Santa Clara University

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Mission Matters

End of an era: President Paul Locatelli, S.J., to step down

He will take on expanded role as Jesuit secretary of higher education
Paul Locatelli, S.J.
Tapped for a more global role:
Locatelli breaks the news.
Photo: Charles Barry

On March 14, Paul Locatelli, S.J., announced that he will be stepping down as president of Santa Clara University. He will be taking on additional responsibilities with the Society of Jesus, in Rome, under the leadership of newly elected Jesuit Superior General Adolfo Nicolás, S.J.

Tasked with promoting cooperation among Jesuit higher education institutions and research centers around the globe, Locatelli will also oversee the Intellectual Apostolate of the order—in other words, the intellectual work of Jesuits worldwide. His expanded role will require him to spend more time in Rome and traveling internationally. The University’s Board of Trustees has begun a search for his replacement.

Locatelli has been serving in a part-time capacity as Secretary for Jesuit Higher Education since December 2006. He will stay on as president at Santa Clara until a successor is named during the 2008-09 academic year.

A transformative era
Locatelli, 69, became president of Santa Clara University in 1988 and is the longest-serving president in University history. His departure from the presidency follows a tremendously prosperous 20-year tenure during which the University evolved into one of the preeminent Jesuit, Catholic universities in the country.

“This is truly the end of an era—and one that we recognize as extraordinarily successful,” said Mike Markkula, chair of the Board of Trustees.

Locatelli connected the University with society at large to an unprecedented degree in terms of a global outlook, collaborating with the entrepreneurs and businesses that have so profoundly shaped Silicon Valley, and meeting a broader social obligation in the Bay Area and internationally. During his four terms as president, Locatelli worked tirelessly in collaboration with the University’s alumni, parents, friends, staff, and faculty with extraordinary results: SCU’s endowment grew tenfold, from $77 million in 1988 to approximately $700 million last summer. Facility expansion resulted in the construction of new residence halls; the learning commons, technology center, and library (see story below); the arts and sciences building; the music and dance building; the business school; the baseball stadium; and the athletic center.

To bolster scholarship and research, Locatelli oversaw the founding of a score of endowed chairs. Above all, he tried to foster the growth of an increasingly diverse student body and faculty; it was, he said, paramount to fulfilling the central mission of the University: the education of students.

A leading voice
John P. McGarry, S.J., Provincial of the California Province of the Society of Jesus, said it was the leadership Locatelli had shown at Santa Clara that led the Superior General to appoint Locatelli as Secretary for Higher Education.

Charles Currie, S.J., president of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, underscored that Locatelli has emerged as a leading voice in higher education, and that he had “led Santa Clara University to become an excellent holistic example of a Jesuit university: strong academics, a commitment to justice, pedagogy of engagement, and solidarity.”


Read Fr. Locatelli’s letter to the Santa Clara community and more.

Present as prologue

April 8 may have marked the last State of the University address that President Paul Locatelli, S.J., will deliver, but he devoted much of his speech to what is yet to come. “We, as a campus community, are at the beginning of a new aggiornamento,” he said, “literally, ‘bringing up to date’—of Jesuit education at Santa Clara.”

Over the next year or so, the University will be engaged in a strategic planning process, developing initiatives that enhance academic excellence: a pedagogy of engagement; partnering with the Silicon Valley; and increasing global education opportunities to better prepare students for the 21st century.

A new school of theology and a partnership with NASA
With the Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Technology Center, and Orradre Library open for just over a week, Locatelli shared the news that the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley has jointly signed a letter of intent to become a school of Santa Clara. “There is no other comparable theological center of learning and research in the western United States,” Locatelli said. “This acquisition will rank Santa Clara among the best centers of Catholic theology in the United States, along with Notre Dame and Boston College.”

Locatelli also shared that Santa Clara has been invited to be part of a research and education consortium at NASA Ames Research Center, along with UC Santa Cruz, Carnegie Mellon University, and Foothill and DeAnza colleges. Santa Clara  students and scholars have already been involved with a number of projects at NASA Ames, including the launch and control of satellites.

How we got here
When Locatelli took the helm as president, the Alameda still ran through campus. The two decades since, he noted, saw tremendous accomplishments in new majors and programs added; creation of dozens of endowed faculty chairs; a tripling in the number of students applying for admission; remarkable academic improvement; and expansion of facilities that have transformed the campus—from the Music and Dance Facility and the Arts and Sciences building to the Commons on Kennedy Mall and Schott Stadium, with a new building for the Leavey School of Business slated to open in the fall.

Locatelli also shared some reflections on his time in Rome this spring at the Jesuit general congregation, where he said it became clear that the time required for his work as Secretary of Jesuit Higher Education would need to increase tremendously under the new Superior General Adolfo Nicolás, S.J.

Some days before his speech, Locatelli was interviewed by The Santa Clara, the student newspaper. He said he was asked if he had any regrets. “Could I have done some things better?” he said. “I would be a fool to think I did everything perfectly right, but I have no regrets.” He concluded the State of the University by sharing another question from the student reporters: What was he most proud of in his tenure? Was there a building or an accolade he could cite? The endowment? “This community,” he said, “the people who are here.” His voice choked with emotion. “That’s what’s important.”

