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A New Home for the Jesuits
Jesuits have always been at the heart of Santa Clara University, as priests, teachers, scholars, and leaders. They, together with their lay colleagues, play an integral role in the Catholic, Jesuit philosophy of “educating the whole person.”
University is home to a vibrant Jesuit community. But a new vision of what that home should be has emerged. As part of The Campaign for Santa Clara, the University is planning a new $12.9 million residence for the Jesuits who serve it. In addition to serving current residents, the new structure is designed to help recruit new Jesuits to the University community. Nobili Hall has been the center of Jesuit life on campus since 1976, and its dorm-like setting has few public meeting areas.
A large community
Santa Clara has approximately 40 members in its Jesuit Community—one of the largest active communities among the 28 Jesuit universities in the U.S.
“These Jesuits are effective and pastoral as priests and teaching scholars with a desire to advance Jesuit education,” says University President Paul Locatelli, S.J. “We need to make sure that these Jesuits find in their residence a place where they will be able to have both a good community life and be available for friends, family, students, and colleagues to share conversation, food, and prayer.”
The new facility is scheduled to open by the summer of 2006 on what is now a parking lot on the corner of Franklin and Alviso streets, just north of campus. For Jesuits, the difference between their current residence and the new facility will be striking, like relocating from a large hotel to an inviting home.
“The design of the new building preserves the mission architectural style,” Locatelli adds. “But it also looks to the future in terms of how this building can be a residence connected to the academic and pastoral mission of the University.”
A living tradition
The residence complex will be a blend of the new and the old, with the new 32,000 square foot building built adjacent to an existing house that will be moved from its current location at 644 Franklin St. That structure will provide housing for seven Jesuits.
The new facility will have 24 individual living units, clustered in three groups of eight, each around a small living room designed for reading and conversation and to foster a greater sense of community. Half of the new residence will be devoted to public and semi-public spaces, including a dining room, recreational room, chapel, meeting space, and conference and guestrooms. Also included will be administrative offices, courtyard gardens, and underground parking.
The chapel will accommodate 70 people, and will be located next to a 6,000-square foot-outdoor courtyard. The courtyard will mirror many of the campus gardens, with a water fountain, bench seating, and tables for guests and residents.
“It will promote our mission to share our Jesuit legacy and Ignatian spirit with the University community, especially for our lay colleagues, by providing more congenial gathering spaces for liturgy, worship, meals, and conversation,” says Jesuit Community Rector Gerdenio “Sonny” Manuel, S.J. “The new community will also help us live in better and closer contact with one another, which I believe will promote our own sense of well being and morale. I believe the building has been very creatively designed, and while blending with the existing campus architecture, it will also reflect the unique hospitality of our Jesuit Community.”
Locatelli says that SCU alumni have responded positively to the plans for the new Jesuit residence. “People believe in the importance of the Jesuit presence as well as the Jesuit educational mission of Santa Clara University,” he says.
Lead gifts for the project have come from alumni and friends of the University including Louis Castruccio ’60 and his wife, Jane. Castruccio, a member of SCU’s Board of Trustees, says, “In my case, the Jesuits have made and continue to make footprints across my soul, which deepen with the passing years.
“Jane and I believe it axiomatic that encouraging the largest number of Jesuits at Santa Clara will strengthen the school’s Jesuit character,” adds Castruccio, a Los Angeles attorney. “This is a very good thing for the long haul.”
Another alumnus who has donated to the project is Peggy Bradshaw ’72 and her husband, Richard. Bradshaw is national director of small business banking for Comerica Bank in San Jose, and is chair of the University’s Board of Regents. She has worked with Gary Filizetti ’67 and his wife, Julie, also donors to the project, to encourage other regents to take an active role in the fund raising for the project. More than $6 million still needs to be raised to fund the project.
“There is a lot of energy on the board about the quality of life and maintaining of the Jesuit tradition at Santa Clara University,” Bradshaw says. “It is the Jesuit tradition that really makes Santa Clara a special place.”