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A bit like coming home
Talk about a grand reunion
From Oct. 15 to 18, the University welcomed back more than 2,000 Broncos, friends, and family to the Mission campus for a very successful 2009 Homecoming and Grand Reunion Weekend. For four full days, alumni attended class parties, academic programs, a 5K Bronco run, the homecoming picnic, dorm tours, a golf tournament, networking opportunities, and more. As I participated in and witnessed all the joy, celebration, excitement, and enthusiasm this kind of weekend brings, I found myself singing a few lines by New Jersey rocker Jon Bon Jovi:
It doesn’t matter where you are,
You can, and you did! The big weekend kicked off with the President’s Speaker Series, featuring Janet Napolitano ’79, current secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In her opening remarks, Napolitano stated, “It’s an honor to be back at Santa Clara, where I enjoyed my time as a student, where I have visited as an alumna and now as a guest speaker—all in different stages of my life. It always feels a little bit like coming home.” While Secretary Napolitano was here, rumor has it that she veered off her Secret Service–approved itinerary so she could visit the Mission Church!
Over the rest of the Homecoming and Grand Reunion Weekend, countless alumni told me how great it was to be home and how wonderful it felt—physically, emotionally, spiritually—to be back on the campus. As Laura Townsend ’74 said at her 35th Reunion Class Party, “There is something about Santa Clara that you just have to be here to understand.”
Many colleges hold special meaning for their alumni—but I do think there is something unique about Santa Clara. Our institution is host to many wonderful and meaningful buildings on our beautiful campus, including the Mission Church, Swig Hall, the Benson Center, the Louis B. Mayer Theatre, and the new Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Technology Center, and Orradre Library. But it is Santa Clara University collectively that is considered home to so many who lived and studied within her walls. The residence halls, the classrooms, the classmates, the teachers, the roses, the wisteria, the memories, the experiences, the pride, the affection, the connection—all serve to make our University a place where our alumni feel peaceful, welcome, energized, and nourished.
The American poet Margaret Elizabeth Sangster once said, “There is nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” With that in mind, I encourage you—no matter how near or far you live—to visit SCU some time soon. Come back for your reunion, attend a theater production, a basketball game, Mass, a career fair, visit a current coed, or encourage a prospective Bronco. The students may look younger, the faculty older, and the buildings different—but once you set foot on the grounds, you will certainly be inspired as you remember, reconnect, and renew your relationship with a place “you just have to be here to understand.”
Who says you can’t go home?