Santa Clara University

The Santa Clara Family: Celebrating 125 years

Joseph M. Goethals '99, J.D. '05
Joseph M. Goethals '99, J.D. '05 Photo: Charles Barry
What makes this year so special?

On April 27, 1881, a group of alumni gathered on campus to give something back to Santa Clara for “her maternal care and substantial benefits.” Our alumni association was born. Now, 125 years later, we celebrate the gifts we have received, the bonds of fellowship we have forged, and the gifts we have bestowed on Santa Clara in our gratitude.

During these years we have come together to rekindle friendships, and to share heartwarming memories of the history that we keep alive through the stories we tell.

My Santa Clara story

My story is like many others I have heard from the Santa Clara family. My grandfather lived in O’Connor Hall as a student, although he wasn’t able to graduate because he joined the Marines during World War II. His fallen classmates are commemorated in the foyer of the Mission Church. My grandfather went on to raise eight children, six of whom attended Santa Clara. Five of his grandchildren have become Broncos, as well—with many more on the way.

My parents met at Santa Clara and were married in 1972, the summer after they graduated. Three years later, my father graduated from Santa Clara’s School of Law. And last year, exactly 30 years after my father, I, too, earned my law degree from Santa Clara.

My years as an undergraduate, as a resident minister, as an active alumnus, and as a law student, have given so many wonderful memories. Like my father, I met my wife here. Sharon (Frazier) ’01, M.A. ’03, and I each have two degrees from SCU and we stay connected to the University through the Alumni Association.

All of us who have spent time on campus and walked through Santa Clara’s classrooms and gardens are part of a larger family. I have been privileged to be a member of that family, to share in many dinners and events, awards, and community service projects with Alumni for Others; and for the past year I have been privileged to serve as president of the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors.

A vision of the Alumni Association

For 125 years we have gathered to share our gifts, to tell our stories, and to be symbols of our Ignatian values within our communities. Building community is our gift—as great citizens, men and women of faith, and men and women for others.

Very truly yours,
Joseph M. Goethals ’99, J.D. ’05

Constitution of the Society of Alumni of Santa Clara College


Whereas the affection of students towards the Institution where their early years have been spent and the imprint of whose training upon their life is indelible, whose generous honors they have borne away, and the object of whose tender solicitude they always remain, is most natural and becoming; and

Whereas it is fitting that occasion should be taken to renew the bonds of fellowship which time and separation are naturally loosening;

Therefore, be it resolved, that we, the alumni of Santa Clara College, to evince our love for our College, and to renew our friendships with each other, do organize ourselves into a Society for such purposes,

Article III

The object of this Society shall be to strengthen and perpetuate College friendships, to preserve in her sons a warm regard for the favors of the college, and a lively memory of her maternal care and substantial benefits; to spread abroad a knowledge of the great opportunities to be found within her walls for study, the acquisition of science, and the cultivation of virtue; and to enjoy, at stated times, social reunions at the College.

—April 27, 1881