And Locatelli left the stage to a standing ovation.


Read the speech in its entirety

Amazing! Incredible! New Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Technology Center, and Orradre Library

Hundreds gathered for the occasion on March 14: the christening of a landmark structure whose copper roofs beckoned a future that was arriving now. It was no secret that this place—the Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Technology Center, and Orradre Library—was built to be the intellectual hub of the Mission campus.

From its architecture to its furnishings, from the rare books and archives to snazzy wall-sized LCD screens, the new facility blends the traditional with the futuristic, allowing for conventional, solitary scholarly experiences while encouraging collaborative learning.

What was a secret, though, was the name—which was literally kept under wraps until the dedication ceremony itself.

March 31 and open for business
March 31 and open for business
Photo: Charles Barry

The 194,000-square-foot secret
Construction on the $95-million facility began in summer 2006, near the end of a five-year fundraising campaign, “The Campaign for Santa Clara,” which brought in $400 million for endowed fellowships, scholarships, and capital projects. The building was made possible thanks to dozens of donors, including Silicon Valley real estate developer John A. Sobrato ’60 and his family, who donated $20 million toward the technology center.

Philanthropist Lorry I. Lokey, founder of Business Wire Inc. and a member of the SCU Board of Trustees, donated $25 million toward the Learning Commons. It was his longtime and dear friend Joanne Harrington, a member of SCU’s Board of Fellows, who introduced him to Santa Clara some years back. He had a special surprise in store for Harrington in March: Her name was one of those on the new building.

The emotions of the moment had Lokey choking back tears. The folks in attendance were thrilled; they clapped, they cheered. Not only was this the coolest building on campus, it had a love story behind it.

“I can’t wait to study here!”
student in new library
  Photo: Charles Barry
  By the numbers

  1 café

  2 open terraces on the third floor
  34 group study rooms
  90 percent of the interior illuminated at
  least in part by natural light
  1,050 reader seats
  194,000 square feet of space
  250,000 books in open stacks with
  capacity for 1.1 million volumes
The new building opened its doors to the public on March 31. President Paul Locatelli, S.J., and Provost Lucia Gilbert were joined by Congressman Mike Honda (D-Santa Clara) for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Honda helped secure roughly $1.5 million in federal funding for the project.

Once the doors were open, students were abuzz with enthusiasm. They thrilled at the technology on display—dozens of Dell PCs and Macs, the hottest machines on campus. They roamed the corridors giddy at the prospect that the collaborative rooms with LCD screens were now theirs to use for developing presentations and class projects. They stood on the outdoor terraces and in the stately St. Clare Room—but then they kept moving. So much to see!

In the study rooms, they scrawled enthusiastic cheers on the floor-to-ceiling white boards (Amazing! Incredible! Woo-hoo!) and they said, “I can’t wait to study here!” They said, “I’m coming here every day, even when I don’t have homework!”

Locatelli observed that this “extraordinary building at the frontier…is a tribute to the tradition of Jesuit education and a world-class resource.”

Plus, you can take food inside. And, since fostering collaboration is part of the plan, you can even talk without being told to hush.

—DA, KCS, and SBS

High marks for business and law

Santa Clara earns high marks in graduate programs in business and law in U.S. News & World Report magazine’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools 2009” rankings, released in April.

Benchmarks and deliverables: MBA students at work
Benchmarks and deliverables: MBA students at work
Photo: Charles Barry

Getting down to business
The part-time MBA program at SCU’s Leavey School of Business is ranked No. 13 among part-time MBA programs in the country, according to the magazine. The program has steadily moved up the rankings over the past three years, from No. 15 in 2006; the program has been listed in the top 20 every year since part-time rankings began in 1995.

The Evening MBA program was begun in 1959 and the graduate business program expanded in 1999 to include the Executive MBA program—which was ranked No. 19 in the nation this year. The school also now offers an M.S. in Information Systems, and last fall launched a Weekend Accelerated MBA program.

Big leap for law
Santa Clara University School of Law was once again named one of the top 100 law schools in the country, jumping to No. 77 nationally. The annual graduate school ranking also recognized the law school as having one of the most diverse student populations nationally.

The intellectual property law program was given particularly high marks from U.S. News: No. 4 in the country. Eric Goldman, assistant professor and academic director of SCU’s High Tech Law Institute, noted that “our strong faculty, staff and student communities, our deep curricular offerings, and our location in the heart of the Silicon Valley combine to make Santa Clara law school a very special place to study IP and high tech law.” Other California law schools recognized for their strong IP programs are UC Berkeley and Stanford University.

In addition to its juris doctor program, the Santa Clara School of Law offers specialty certificates in high tech law, international law, and public interest law, as well as master’s degrees in intellectual property and international law. The University also offers a joint J.D./MBA degree.

