Santa Clara University


SCU Alumni Association


Alumni giving participation is down eight years running. But you can change that.

benchmark_150Fellow Broncos, I’ll put it plainly: SCU needs your help. Notice the benchmark chart depicting alumni giving participation at some of our peer institutions. The numbers reflect the percentage of undergraduate alumni who make a financial gift of any size to their alma mater each year. As I’m sure you are well aware, the contributions of alumni are critical to the success, sustainability, and prominence of all universities. Note, if you will, Santa Clara’s position at the very bottom of the list.

At the top there’s Holy Cross, a Jesuit institution much like our own. Can you think of any good reason why the Crusaders from Worcester, Mass., have more than three times the level of alumni giving participation as your own beloved alma mater? Georgetown and Boston College also put us to shame. Even Gonzaga, our West Coast Conference rival, comes out ahead of us.

the_trend_300Note also the chart that documents the direction of alumni giving at Santa Clara during the past seven years. There was a time, not so long ago, when SCU alumni stepped up in far greater numbers than today. That participation fueled the astounding growth and improvements visible to everyone who sets foot on our campus, engages with our community, or reads about the increased recognitions and accomplishments of the University.

As you’ve flipped through this magazine, you’ve no doubt been reminded of your own experience as a student—an experience that was supported in part by the generosity of those who preceded you. Some of you made it through to graduation only with comprehensive financial assistance. But did you know that even a student paying full tuition at Santa Clara is covering only 75 percent of the actual cost of his or her education? Alumni donations are crucial in bridging this gap.

Today, the global financial crisis has affected many of our students and their families. These students are worthy and desiring of the same Santa Clara education that we were able to receive. But to keep those dreams alive, their need for support is even greater.

Any contribution you make will help. The bottom line is that alumni gifts great and small sustain Santa Clara University. Collectively, thousands of individual gifts enable us to provide muchneeded scholarships, services, programs, and facilities.

You may think you’re not well-heeled enough to make a difference. You’ve seen the buildings on campus named after this or that donor, and you think, “I can’t give enough to have even a water fountain named after me.” But consider: If every Santa Clara grad contributed a mere $25, more than $1 million would be raised to benefit today’s students. Last year, gifts of $500 or less totaled more than $2 million.

Even a modest donation can give a valuable boost to Santa Clara’s national standing. Because alumni giving participation rate is regarded as one of the ways to measure alumni satisfaction with their alma mater, many foundations consider alumni giving participation when awarding grants for research and student programs. Will Boston College or (perish the thought) Gonzaga receive additional funding because we at Santa Clara failed to rally enough alumni support?

SCU needs our help. Many of us have let this go for too long. Please support SCU with a donation at Even $25 will be gratefully received. Dig a bit deeper, and maybe we’ll have a talk about that water fountain.

horan_115Go Broncos,

Catherine Horan-Walker ’69
National President of the SCU Alumni Association for 2009–10