Santa Clara University

Santa Clara Magazine

SCU Alumni Association

Carrying the Torch for 127 Years and Counting

Santa Clara University’s Alumni Association is more than just a random collection of individuals, all of whom happened to have attended SCU. The Association embodies the cumulative values, ideals, and principles taught at Santa Clara and embraced by its diverse alumni population. The Association strengthens the bonds between and among alumni and their alma mater, and it helps the University to achieve its key goals and to distinguish Santa Clara from other academic institutions of higher learning.

But we know we can’t rest on past achievements alone. Last year, the Association Board of Directors, along with the Alumni Office staff, set out to develop a strategic plan for the Association’s future. The process was extensive, incorporating data from surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews. We also evaluated other institutions’ strategic plans so that we could benchmark our finished product against that of other schools. In the end, we formulated a mission statement that captures the essence of SCU’s alumni association. We also marked out six primary goals for the Association:

  1. Enhance alumni engagement;
  2. Preserve Santa Clara’s history and traditions;
  3. Expand the Association’s student outreach;
  4. Improve the Association’s marketing and communications;
  5. Develop strategic partnerships with internal and external constituencies; and
  6. Create and maintain a strong support structure for the Alumni Association.

With these goals in mind, the Alumni Association’s National Board of Directors developed an operational plan for this year. From seeking to increase awareness of our Association’s anniversary dinner to promoting our InCircle online networking tool, to the creation of a career networking night for seniors, our board has played an active role in putting the strategic plan into action.

Get Engaged

But the board is just one small part of the Association. In fact, all alumni are able to help; it’s each of you who can make a real difference when it comes to enhancing alumni engagement. For so many of us, SCU alumni and the Alumni Association were instrumental in positively shaping our student experience at Santa Clara. From new student receptions to the Legacy Family BBQ, from the Alumni Family Scholarship to career networking events, alumni gave generously of their time, talent, and treasure to ensure that we would have an experience at least as rich and fulfilling as their own. As alumni, it is now our turn to ensure that current and future students have opportunities and experiences that equal or exceed ours. It’s one small part of the Jesuit mission of serving others.

As for my own experience with the Alumni Association, serving the National Board of Directors for the past four years and, most recently, as its president, has been tremendously rewarding. It has been a privilege to be a part of the Association’s celebrated tradition and a wonderful challenge to help build the infrastructure for its promising future.

Thank you for affording me the opportunity to serve the Association and Santa Clara University. I have been and will continue to be most grateful for all of it. For today is a great day to be a Bronco!

Stephen A. O'Brien

Stephen A. O’Brien ’98
National Alumni Association
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