Santa Clara University

SCU Today

Back to Blog

Silicon Valley venture capitalist gives $15 million to SCU business school for new building

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct.24, 2001 - Santa Clara University today announced that Don Lucas, one of Silicon Valley's pioneer venture capitalists, has pledged $15 million to help build a new home for the Leavey School of Business.

SCU President Paul Locatelli, S.J., praised Lucas for his vision, and called the gift "transformational," and a cornerstone for the University's new business school building.

Locatelli also unveiled initial plans for the new building, a three-story, 82,000-square-foot structure to be built at the north end of the 104-acre campus in Santa Clara.

"Don Lucas continues to put his faith and funding in new ideas and new ventures," Locatelli said in announcing the gift.

"With Don's help, we can accelerate fundraising for the new business school building," Locatelli said.

Lucas's gifts have supported business education programs at SCU since 1979, including gifts for a lecture series, for scholarships, and for an annual economic symposium at SCU for Silicon Valley executives. He is a member of the University Board of Trustees.

Lucas said he made the gift "to encourage the continued development of the University, and, in particular, the Leavey School of Business." "The character of the students, their commitment to the community, and their moral and ethical foundation is unrivaled," he said.

Lucas helped fund the 1995 renovation of Kenna Hall, one of two current classroom/office buildings for the SCU business school. In 1998, he was the lead donor to establish an endowed professorship honoring Mario Belotti, SCU professor of economics.

Initial plans for the new business school building call for a consolidation of all business school classrooms and offices in a single structure, with a high-tech interior that includes MBA and executive classrooms, conference rooms and services on Franklin Street in Santa Clara. It will also be the new home for the University's Center for Science, Technology and Society.

Two of Lucas' three children, Nancy Thibodeau of Gaithersburg, Md., and Donald A Lucas, of Atherton, graduated from Santa Clara University with undergraduate business degrees, in 1975 and 1984, respectively.

Lucas received his B.A. and M.B.A. degrees from Stanford University. Lucas, who lives in Atherton and whose business is on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, has been involved in building businesses in the Santa Clara valley for more than 40 years. He was one of the lead investors in Oracle and Cadence when they were start-ups. He is a U.S. Army veteran who worked at Smith Barney in New York before joining the first venture capital firm on the West Coast, Draper, Gaither & Anderson, in 1960. In a seven-year participation with the firm, he served as both a general partner and a limited partner.

Since 1967, Lucas has been actively engaged in venture capital activities as a private individual. He has been a founder of several Silicon Valley success stories, including National Semiconductor Corporation. He currently serves as a director of Cadence Design Systems, Inc. in San Jose; Macromedia, Inc. in San Francisco; Oracle Corporation in Redwood City; PDF Solutions Inc, in San Jose; and Tricord Systems, Inc. in Plymouth, Minnesota. He also serves as a director for several privately held companies.

His $15 million gift is the largest gift to the Leavey School of Business in its 75-year history.

In the last two years, Santa Clara University has announced a $20 million gift from Lorry Lokey for scholarships and a new library, a $15 million gift from the Leavey Foundation to rebuild the Leavey Center athletic facility, and a $12 million gift from the Jesuit Community of Santa Clara for scholarships and community education.



To arrange an interview with Lucas, call Barry Holtzclaw, SCU media relations, at 408-554-5126, 408-674-8866 or email Photos of Lucas and an architect's image of the new business school building are available on request.

About the Leavey School of Business:

The Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University began in 1926, and was one of the first business schools in the country to receive national accreditation. The business school's MBA program was one of the original group of MBA programs in 1961 to be accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business.

It offers a professional education emphasizing humanistic and moral development as well as technical proficiency. Approximately 900 students are enrolled in the MBA program, rated one of the top 20 part-time programs in the U.S., attracting working professionals in Silicon Valley. Its undergraduate business programs are ranked third in California by U.S. News and World Report.

About Santa Clara University:

Santa Clara University is a private, Jesuit university with 4,300 undergraduate and 3,050 graduate students offering a rigorous undergraduate curriculum and nationally recognized business, engineering and law schools, plus interdisciplinary centers that promote ethics and social justice, and explore the impact of technology.

For more information about Santa Clara University, see

<p>Don Lucas, left, with Leavey School of Business Dean Barry Posner, announcing $15 million gift</p>

<!-- #EndEditable -->

Tags: lucas

Printer-friendly format