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Former KQED executive tells SCU graduate students to keep ethical perspective

SANTA CLARA, Calif.— June 15, 2003— Mary F. Bitterman, former San Francisco and Hawaii public broadcasting executive, today reminded recipients of post-graduate degrees from Santa Clara University of the importance of ethics and integrity in their professional lives.

“Subject matter will always change, but ethical behavior should know no season—what we ought to do must be embedded in our nature for all time,” the SCU alumna told the nearly 800 recipients of graduate degrees in business, counseling psychology, education, engineering, and pastoral ministries.

Bitterman said that in recent scandals involving profit and non-profit organizations, the managers had plenty of expertise or knowledge, but lacked “integrity, conscience, and character.”

“Let us underscore today the importance of that which is and must remain constant and immutable—the integrity you bring to your professions and the respect you hold for the people you serve,” she said.

Bitterman’s speech to the Sunday graduates and their approximately 4,000 guests echoed similar references to the University’s strong emphasis on ethics made in Saturday’s undergraduate commencement speech by another SCU alumna, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano. Bitterman, a 1966 Santa Clara graduate who holds a Ph.D. in history from Bryn Mawr, was awarded an honorary doctor of public service degree.

SCU President Paul Locatelli, S.J. handed out six Ph.D. degrees in engineering, and master’s degrees: 376 in business, 60 in counseling psychology, 120 in education, 221 in engineering and eight in pastoral ministries.

A fourth-generation Californian, Bitterman has family ties to Santa Clara University, where her father and brother received bachelors and law degrees and her daughter received a law degree. A former director of the Voice of America, as well as former president and CEO of The James Irvine Foundation and of   KQED public radio and television, Bitterman is director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. She is on the advisory board of the University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its 8,060 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the fourth-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 online at



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