Mission Matters

A new president and more.

University names new president

Historian Michael Engh, S.J., to join Bronco family in January

Michael Engh, S.J., distinguished historian and current dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, has been selected the 28th president of Santa Clara University. Fr. Engh will succeed Paul Locatelli, S.J., who announced in March that he would step down after nearly 20 years as president. Locatelli continues as president of the University until Dec. 31.

Engh, 58, was elected by Santa Clara University’s Board of Trustees during a special meeting of the governing body on September 17. He will take office in January 2009.

In making the announcement, Board Chair A.C. “Mike” Markkula lauded Engh’s record as a scholar, teacher, historian, and administrator. “He possesses a rare blend of vision, compassion, and a deep understanding of Jesuit higher education that will serve students, faculty, staff, and the broader Silicon Valley community very well,” Markkula said.

No stranger to campus

A third-generation Angeleno, Engh graduated from what was then Loyola University of Los Angeles in 1972 and was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1981. But he is no stranger to the Santa Clara campus. He first visited Santa Clara in 1974 as a Jesuit novice and has returned to campus on numerous visits over the years. “I’ve watched the campus grow,” he said, “and I’ve watched people added to the faculty. I’ve certainly watched and admired Paul Locatelli’s leadership over these years.”

Engh completed his graduate studies in the history of the American West at the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1987 and began teaching at LMU in 1988. He was active in founding LMU’s Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles and the university’s Center for Ignatian Spirituality. As dean of LMU’s Bellarmine College, a position he has held since June 2004, he led a team that initiated contacts with universities in China, encouraged foreign immersion trips for faculty, and founded two programs to promote interreligious dialogue.

He is the author of Frontier Faiths: Church, Temple, and Synagogue in Los Angeles (1992) and has published 18 articles or chapters in books on the history of Los Angeles, the Catholic Church in the American West, and the history of LMU.

From 1994 to 2000, Engh served as rector of the Jesuit Community at LMU, where he coordinated, planned, and completed the construction of a new residence for the Jesuits. In 1991, he co-founded the Los Angeles History Seminar at the Huntington Library, one of the largest urban history seminars in the country. While on sabbatical, Engh spent two years (2000-02) in East Los Angeles conducting research at the Huntington Library, volunteering at Los Angeles Central Juvenile Hall, and helping at the Dolores Mission parish.

Engh’s approach to higher education reflects a city-inspired understanding of the essential place that social justice holds in the mission of the contemporary Jesuit University. “The gritty realities of inner-city life jarred me as no book or lecture had,” he says. He adds that academics in any locale have much to learn from the socioeconomic realities that surround a campus.

In coming to Santa Clara, Engh has set himself the task of asking a lot of questions and listening deeply to the campus community. As president, his priorities would center on drawing diverse and academically gifted students, attracting and retaining talented faculty, and fundraising. While on campus in September he had a new opportunity to talk with alumni as well. “I came away with more of a sense of Santa Clara’s living history,” he said.

Will there be some adjustments for Engh with the move north? Engh underscores the shared core Jesuit values that have long shaped his work as well as the growth of Santa Clara. Still, as a baseball enthusiast and longtime Dodgers fan, he acknowledges one change that may be tough to come to terms with: “Living so close to Giants country!”


A commencement of one

A moment of prayer: presenting a diploma to Leslie Zenner ’07
Pauline Lubens / San Jose Mercury News

Leslie Zenner ’07 wasn’t able to walk with her classmates to receive her Santa Clara diploma. So the University walked to her. In a special commencement ceremony held June 22 at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, President Paul Locatelli, S.J., presented Zenner with her official graduation papers.

In summer 2006, Zenner was diagnosed with cancer: anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, a rare childhood form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She immediately began chemotherapy treatment and, at the same time, tried to carry on with a senior year of classes to complete her degree in marketing.

“I needed to go to class to prove that I was the strongest person on Earth,” Zenner told the San Jose Mercury News. But the treatment sessions left her exhausted. After driving to campus, she would find, “I didn’t have enough energy to pay attention.”

