Santa Clara University

Mission Matters
Locatelli highlights alumnus at convocation

University President Paul Locatelli, S.J., delivered the annual convocation address, “The Catholic University of the 21st Century: Educating for Solidarity,” on September 13 to faculty and on September 19 to the University community.

Father Locatelli highlighted the e-mail he had received from Michael Wiesner ’05, who had contacted him in September while helping Hurricane Katrina victims in Louisiana. The former student wrote of how his Santa Clara experiences helped him:

“About two hours ago, 16 hours on our feet, we saved a one-month-old infant from an unnecessary death in one of the shelters. I was trained in emergency medicine [at Santa Clara].

I’ve toured four different shelters in different corners of this state, and the ones that have it together are the ones backed by solid community volunteers… Though you and I come from different faiths, I wanted to personally let you know that love is saving thousands of lives over here. This love seems to blind people from ethnic and religious divides, and the situation is one of absolute altruism.

The feeling I have here reminds me of a certain time as a student at SCU: waking up at 3:30 a.m. in Graham 401 [when my] EMS pager [went off]. My message to you is that the same kind of people who drop everything to answer the call for help, work, learn and live at Santa Clara. I would not be here now were it not for the education and values I received at SCU…”

The full text of Locatelli’s address is online at

Sustainable building

Construction has started on the new, environmentally friendly Commons on the Kennedy Mall, which is located between Swig and McLaughlin Halls. When it opens in January, the 7,500-square-foot building will include meeting rooms, classrooms, offices, and lecture space. In designing the new Commons, SCU brought together architectural and environmental experts to create a facility that promotes sustainable design and “green” building concepts.

 The building’s green features include rice straw bales used for insulation, wheat straw wall covering

The Commons Building
The Commons Building--under construction on the John F. Kennedy Mall--will open in January, with meeting rooms, classrooms, offices, and lecture space.
(instead of gypsum), a roof made of drought-tolerant plants, sensor-controlled lighting, and other energy and water conservation features. The building also features a solar chimney, which uses sunlight to heat air within a glass chimney. As hot air rises, cool air is drawn into the building through windows and vents. The resulting airflow creates natural ventilation without using any energy.

Next to the building, a solar-powered trellis will provide shade as well as electric power. Students will be able to use the solar power to charge their laptops while under the trellis.

The new building will be a demonstration project, whose features can be incorporated into other campus building projects. “We’re putting in sustainable design initiatives that are being considered for other new buildings to learn first-hand their impact on building performance and function,” said Joe Sugg, SCU’s vice president for University operations.

For more information, visit

The Commons Building—under construction on the John F. Kennedy Mall—will open in January, with meeting rooms, classrooms, offices and lecture space. The complex features a number of environmentally sensitive design features.

SCU still ranked No. 2 by U.S. News

For the 16th year in a row, Santa Clara University was ranked second overall among 124 master’s

U.S. News
universities in the West by U.S. News and World Report. SCU’s average undergraduate graduation rate of 83 percent was the third highest in the nation among the 572 national master’s level universities.

In its annual ranking, “America’s Best Colleges 2006,” the magazine compared similar comprehensive universities that offer a range of undergraduate programs and master’s degrees, but few doctoral programs. The Western region includes universities from Colorado to the West Coast, including Texas.

The magazine also noted that
SCU has

•   the highest average graduation rate in its region

•   the highest average freshman retention rate in the region, at 92 percent, as it did last year

•   the second highest peer assessment score in the region at 4.1 (out of a possible 5.0), up slightly from last year

SCU’s Residential Learning Communities, where students take linked courses as a group, live in the same residence hall, and get to know their professors and one another, were also singled out in a list of academic programs that can contribute to student success.

The rankings include a new listing of undergraduate programs at colleges and universities where the highest degree offered is a bachelor or master’s of science. SCU’s undergraduate School of Engineering ranked 14th.

The “America’s Best Colleges” rankings are available online at

New Ignatian Center merges Bannan and Arrupe

The Bannan Center and the Arrupe Center have combined into a single Center of Distinction known as the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education. The center’s specific task is to keep the Jesuit, Catholic character of Santa Clara at the center of everything the University does.

