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Santa Clara University will excel in educating men and women to be leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion. By combining teaching and scholarship of high quality, an integrated education in the Jesuit tradition, and a commitment to students as persons, we will prepare them for professional excellence, responsible citizenship, and service to society, especially on behalf of those in greatest need.
A letter from the President
Education at Santa Clara affirms the Jesuit commitment to excellence in teaching and research. As a Catholic, Jesuit university, our faith tradition leads to social justice that begins with respect for the dignity of each person, as an image of God, and develops through dialogue among other faith traditions into a commitment to the common good.
My recent appointment as Secretary for Higher Education for the Society of Jesus will benefit Santa Clara in several areas. I will be involved in the global network of Jesuit higher education in a way that will help us reimagine a Santa Clara education for a globalizing world and educate our students as leaders and citizens of competence, conscience, and compassion for emerging international realities. I also hope to generate greater cooperation among all Jesuit universities around the world.
The overarching challenge is this: How do we make globalization and global problems more explicit, as a part of the University’s research and within students’ learning, in every department and program?
One method of addressing this challenge is found in Santa Clara’s new Core Curriculum, a model for providing integrated, humanistic education for the 21st century. It includes courses to help students understand their own history and culture and other cultures. Cherishing our increasingly ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographically diverse community leads to cross-disciplinary understanding and to expanding horizons in terms of language, culture, and religion. The Core, deeply rooted in a humanistic tradition, inspires integrated and coherent learning and critical thinking on the great questions of life, as well as the knowledge and skills to overcome global problems such as poverty, war, and conflict, living at peace, and learning to respect different cultures and faith traditions.
Another dimension of our distinctiveness is community-based learning. Students in all programs, graduate and undergraduate, have opportunities to choose courses that employ a pedagogy of engaged learning. This challenges students to learn with and from people in poor and marginalized communities. These courses lead to a greater understanding of the subject matter and the importance of respecting the dignity of other people and cultures, while at the same time teaching students to use knowledge to improve their lives and those of others.
In the following pages, you will read a wide range of stories about students, alumni, and faculty who have already learned to leaven the world with knowledge, justice, virtue, and wisdom. And you will see the intertwined qualities of competence, conscience, and compassion at work creating a better world for people of all walks of life.