing what the University has given them with others. They are funding a Gagan family scholarship to support a new generation of Broncos.

“We are not just a multigenerational Santa Clara family,” says Kevin, who met his wife Suzanne ’87 when both were students at SCU. “We want to create this tradition for another family.”

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