Following a year of chemotherapy, Zenner relapsed. This past March, she underwent a bone marrow transplant— but relapsed again. She will soon undergo either another transplant or partake in an experimental clinical trial.

The difficulties of that year left Zenner three units shy of completing a bachelor’s degree. But, Locatelli explained, “At a certain point the person becomes more important than fulfilling a few bureaucratic requirements.”

The ceremony included members of Santa Clara’s religious community, Zenner’s parents and fiancé, Ben Kaupp, as well as hospital staff. Tears were shed, to be sure. But Zenner was exuberant. She tossed her mortarboard into the air and exclaimed, “Thank you so much for letting me graduate!”


Middle school honors for President Locatelli

In June, President Paul Locatelli, S.J. ’60 received a new middle school diploma—in the form of an honorary degree from Sacred Heart Nativity School in San Jose. “Universities grant honorary doctorates,” said Peter Pabst, S.J., the president of the school. “Why can’t a middle school grant honorary diplomas?”

Founded in 2001 to serve at-risk boys, Sacred Heart is designed to keep students on a path to graduate from high school and attend college. With Kevin Eagleson ’70 serving as principal, the school works in partnership with the Society of Jesus, the Diocese of San Jose, and the Parish of Sacred Heart.


Making the lists

High marks in college rankings overall—and kudos for being green

For the 19th consecutive year, Santa Clara was ranked second overall among 116 master’s universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report. SCU’s average undergraduate graduation rate, 85 percent, was the second highest in the country among 572 national master’s level universities.

In its annual ranking, “America’s Best Colleges 2009,” U.S. News compared SCU with other similar comprehensive universities that offer a full range of undergraduate programs and master’s degrees, but few doctoral programs. In this category, SCU had the highest average freshman retention rate—93 percent—and the second-highest peer assessment score. SCU’s School of Engineering is No. 21 among the engineering schools in the country where the highest degree awarded is a bachelor’s or master’s.

In addition, a section titled “Programs to Look For” highlighted SCU’s learning and residential communities.

Places, everyone!

The word from Santa Clara students when it comes to internships and careers post-graduation: “Professional placement in the Bay Area is extraordinary.” So reports the 2009 edition of the Princeton Review’s The Best 368 Colleges. Along with offering statistical snapshots of schools, the guide lets students speak for themselves. So what else do they have to say?

When it comes to academics, size matters: Santa Clara’s scale “fosters an excellent community and strong access to and interaction with faculty.” That, and “the engineering program is notoriously difficult.”

What about campus life? Perhaps it was a budding sociologist who offered this taxonomy: “There are two categories of students…the drinkers and the thinkers.” Overall, says the unnamed observer, “most [students] are very academic and stay in and study during the week.” Come weekends, though, the former “hit the parties or visit San Francisco. Everyone needs a break sometime!”

The green lists

Santa Clara was ranked near the top of the pack in the 500 schools assessed in the debut “green ratings” from the folks at Princeton Review, earning a rating of 96 out of 99 points. Of all universities rated in California, SCU tied for the No. 2 spot.

The ratings are meant to offer a comprehensive measure of a school’s performance as an environmentally aware and prepared institution. That means looking at student quality of life (healthy? sustainable?); at whether the education offered tackles environmental and energy concerns; and at how environmentally responsible a school’s policies are.

Santa Clara is also one of 25 colleges and universities featured in the Kaplan College Guide 2009 list of environmentally responsible schools. In assembling its list, Kaplan looked at environmentally responsible campus projects; initiatives and courses offered; organizations and student groups on campus; and achievements noted in the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s College Sustainability Report Card 2008.

As for the report card, it awarded Santa Clara an overall grade of “B”—a slight improvement over last year’s assessment, with top marks for the university’s comprehensive policy on sustainability; its pursuit of clean energy, food, and recycling (e.g., when in season, produce largely comes from local farms); and investment priorities.