“The programs and services that we’re offering will be sustained,” says Dennis Moberg, interim executive director. Housed in Sobrato Hall, the new center coordinates five programs:

•   The Bannan Center, which has been renamed the Bannan Institute for Jesuit Educational Mission, and arranges programs and scholarship around its mission;

•   The Arrupe Center, now called the Arrupe Partnerships for Community-Based Learning, which arranges placements of campus members in community organizations;

•   The Kolvenbach Solidarity Program, which gives students and faculty opportunities to work with and learn from the poor and marginalized in the U.S as well as in several Latin American countries;

•   The DISCOVER program, which combines scholarly reflection with the Ignatian traditions of discernment and social engagement to support students as they find a calling, not just a career. Staff members work with the Campus Ministry and the Career Center.

•   The Spirituality and Health Institute, which examines the impact of spiritual and religious ractices on health.

Paid release time for staff to perform community service

Thanks to a pilot project sponsored by the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, SCU staff can receive paid release time to perform service in community organizations. Placements at local agencies (such as Catholic Charities, InnVision, Martha’s Kitchen, Loaves and Fishes, and Estrella Family Services) will feature opportunities to help the homeless, tutor children, provide services to refugees, and serve meals to seniors.

Under the new program, 25 staff members will be paid for up to 40 hours a year to participate in service that takes place during regular work time. The goal of the program is to increase staff community service opportunities on a campus where students, faculty, and staff all perform community service.

“We’re excited about this new undertaking,” said Paul Woolley, associate director of the Ignatian Center. “It achieves several things—it allows staff members to make a contribution to the community, it meets felt needs in the community, and it also connects the Santa Clara campus with the surrounding community.”

The project is also supported by such campus groups as the Bannan Institute, Arrupe Partnerships, Alumni for Others, Action Community Teams, and the Staff Assembly Council.

Father Martin celebrates 70 years as a Jesuit

Norman Martin, S.J.,’37 first came to Santa Clara University as an undergraduate in 1933. He arrived, he says, “without the slightest notion of ever becoming a Jesuit.” But those years at SCU changed him, and he recently marked his 70th year as a Jesuit.

Norman Martin, S.J.
Norman Martin, S.J., has been a Jesuit for 70 years.

Now 91, Martin has been a part of SCU for many of those years. He is a professor emeritus in the Department of History, where he taught for 27 years. Currently, he is assistant to the vice president for university relations, where he keeps in touch with major benefactors. He also spent many years studying and doing research overseas, in places such as Argentina, Mexico, Spain and Italy. He lives in Nobili Hall, where he previously lived as a student.

“There’s so much to be thankful for: the people that I’ve met, the places that I’ve lived,” he says.

Several people have made gifts to the Commons and Library to commemorate Father Martin and his devotion to Santa Clara’s library over the years, including Michael J. and Mary Orradre, who pledged $2 million, and John M. and Abby Sobrato, who pledged $1 million in Martin’s honor.

Law professor on "The O.J. Verdict"

Gerald Uelmen, professor of law and director of the Edwin A. Heafey Jr. Center for Trial and Appellate Advocacy, was recently featured in a segment of Frontline for PBS television.

“The O.J. Verdict,” which first aired in October, focused on the 10th anniversary of the end of the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. Uelmen spent a year on sabbatical as a member of Simpson’s team of defense lawyers, often called “the Dream Team.”

Gerald Uelmen
Gerlad Uelmen, professor of law and lawyer on O.J. Simpson's criminal defense team.
The trial lasted several months and was covered extensively in the media. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty on Oct. 3, 1995; the aftermath of the trial and the public’s reactions brought still more media coverage.

“The O.J. Verdict” explores the role of race in the trial, the verdict, and the media attention. “It was an issue that couldn’t be avoided,” Uelmen says. “It demonstrated a pervasive problem in L.A. with the perceptions of the police department.”

Simpson’s case also whetted the media and public appetite for high-profile trials, now covered much more prominently on television and in print. The draw is mostly entertainment and “an interest in titillation,” Uelmen says.

In addition to his interviews for the PBS program, Uelmen was also filmed on campus with students in his Advanced Criminal Procedure class. He frequently uses the Simpson trial as a teaching case for evidence classes. He says students are often “surprised to learn about the detail and the strategy of the case. They have a superficial understanding. They know people who watched the trial, but they don’t know the depth.” Some of his current students were only young teenagers at the time of the Simpson trial.

Uelmen has been a law professor at Santa Clara for almost 20 years and served as dean of the law school from 1986 to 1994. He also works as counsel for the defense in federal medical marijuana cases.

To view excerpts from “The O.J. Verdict” online, see

To read an interview with Uelmen about the ethics of the Simpson trial, see

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