Santa Clara University


SCU Alumni Association

Your house

Renovating the Donohoe Alumni House to be better than ever

In the spring edition of this magazine, I wrote that for many of you, coming back to Santa Clara feels “a little bit like coming home.” And as I encourage you all to come back often, I want to remind you: You have a home within a home!

That’s right … the Donohoe Alumni House has served as your home on the Mission campus for 35 years. Not sure where the Donohoe Alumni House is located? We’re right in the heart of campus—next door to St. Joseph’s Hall, across from Kenna Hall, and kitty-corner to the Benson Center.

A short history
Donohoe Dedication: President Zacheus J. Maher, S.J., Catherine Donohoe, and Archbishop Edward J. Hanna
Donohoe was built thanks to a donation from Catherine Donohoe, in memory of her parents Rose and James, who were also parents to Fred Donohoe, class of 1881, and generous benefactors to the University. Constructed in 1924, the building was originally used as an infirmary with private rooms, the apothecary’s shop, an operating room, a chapel, and offices for the visiting physician. For more than 50 years, the Donohoe infirmary provided a place to care for injured, sick, and ailing Broncos. Infirmary stories from that time are legion; most include some reference to the legendary Dr. Edward Amaral ’20.

The Alumni Association first opened offices on campus in 1910. We’ve moved a few times over the decades: from St. Joseph’s Hall to the basement of Walsh Administration Building, then to the basement of the Benson Center and, later, to the second floor of Benson. In 1963 we moved to Varsi Hall, where our offices were located until 1975. With the completion of Cowell Health Center, the Donohoe space was remodeled, largely with donations from alumni. In 1975, the Alumni Association moved to the first floor of the new Donohoe Alumni House. The kitchen, conference room, and second floor were completed in 1978. Until recently, the upstairs served as offices for SCU’s Office of Marketing and Communications.

Making history
Est. 1924: The Donohoe Alumni House
In June, the University will begin extensive renovations to the Donohoe Alumni House, with the goal of creating a dedicated Alumni Center. Come January 2011, we look forward to offering you a fully operational Alumni House that will include a spacious welcome area, workstations for visiting alumni and guests, a large board room for gatherings and events, and other conference spaces for smaller meetings.

The building will be reinforced for earthquake safety and will include a working elevator and ample handicap access. For special occasions, we will continue to have access to the Mission Gardens as well as the Alumni Gardens area behind the building—a special project of William J. Rewak, S.J., who served as president of the University from 1976 to 1988.

I am extremely grateful to the University for investing in our alumni facilities. Now you have one more reason to come back to campus—to a place you can truly call home. Your new Alumni Center will also continue to reinforce the importance and connection of our Santa Clara Family to our current and prospective students (i.e., future alumni).

What does this mean for you?

• We’re moving (temporarily) this fall. From July through December, the Alumni Association offices will temporarily be relocated to Commerce Plaza. (This is the old Bank of America building on the corner of Lafayette and Benton streets, next to Togo’s.) While our staff will be fully functional during this time, we won’t have access to all the information and storage normally available. So I ask for your patience during the next six months, as we try to serve you well while presenting Vintage Santa Clara, the Legacy BBQ, Grand Reunion Weekend, and almost 60 events and programs from makeshift headquarters.

• This is your Alumni House. Most important, we want to ensure the Donohoe Alumni House is a source of pride and a place of welcome for you on campus. After January 2011, we look forward to welcoming you back, inviting you in, and making you feel at home.

Go Broncos!

Kathryn Kale '86 Executive Director Alumni Association

Kathryn Kale '86
Executive Director
Alumni Association