SCU Sustainability Coordinator Lindsey Cromwell ’05 says that while it’s nice to be recognized for what the University has accomplished in this area, “We still have a long way to go.” She also cautions that the green ratings made by various magazines and organizations are based on different criteria. So to help get schools onto the same green wavelength, Santa Clara is one of a select group of universities participating in a pilot project of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education to standardize sustainability ratings.


How green is our valley?

The big three: Bay Area mayors Gavin Newsom, foreground, with Chuck Reed, and Ron Dellums
Rick E. Martin / Silicon Valley Leadership Group

California political heavyweights came to the Mayer Theatre in force on Sept. 10 for the “Clean and Green” conference, hosted by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG). Mayors of the Bay Area’s three largest cities announced a regional climate compact to address global warming. The compact, which was not yet finalized at the conference, “gives us the ability to share best practices in real time,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom ’89.

How important has clean and green tech become in political parlance in California? The attendees at the conference included Newsom, mayors Chuck Reed of San Jose and Ron Dellums of Oakland, as well as leading Bay Area CEOs, venture capitalists, and candidates jockeying for a place in the gubernatorial race in 2009. In that last category, along with Newsom were Attorney General Jerry Brown ’59, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, and ex Congressman Tom Campbell.

Former San Jose Mayor Tom McEnery ’67, M.A. ’70 was on hand, too, to present an SVLG award to Oakland A’s and San Jose Earthquakes owner Lew Wolff. “Having so many candidates here, it’s great,” McEnery said. “It’s important that they come here and see real people trying to work on real problems.”

Those challenges, addressed in panels at the conference, include promoting public transportation, electric vehicles, and green standards for construction while encouraging efficient land use and establishing clean and green jobs. “There are economic opportunities of enormous proportions here,” Newsom said. Newsom and Reed also acknowledged a healthy competition between San Francisco and San Jose as to which city can be greener.

In conjunction with the conference, the SVLG released a report, “2009 Silicon Valley Projections: Clean & Green,” tracking factors such as population (expected to hit 1.99 million in Santa Clara County in 2020), water usage (by 2030, 30 percent more will be needed in the Valley), and clean tech investment (nearly half of that investment in the United States was in California last year).


Thunder, lightning, and silver medals

undefinedLast June’s record-breaking storms, floods, and airport closures didn’t stop Milwaukee from hosting the national Jesuit Advancement Administrators conference. Several hundred intrepid travelers gathered at Marquette University—minus a few unlucky ones stranded along the way—for discussions on marketing, the media, higher education, and Jesuit ideals. Santa Clara University’s name came up quite a lot, particularly during the awards ceremony, when SCU’s marketing and communications office won silver four times: for the redesigned University Web site, the 2005-06 President’s Report (titled “A Pedagogy of Engagement”), a student recruitment video, and for Santa Clara Magazine.

Even under cloudy Midwestern skies, sterling sparkles.


A summons for the judge

United Nations honors Eugene M. Hyman J.D. ’77 for public service
Eugene M. Hyman J.D.
Justice award: Hyman presented with his honor at the United Nations
UN Photo / Paulo Filgueiras

For the first time ever, the United Nations Public Service Award was presented this summer to an American citizen: Adjunct Professor of Law Eugene M. Hyman, for launching the Santa Clara County Juvenile Delinquency Domestic Violence and Family Violence Court. Hyman, who has taught at Santa Clara for more than 20 years, was recognized for shaping an institution—the first of its kind in the nation—that has dramatically reduced the number of young offenders being rearrested for violent crimes.

The public service award was established in 2003. Hyman was honored at a ceremony held at the U.N. Headquarters in New York.

A former police officer and trial attorney, Hyman was appointed to the Santa Clara County Municipal Court in 1990 and the Superior Court for Santa Clara County in 1997. Two years later he founded the court for juvenile domestic violence and became the first judge to preside over it. He implemented a no-tolerance policy for abuse and operated under the principle that change is possible. As he puts it: “Because domestic violence is learned behavior, it can be unlearned. In juvenile court, we try to show young offenders that they don’t have to batter— they can learn to deal with their feelings and emotions without being violent.”

