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Bishop of San Jose encourages graduates to take risks

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 17, 2001 - Bishop Patrick Joseph McGrath reminded nearly 500 Santa Clara University graduates today of the value of being courageous. In life, "the goal is right living," said the Bishop. "Be courageous. Take risks for what is right."

Bishop McGrath, the second bishop of San Jose, received an honorary doctor of sacred theology degree, his first honorary degree. Showing a sense of humor, the bishop said, "Some would like to argue that my canon law degree was also honorary. I want to assure you that is not true."

Also today, SCU presented technology visionary Douglas Engelbart with an honorary doctor of science degree. Silicon Valley icon Engelbart is the inventor of the computer "mouse."

The 150th graduate commencement at the 7,350-student Catholic Jesuit university began at 9:30 a.m. today at Buck Shaw Stadium. The ceremony honored those receiving graduate degrees from the following schools and programs: College of Arts and Sciences, Division of Counseling Psychology and Education, Leavey School of Business, pastoral ministries, and the School of Engineering.

The bishop related to the graduates through the University's commitment to competence, conscience and compassion, adding two more qualities to the list: humility and docility. "A good sprinkle of the salt of humility and docility will separate your future work from being merely competent to being exceptional and brilliant."

"Neither an optimist or a pessimist be," he advised. "Instead be like the engineers among you to whom the glass is just twice as big as it needs to be."

The bishop closed his talk with a motto, "You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough."

In 1979, Bishop McGrath became officialis of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and was appointed rector and pastor of Saint Mary Cathedral in 1986. Ordained auxiliary bishop of San Francisco on January 989, he then served the archdiocese as vicar for clergy, moderator of the curia and vicar for parishes. Upon the retirement of Bishop Pierre DuMaine in November 1999, McGrath became bishop of San Jose.

Santa Clara University's first commencement ceremonies, called "annual exhibitions," occurred 150 years ago in 1851, the same year the University was founded as California's first institution of higher education.

SCU recognized the excellence of the following students in the Leavey School of Business, all of whom received a masters of business administration in food and agribusiness management: Karen Leigh Meredith, Elisa M. Nakata, Donald Paul Pieretti.

A doctorate in mechanical engineering was also awarded today to Abdlmonem H. Beitelmal.


Santa Clara University is a Jesuit university with 4,300 undergraduate and 3,050 graduate students. The university offers a rigorous undergraduate curriculum and nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. In 2001, the American Association of Colleges and Universities awarded SCU a commendation for Distinguished Achievement in Undergraduate Education.

For more information about graduate commencement exercises, call Kelly Shenefiel, 408-554-5125, or email For information Santa Clara University, see

<p>Bishop of San Jose addresses graduates at SCU's 150th graduate commencement<br />
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