Memories of Orradre

“Memory cards” issued to help bid this special study space farewell.

Opened in 1964, the Orradre Library building served the SCU campus for more than 40 years. In mid-June, the building closed and services were temporarily relocated to make way for construction of the new Learning Commons and Library. (For more on construction, read the latest in the Campaign for Santa Clara University.) To bid farewell to the place where thousands of SCU students studied all night for finals and courteous and expert staff helped them find just the books and articles they needed, the Santa Clara community has been invited to contribute memories of Orradre on special “memory cards” featuring archival photos of the Orradre Library building. Literally hundreds of messages have already been received. Here are a few:

“In a world of laptops, iPods and wifi, the following observation may seem comical to today’s students. The engineering students strategically staked out the study tables that ringed the perimeter of the bookshelves. Why? They needed to be near the walls in order to plug in their state-of-the-art calculators…Ah well, from ex libris to gen-X libris, and beyond!”

—Pamela Davoren ’75, Theatre Arts

“Ever since I declared my accounting major, Orradre became my new home…. I will always joyfully reminisce those all-nighters before exams. ‘Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.’ —Virgil.”

—Elif Soyarslan, Accounting Dept.

“I remember…‘What are you doing later?’”

“‘I have a date with Michael Orradre.’”


“Walking up those beautiful steps to the classroom always gave me a sense of peace and encouragement to help start a new day.”

—Christina Johnson, Law Department

“My first memory of the Orradre library was when they were building it and the library was still in Varsi Hall. I was looking at SCU as a possible college choice. I have visited Orradre every year since then – 42 years – as student, an alumnus, and mother of a student who is just finishing his graduate studies here. I have browsed the stacks here and read books published in the 1800s, and I have wonderful memories of Fr. Duggan taking such good care of them.”

—Anne King

“It was at Orradre that I found a good old-fashioned “hell” (as we seminarians used to say): a special locked cage for books on the Index of Forbidden Books.”

—James F. Felt, S.J., Philosophy Dept.

“Adieu, Orradre—you were here when I came as a freshman in 1967. I spent many an evening in the stacks and at the tables trying to understand organic chemistry and later doing papers for Fr. Mackin. Hail and farewell.”


“I am a community member and not affiliated to SCU officially. I really enjoy many things SCU offers, the best of which is Orradre. I really want to mention the courteous and friendly help that I always experienced from the Orradre staff. There is something special about SCU. The faculty, staff, and the students have always treated me very kindly.”


“I remember…studying for a political science midterm that seemed impossible as a freshman, putting my head on my books to rest my eyes, and being tapped on the shoulder by a librarian after what seemed like 5 minutes but was really four hours.”

—Jasper Seldin, Political Science

“I remember…many hours of good times studying biology and organic chemistry in “death row,” upstairs along the wall.”


“Orradre, you rocked.”

—M. Mason

The OG Green

SCU Men’s golf fans set foot on the holy land of golf this summer capping off a trip of a lifetime.

Music Above All

Erin Pearson ’05 was recruited to play soccer for Santa Clara University. But her passion for music was pulling her in a different direction.

A Number’s Worth

Chuck Cantoni ’57 may be the oldest person to swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco—all to raise money for research into a potentially deadly brain condition.

Collaboration is Key

Jacqueline Whitham ’21 chose to support cross-disciplinary collaboration and research at SCU through $3.8 million from her family’s foundation.