Welcome to the Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Student Activity Center
More than two dozen buildings have been erected on the Mission Campus since 1970, but it’s been 40 years since a new building was dedicated specifically for student use. Which makes the Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Student Activity Center a welcome addition to Santa Clara. Completed this summer, the building was dedicated on October 10 as part of the Grand Reunion Weekend.
|Grand Opening: At the entrance of the new center are, left to right, Virginia Matthews, Sean Stevens, David Matthews, Samantha Stevens, Richard Matthews, Mary Matthews-Stevens ’84, Mark Stevens, Scott Stevens, and Lisa English.
Photo: Charles Barry
In a ceremony marked by applause and cheers, smiles and tears, some 350 folks—students and parents, alumni and faculty, donors and friends and staff—gathered to celebrate the building and honor its namesake, former President (1988—2008) and Chancellor of Santa Clara. Members of the Locatelli family were on hand for a joyful tribute to a man whose boundless energy and generous spirit inspired thousands of Santa Clara students. Onstage were Mary Matthews-Stevens ’84 and husband Mark Stevens, whose $7 million gift made the building possible; their three children assisted SCU President Michael Engh, S.J., in blessing the ground floor with holy water.
Matthews-Stevens, a member of SCU’s Board of Fellows, thanked her parents for the sacrifices they made in sending her to Santa Clara. She also noted that she and Mark, a partner in venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and member of SCU’s Board of Trustees Finance Committee, insisted from the outset that the building be named for Fr. Locatelli.
Observing the fact that the dedication took place on the date of 10/10/10, Matthews-Stevens enthused, “My experience at Santa Clara was a 10. This student building is a 10. And, most significant, Fr. Locatelli was a ten.” Then she corrected herself. “He was a ten-plus.”
A portrait of Fr. Locatelli based on a photograph by longtime SCU photographer Charles Barry was unveiled on the wall near the entrance. Nearby hangs a portrait of the Matthews-Stevens family as well. In the light that streams through the windows—and the very warp and woof of the place—are intimations of the extraordinary kept alive.