The approach is system-wide with a focus on rehabilitation, and it has succeeded in reducing the recidivism of abuse committed against parents, partners, and siblings in every city in the county.

An example to others

Among those who nominated Hyman for the award is Sarah M. Buel, a professor of law at the University of Texas, Austin, who lauded the creative thinking behind the program. “The Santa Clara Court was the first to recognize that adult domestic violence offenders did not appear out of whole cloth in criminal courts,” she wrote. She also noted that 75 percent of all murders are crimes of domestic violence—but in most jurisdictions police are reluctant to involve juvenile offenders in the court system.

As a former policeman, Hyman understood firsthand the challenges officers face—and how, with the right system in place, they could play a key role in intervening early on. Instead of treating offenses as private matters, the program requires that every juvenile held accountable in a domestic violence report is arrested, detained, and placed in a probation caseload handled by specially trained attorneys.

The court also works with victim services to aid the injured party with free group support and shelter, free legal assistance with custody, paternity determinations, restraining orders, and visitation. The court enforces such stipulations as a 26-week-batterer intervention program, drug and alcohol testing, and mandatory educational, employment, or vocational training.

In presenting the award, the U.N. praised Hyman for being “an inspiration and encouragement for others working for the public service.” Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren J.D. ’75 noted in the Congressional Record, “This unique system is one that can easily be implemented across the country because all that is required is a knowledge of the program and a commitment to follow-through.”

The program has been adopted in several jurisdictions, including Kings County and San Francisco County. In 2001, the program was recognized by Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in its Innovations in American Government Awards competition.

Hyman was honored previously with the SCU School of Law Alumni Special Achievement Award and by the Legal Advocates for Children and Youth for improving legal representation for minors. He has also spoken about juvenile delinquency and domestic violence on the television programs Nightline, Good Morning America, and The Montel Williams Show.


Montgomery’s magnificent flying machines

Marking the achievements of a Santa Clara aviation pioneer

The man and his wing: Montgomery, center, with the glider Santa Clara
SCU Archives
Twenty years before the Wright brothers got airborne, 25-year-old John Joseph Montgomery flew a homemade glider more than 600 feet across San Diego’s Otay Mesa. With that 1883 flight, Montgomery achieved the first controlled flight of a heavier-than-air craft in the Western hemisphere.

To commemorate the 125th anniversary of that flight, earlier this year the City of San Jose unveiled a new sculpture honoring Montgomery. Soaring Flight, located at San Felipe and Yerba Buena roads, is a 30-foot-tall steel wing. The sculpture lies a stone’s throw from Montgomery Hill in San Jose’s Evergreen District, where Montgomery conducted many later flights.

The legendary loops

Montgomery’s early glider design was groundbreaking: The control surfaces were at the back of the aircraft, which anticipated modern aircraft design. Montgomery then spent years studying the relationship between the wing surface and the air, publishing papers and using a spinning table and a water tunnel to test his theories.

Montgomery briefly attended Santa Clara as a student and returned to teach mathematics and conduct research. A decade of research reinforced his conclusion that a parabolic design was most efficient for a wing.

He built a series of gliders that culminated in the Santa Clara, whose flight would become the stuff of legend. On an April morning in 1905, onlookers assembled to witness a hot-air balloon lift daredevil pilot Daniel J. Maloney, seated astride the glider, 4,000 feet into the air. Maloney cut himself loose and navigated the craft through a series of turns and horizontal figure eights, bringing the airplane back to Earth some 20 minutes later.

Learning of the flight, and the design that made it possible, inventor Alexander Graham Bell remarked, “All subsequent attempts in aviation must begin with the Montgomery machine.”

Soaring flight: Engineer Bill Adams stands before the new tribute to Montgomery by artist and SF MOMA exhibition design manager Kent Roberts.
Photo: Charles Barry

That sentiment is echoed decades later by Bill Adams ’37, an engineer and longtime booster of Montgomery’s legacy. “Montgomery sparked the beginning of the aeronautics industry in America,” Adams says.

