Santa Clara University

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The Faculty-Staff Newsletter, e-mail edition
Santa Clara University, October 2, 2006, Vol. 7, No. 2

Convocation 2006: Former SCU basketball Star Steve Nash returns to campus

Nash, recently named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people, is known for giving back to the community. He founded the Jim Jennings Memorial Endowment Fund, a memorial established in honor of a volunteer staff member at SCU who served the Broncos basketball team for more than 20 years. In 2001, he founded The Steve Nash Foundation “to aid underprivileged children in their health, personal development,

Nash entered Santa Clara as a freshman in 1992 and made an immediate impact on the court, helping the Broncos earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament that season and leading them to an upset of fifth-ranked Arizona in the first round. Nash would go on to earn All-West Coast Conference honors three times and back-to-back WCC Player of the Year awards (1994-95 and 1995-96) in his career. His teams won the WCC Tournament once, and twice captured the WCC regular season title. The team advanced to the NCAA Tournament three times in Nash’s four seasons at Santa Clara.

After Nash’s address, Santa Clara University Director of Athletics and Recreation Dan Coonan and Davey announced the unveiling of two banners honoring Nash. A banner hung at the north end of the Leavey Center shows a photo of Nash during his playing days at Santa Clara and another photo of him receiving his second NBA MVP trophy for the Phoenix Suns. His number 11 jersey was then unveiled at the opposite end of the arena.

While Nash is the first Santa Clara player to have his jersey raised to the rafters, former standout Nick Vanos (1981-85) was the first SCU men’s basketball player to have his number retired. Vanos, a center for the Broncos, played two seasons in the NBA after graduating from Santa Clara before his life was tragically cut short in a plane crash on Aug. 16, 1987. His number 32 jersey currently hangs in a framed case in the southwest corner of the Leavey Center.

The convocation marked the beginning of SCU’s 156th academic year and the start of classes for the fall 2006 quarter. The event, which honors staff, students, and faculty, caps two days of “Welcome Weekend” celebrations that welcome freshman students to SCU’s Mission campus.