Santa Clara University

Mission Matters

Grads encouraged to help the underprivileged
2004 Undergraduate Commencement
Khanh Nguyen, left, and Lindsey Johnson celebrate with more than 1,500 other undergraduates at the May commencement ceremonies in Buck Shaw Stadium.

Gregory J. Boyle, S.J., a Jesuit priest who works with at-risk youth in Los Angeles, asked Santa Clara University graduates to use their education to help people who are poor and powerless, "people whose dignity has been denied and those whose burdens are more than they can bear."

More than 15,000 family and friends of Santa Clara University cheered 1,053 undergraduates as they walked across an outdoor stage at Buck Shaw Stadium in June, celebrating SCU’s 153rd commencement.

Boyle was awarded an honorary doctor of faith and justice degree at the undergraduate ceremonies. Former professional football player Ronnie Lott received an honorary doctor of public service, and Sister Barbara Flannery, CSJ, received an honorary doctor of religious education.

CEO reminds graduates of the importance of values and ethics

Willem "Wim" Roelandts, a former Hewlett-Packard executive and president and CEO of Xilinx, reminded the recipients of post-graduate degrees of the importance of personal credibility.

"In American business today, the widening credibility gap of leaders—the difference between what they say and what they do—is very prevalent and very damaging," he said. "This credibility gap has brought about a devastating lack of trust between management and employees." Roelandts said that in recent scandals "when executives are indicted for feathering their own nests, trust is the victim."

His advice to graduating students: be very clear on what your values are, stay true to them, and find a company whose values match your own.

Roelandts received an honorary doctor of engineering degree. Graduate degrees were conferred in the schools of Business, Engineering, and Education, Counseling Psychology and Pastoral Ministries. At the ceremonies, 370 M.B.A degrees and 279 master’s in engineering degrees were awarded. In addition, 127 graduates received master’s degrees in education, 64 received master’s degrees in counseling psychology, and 21 graduates received master’s degrees in pastoral ministries.

Legendary lawyer counsels law grads

Larry Sonsini, chairman and chief executive officer of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, the leading law firm in the U.S. representing technology companies, investment banks, and venture capital firms, reminded Santa Clara University law graduates that integrity, judgment, and character are key to the legal profession. Sonsini was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree at the May ceremonies.

"Without integrity you lose all credibility and capability to fulfill your obligations to the profession and to your clients," Sonsini. "Integrity requires a commitment ...to truth and fair dealing....your integrity reflects your ethics, and never before has ethics been so essential to our world," he said.

At the ceremonies, 289 J.D. degrees and 23 LL.M degrees were awarded. In addition, 33 of the law graduates received certificates in public interest and social justice law, 46 received certificates in high tech law, six in international high tech law, and three in international and comparative law.

"Your reputation is a product not only of your skills, but also the quality of your integrity. ...You are entering a profession that faces, and will continue to face, greater scrutiny to balance client loyalties with public trust," Sonsini added.

SCU Law School Dean Donald Polden thanked former law school deans, George Alexander and Gerald Uelmen, for their commitment and service to the SCU School of Law. Dean Alexander, who headed the law school from 1970 to 1985, will retire.

SCU law students help exonerate prisoner
John Stoll
John Stoll

John Stoll spent nearly 20 years in prison, but he gained his freedom on his 61st birthday thanks to attorneys and SCU students with the Northern California Innocence Project at Santa Clara University School of Law and the California Innocence Project at California Western School of Law.

On April 30, Kern County Superior Court Judge John Kelley overturned Stoll’s 1985 conviction. Kelly ruled that the techniques investigators used to question the children two decades ago "resulted in unreliable testimony."

Stoll was convicted of 17 counts of child molestation in 1985. He had long maintained his innocence on grounds that there was no evidence for the charges against him. But he was unable to find attorneys willing to look into his case.

The Northern California Innocence Project and the California Innocence Project are part of the National Innocence Network of similar projects nationwide. Innocence Project students work alongside practicing criminal defense lawyers to seek the release of wrongfully convicted inmates who maintain their innocence.

"This ruling is a victory for the Northern California Innocence Project and the students at Santa Clara law school who worked hard on the Stoll case," said Linda Starr, legal director of the Northern California Innocence Project.

For more information more information www.scu.edu/law


School of Business launches Global Women’s Leadership Center

The Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University in June announced the launch of the Global Women’s Leadership Center (GWLC). The center’s mission is to assist women in addressing the world’s challenges and opportunities within the framework of SCU’s guiding principles of competence, conscience, and compassion.

"By leveraging women’s leadership abilities, the world can better meet the challenges plaguing society, create sustainable communities, and develop more successful businesses," says Barry Posner, dean of the Leavey School of Business.

Linda Alepin, a center founder and CEO of Center for New Futures, says the GWLC’s mission is "to provide unique educational opportunities, mentoring, and leading-edge research that shape and inspire women leaders to take on new local and global challenges. Through the center, women in developed and undeveloped countries will be exposed to the best thinking available to create a new future."

Center sponsors include Applied Materials, Logitech, Silicon Valley Bank, and Wells Fargo. In addition to SCU’s School of Engineering and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, key women’s organizations, including the Anita Borg Institute, Mentor Resources, Women in Consulting, and the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs have agreed to partner with the GWLC.

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