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SCU breaks ground for new learning commons on campus

SANTA CLARA, Calif.,– Santa Clara University broke ground for a new commons and library on the mission campus on June 14. The new Learning Commons at Santa Clara University will be roughly twice the size of the current library. It will have the capacity to store 1.1 million volumes, approximately 20 years growth, with an automated retrieval system (ARS) that will expand the library’s capacity to store and access well over a million volumes.

SCU President Paul Locatelli, S.J. said, “The new Learning Commons is the most important facility to be built in my tenure as President. It will benefit many generations of students and faculties, improve the campus learning environment, and move Santa Clara to a higher level of quality.”

In addition, t he University has exceeded its $101 million dollar goal for student scholarships. “Two–thirds of the university’s 4,660 undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid,” said Jim Purcell, SCU’s vice-president for university relations. “Funds for scholarships were the largest single goal in the campaign,” Purcell added. “Santa Clara’s commitment is to help families and students access a Jesuit education.”

Purcell added that although the University had met the milestone for scholarships, there was an urgent need to continue with additional fundraising to complete the critical capital projects the campus has planned. “Even though we have exceeded some of our campaign goals, rising construction costs in Silicon Valley have resulted in significant additional costs for SCU’s two capital projects: the library and  a new business school building for the Leavey School of Business,” Purcell said. He added the two projects have received $85 million against a goal of $120 million, and projected construction costs have increased by another $23 million. 

The new 85,000 sq. ft business school building on the university’s mission campus will be about two and a half times as large as the current facilities and will unite the business school classrooms, faculty offices, research centers, and executive education programs that are currently spread across campus. SCU President Paul Locatelli, S.J. said that the two building projects represent the university’s commitment to excellence. “The library is the intellectual heart of the university and the business school needs a 21 st  century facility to continue to train ethical leaders for Silicon Valley and the world,” he said. Santa Clara’s current $350 million fund-raising campaign is scheduled to conclude in December 2006.

To schedule an interview with Jim Purcell, vice president for university relations at SCU, who leads the University’s fund-raising drive, call 408-554-5125.

Background on Santa Clara’s new library: The new library will help Santa Clara University achieve its goal of focusing resources on excellence by investing in the campus-learning environment. The library for the 21st  century will blend SCU’s Jesuit tradition with information technology in the context of contemporary Silicon Valley. More than a book repository, the new library represents a state-of-the-art learning center and gathering place for the entire University community, where teaching and learning scholars create, retrieve, and share knowledge.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its 8397 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master ’s and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the third-highest graduation rate among all
U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is available at



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