He speaks with an engineer’s appreciation for the elegance of Montgomery’s design and the implementation of wing warping, a predecessor of ailerons. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that Adams has dedicated considerable effort to persuade the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to establish a John J. Montgomery medal, to honor ongoing advances in aviation design.

Tragically, the pilot Maloney was killed in a flying accident a few months after that April 1905 flight. Montgomery flew for another six years before he too was killed in a flying accident in 1911, after 55 successful flights with his last glider, the Evergreen.

The following year, Santa Clara founded its School of Engineering and named the first engineering building for Montgomery. A granite obelisk honoring his achievements was erected in the gardens just south of Varsi Hall—not far from where the famed flight took off in 1905. And Hollywood gave the world its version of Montgomery’s achievements in 1946 in the film Gallant Journey starring Glenn Ford and Janet Blair. In 2002, Montgomery was inducted into the National Soaring Museum Hall of Fame.


Let a thousand flowers bloom

An 80-year family tradition of gardening at SCU
John Vieira
John Vieira and his handiwork
Photo: Charles Barry

John Vieira touches a flower with the reverence of a priest handling a prayer book. After 18 years of tending the flora throughout Santa Clara University’s lush, 106-acre Mission campus, he is still awed by the beauty that surrounds him.

“This one is called Black Magic,” he says, brushing the petals of a dark burgundy rose with his fingertips. “It’s new, one of my favorites.” But, he admits choosing favorites isn’t easy when working among hundreds of different flowers.

Vieira, 66, has a family history of gardening at SCU. Between his father, John Sr., and two brothers, Manuel and Alvino, the Vieiras have spent more than 80 years caring for the grounds of the University. A longtime Santa Clara resident, John was the only one in his immediate family still working at SCU, and he says he’s probably the last of the line. He retired on June 20.

“I have two sons, an engineer and a journalist, so there’s not much chance they’ll follow in my footsteps,” he says.

Every day, Vieira’s footsteps led him along pathways lined with some of nature’s most magnificent offerings: showy hibiscus, deep purple princess flowers, fragrant angels’ trumpets, majestic canna lilies—and, of course, the roses. There are more than 1,000 rose trees and bushes on the campus, and he’s on intimate terms with all of them.

He’ll happily point out different varieties of roses, explaining how and when they should be pruned and detailing their special features. “Rio Samba is another of our new roses,” he says, cradling a tiny bud. “These blossoms change color as they open up; they go from yellow to pink in stages.”

A native of the Portuguese island of Madeira, Vieira says he enjoyed working outdoors, immersed in the University’s diverse plant kingdom. In addition to its abundance of flowers, including begonias, hydrangeas, lantana, day lilies, and geraniums, the campus is also home to many types of trees. “We have orange, lemon, grapefruit, avocado, even a banana tree,” Vieira says. “The squirrels love the chestnut trees, and when the big, sweet acacia blooms, it’s really a beautiful thing to see.”

Just like in any home garden, Vieira says, there is always something to do. “We dig up the impatiens and other summer flowers each year and plant the winter flowers—primroses and pansies mostly—so we always have something colorful blooming in between the plants and in the beds.”

SCU employs 13 gardeners, and each is responsible for his own area of the campus, according to Chris Young, assistant director of building and grounds. Vieira’s territory was bounded by Kenna Hall and the de Saisset Museum, which is adjacent to a memorial herb garden that was under his care.

But Vieira’s knowledge of the grounds extends far beyond his work area. When he first moved to Santa Clara 40 years ago, he lived in a house located on what is now a parking lot near the campus entrance. The house came down when SCU bought the property, and Vieira moved just a few blocks away. “Santa Clara University has always been very close to me,” he says. “I know this place very well and it is so beautiful, I never get tired of being here.”


post-image New prez on campus: Michael Engh, S.J. Photo: Charles Barry
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.