Santa Clara University

Giving to Santa Clara University

Our intellectual center

Location: 3230 Alameda

Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Technology Center, and Orradre Library

The center of research and academics on campus


Wiith help from so many SCU alumni and friends, the new Harrington Learning Commons, Sobrato Technology Center, and Orradre Library opened in March 2008. The 194,000-square-foot building holds 1 million volumes, the latest in high-speed computers, and the age-old components of liberal arts education.

It truly is the new smart heart of campus.

Construction on the $95-million library facility began in summer 2006, near the end of a five-year fundraising campaign, "The Campaign for Santa Clara," which brought in $400 million for endowed fellowships, scholarships, and capital projects.

Dozens of donors made the building possible. Among them is leading national philanthropist Lorry I. Lokey, founder of Business Wire, Inc., and a member of the SCU Board of Trustees. Lokey contributed $25 million toward the Learning Commons.

The building is named for Joanne Harrington, a member of SCU's Board of Fellows and Lokey's longtime and dear friend.

SCU alumnus and Silicon Valley real estate developer John A. Sobrato, and his family, contributed $20 million toward the technology center. In 2003, Congressman Mike Honda announced $900,000 for Santa Clara University as part of the federal $397.4-billion spending bill.

The new four-level building occupies the site of SCU's former Orradre Library and has nearly twice the square footage. Not only is the building aesthetically pleasing, it boasts a number of environmentally friendly features including 11 water-free urinals, access to natural light in more than 90 percent of the public space, and furniture that is recycled and/or recyclable.

The building offers the capacity for more than 1.1 million volumes and features 25 collaborative workrooms, laboratories for faculty development and multimedia, three video viewing and taping rooms, wireless networking throughout, and 1,050 reader seats—each with a wired network connection and electric power.<</p>

More special features of the new facility include:

  • Three "incubator spaces" for experimenting with new educational technologies
  • An Information Commons featuring the fastest, "hottest" machines on campus, with nearby support staff
  • A café—Yes, food and drink can be taken into library
  • An automated retrieval system capable of storing 1 million volumes in special shelving
  • Expanded and climate-controlled storage space for the University's Archives and Special Collections, as well as a dedicated reading room for researchers using these materials

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