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March 2010 Update

Tuesday, Mar. 16, 2010

Commencement Speakers

I am pleased to announce our distinguished speakers for this year's graduate and undergraduate commencements. Sakena Yacoobi, president and executive director of the Afghan Institute of Learning, will speak at the graduate commencement on June 11, while Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services, will be our speaker for the undergraduate commencement on June 12.

Sakena Yacoobi founded Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), an Afghan-women led non-governmental organization, in 1995. AIL was the first organization of its kind to offer human rights and leadership training to Afghan women. Ms. Yacoobi's commitment to women's rights and her efforts to empower women and children through education make her a model leader.

As president of Catholic Relief Services, Ken Hackett leads one of the most effective and efficient relief agencies in the world. Under his leadership, CRS was one of the first responders to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and has since provided food for over 100,000 people in Port-au-Prince and shelter for tens of thousands of Haitians. Mr. Hackett represents the ideals of Jesuit education through his exemplary leadership, his life-long quest for social justice, his commitment to human rights, and his contribution in fostering solidarity among the global community.

Besides Ms. Yacoobi and Mr. Hackett, other 2010 honorary degree recipients include Bernard and Barbro Osher and Rev. George Coyne, S.J. I will award these honorary degrees during the undergraduate commencement ceremonies.

This is the first year when nominations for honorary degree recipients and commencement speakers have been vetted in committee prior to being recommended to the president and approved by the Board of Trustees. The Honorary Degree Committee, appointed in fall 2009, solicited nominations, reviewed qualifications of nominees, and recommended nominees to me for approval by the trustees. I thank the committee members for their time and diligence in reviewing and securing such a distinguished group of degree recipients and speakers.

WASC Update

On March 8, I received the action letters from the WASC Commission continuing the accreditation of the University. The letters affirm the commendations and recommendations of the WASC Visiting Team regarding the Capacity and Preparatory Reviews of both the University and the Jesuit School of Theology. In the letters, the Commission identifies several areas where they expect to see progress between now and the time of the Educational Effectiveness Review in February, 2011. To view the WASC action letters on Santa Clara's WASC website, log in with your GroupWise username and password.

Founders Day, March 19

On Friday, March 19, the University community will celebrate Founders Day with Mass at 12:05 in the Mission Church. Traditionally, Santa Clara commemorates March 19, the Feast of Saint Joseph, as the day in 1851 on which John Nobili, S.J., took possession of Mission Santa Clara as a Jesuit parish and future educational enterprise. Fr. Nobili, our first president, opened the doors to Santa Clara College in May of that same year.

Please join us for our liturgical celebration in the Mission Church. Tennant Wright, S.J., will preside and Fred Tollini, S.J., will preach at the liturgy.

Enrollment Update

Faculty, administrators, and nearly 500 alumni have conducted a phone campaign calling 2000 admitted early action students for the Class of 2014. Our callers congratulated students on their acceptance to Santa Clara and encouraged them to enroll for the fall. The Provost and I were among those who extended our personal congratulations to the students. A second calling campaign will soon follow, after regular action decisions are mailed out this week.

Grand Reunion 2010

Our Grand Reunion Weekend 2010 will be held on campus from Friday, October 8, to Sunday, October 10. Our inaugural Grand Reunion Weekend last October was a great success, as we hosted 2,300 alumni, family, and friends on campus. Many of you had a hand in that success, and I thank you for your support. I hope you will promote and support the weekend again in October 2010. The reunion experience will be richer for our alumni with your involvement.

The Grand Reunion this year will include the classes of 1950, 1955, and 1960 (Fr. Locatelli's class) in the celebration. We will also welcome back our Golden Broncos, alumni of 50 years or more, and celebrate with them at the annual Gianera Society Lunch during the weekend.

The Alumni Office is collaborating with many groups on campus to plan a diverse schedule of events for all Santa Clara alumni and current students. The weekend will be alive with activities and excitement. We invite all faculty and staff to attend any of the events. The energy of the weekend will be sure to instill a renewed sense of University pride. For more information about the weekend, visit the Alumni website. The full schedule for the weekend will be available in May. For planning purposes, please note that the Grand Reunion Weekend takes place annually on the second weekend of October.

Announcements and Other News

Coffee sessions are now being scheduled for the spring quarter. If you have not yet attended one of the coffee sessions this year or a conversation session last year, and would like to attend, please contact Anne McMahon with your preferred day and time.

  • Staff Sessions will be held:
    • April 5, 4-5 p.m.
    • April 19, 4-5 p.m.
    • May 10, 4-5 p.m.
    • May 19, 4-5 p.m.
    • June 7, 4-5 p.m.

  • Faculty Sessions will be held:
    • March 31, 8-9 a.m.
    • April 15, 8-9 a.m.
    • April 27, 8-9 a.m.
    • May 6, 9-10 a.m.
    • May 26, 8-9 a.m.

What's Ahead on My Calendar

  • March 17 – Foundation visits in Los Angeles
  • March 19 – University of the Pacific Inauguration of the President, Pamela A. Eibeck
  • March 24-25 – LA Santa Claran of the Year Event; Prospect visits in Los Angeles
  • March 27 – Catala Club 80th Anniversary Celebration
  • March 31 – Faculty Coffee Session
  • April 2 – Good Friday
  • April 4 – Easter
  • April 10-11 – Preview Days
  • April 13 – President's Speaker Series with Regina Rabinovich
  • April 15 – Faculty Coffee Session

 Michael E. Engh, S.J.


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