—DP and KCS

Berry good business plan

International Business University Competition
Photo: Courtesy John Toppel

It was a Thursday night in November in Los Angeles. Four SCU undergrad business students were there because they had a job to do: develop a business plan for Dole Foods on how to harvest, process, market, and distribute açai berries in juice blends. (For those not tuned in to the buzz on berries: Açai—pronounced ah-SIGH-ee—are lauded as an Amazonian superfruit, packing twice the antioxidant wallop of blueberries; look for them in a smoothie near you.) And by the way, the presentation was due Saturday morning.

It was all in the spirit of competition—in this case, the second annual International Business University Competition, sponsored by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and hosted at Loyola Marymount University. Seniors John Burke, Patrick Flanagan, Scott Kirk, and junior Rob Harding represented SCU, with Professor of Management John Toppel serving as faculty mentor. They faced off against a field of five other universities, including teams from the University of Southern California, Villanova, and the University of South Carolina. Top execs from FedEx, Toyota, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and others were on hand to answer questions.

After 48 sleepless hours of prep, the SCU team presented their plan, which reached from rain forest to supermarket shelf. They came away with second place, $3,000 in prize money, and a new appreciation for how to apply what they’ve learned in class. Plus, no doubt, a new affection for those purple berries.

—DP and SBS

Flexibility and balance

Helping scholars balance work and family life is good not only for the professoriate but for the University too: It helps attract and keep top talent. Which is why SCU is pleased to be one of six universities named as a recipient of the 2007 Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility. The award brings $200,000 to expand and enhance flexible career paths for faculty.

The competition was open to more than 300 master’s universities, with nearly 60 schools vying for the awards. The winners were announced in January. At SCU, the grant will support training and workshops for faculty and administrators, and it will be used to develop a series of courses educating undergraduates about work-family convergence in a changing society.

After all, noted Don Dodson, senior vice provost at SCU, “Research shows that discussion on work-life issues is effective when it starts early.”


Back to Bereba

Cover shot: Mande Mahamadi
Cover shot: Mande Mahamadi
Photo: David Pace

When photographer David Pace traveled back to Burkina Faso this January, he took with him a copy of the Winter 2007 Santa Clara Magazine to give a copy to one man in particular: Mande Mahamadi, above, who appeared on the cover. “Having a copy of the magazine,” Pace reports, “was a great way to show the villagers in Bereba what I was doing there, and it made them all willing and eager to be photographed.” See Pace’s photo essay online in the SCM archives.


Certified environmental heroes

It’s official: Santa Clara’s 2007 Solar Decathlon Team has been honored as Environmental Heroes by the regional office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA office bestowed its Environmental Achievement Award upon the team at the 10th annual awards ceremony in San Francisco on April 9. The award recognizes those throughout several western states working to protect and preserve the environment. This year 130 organizations or individuals were nominated for the award and 29 recipients were selected.


Now that's Italian!

Gerald McKevitt, S.J.
Gerald McKevitt, S.J.
Photo: Charles Barry
The American Catholic Historical Association has honored historian Gerald McKevitt, S.J., with its annual Howard R. Marraro Prize in Italian History. McKevitt, the Ignacio Ellacuría University Professor of History at SCU, earned the award for his book Brokers of Culture: Italian Jesuits in the American West, 1848-1919. The prize recognizes the leading book of the year on Italian history. “Combining religious history and immigration history,” the judges noted, “the book shows how the missionaries’ Italian cultural background helped shape their efforts at conversion and, more generally, their interactions with others in a rapidly changing multicultural environment.”

Read an article by McKevitt drawing on his research for the book in the Fall 2007 SCM.


A righteous struggle

Living to tell the tale: Bryan Stevenson, right, with client Jesse Morrison, for whom he won a reduced sentence after 19 years on death row
Living to tell the tale: Bryan Stevenson, right, with client Jesse Morrison, for whom he won a reduced sentence after 19 years on death row
Photo: Andy Levin

SCU presents the inaugural Alexander Prize to human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson has argued death penalty cases before the Supreme Court and helped exonerate men wrongly convicted of murder. In return, he’s received both death threats by telephone and a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant for his work with the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Ala. And this March he received the inaugural Katharine and George Alexander Law Prize, presented by the SCU School of Law, honoring a member of the legal community fighting to correct injustice and to promote human and civil rights.

At an award ceremony hosted in San Jose on March 8, Stevenson was honored for his courage, self-sacrifice, and tireless work on behalf of indigent defendants, death-row inmates, and juveniles who have been denied fair and just treatment in the legal system. He and colleagues at EJI have successfully helped overturn or reduce death sentences in more than 60 cases.

With degrees from Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government, Stevenson found his calling as a lawyer while serving an internship with the organization now known as the Southern Center for Human Rights, in Atlanta. Explaining why he has taken on such an arduous and financially unrewarding career, Stevenson told the Christian magazine PRISM, “For me, faith had to be connected to works.”

—JS and SBS

Read more about the Alexander Prize, Bryan Stevenson, and the Equal Justice Initiative.

See it shine

Mission Santa Clara

Mission Santa Clara de Asís has been showing off its architectural details as of late, thanks to some touch-up work on the front facade. Less visible: some repairs near the roofline, to keep the building watertight. Watch for a full repainting of the Mission this summer.
        Mission Santa Clara

Photos: Charles Barry