Santa Clara University

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An auspicious moment

By Karyne Levy and Karen Crocker Snell

The largest fundraising campaign in Santa Clara University’s history came to a spectacular finish March 16 when alumni and donors gathered on the Mission campus to celebrate the raising of more than $400 million. The Campaign included funds for scholarships, professorships, University centers, and capital projects, including a new library and a new building for the Leavey School of Business.

The total number of donors, 41,493, also set a University record. “Alumni, parents and friends made gifts, large and small, that will transform the University and impact how students and faculty interact and learn,” says SCU President Paul Locatelli, S.J. “By investing in the campus learning environment, our alumni and donors have helped move Santa Clara to a higher level of quality as a Jesuit, Catholic university.”

Bricks and mortar

The Campaign kicked off in 2002 with a $25 million gift from Lorry I. Lokey, founder and president of San Francisco-based Business Wire, for scholarships and to rebuild and replace SCU’s library. Bookending the Campaign, and also slated for the University’s new Learning Commons and Library, was a $20 million gift from the Sobrato family, alumni and Silicon Valley real estate developers. The Sobrato family had made earlier gifts to the Campaign totaling more than $10 million.

The Sobratos in front of the new library construction
“SCU graduates have shaped generations of leaders in companies in Silicon Valley,” says John A. Sobrato ’60, left; on right, son John M. Sobrato ’83. “The University has changed a lot since I graduated in 1960,” the elder Sobrato says, “but what has stayed the same is the soul of the Jesuit mission: educating students with an emphasis on ethics and a commitment to giving back to the community.”
Photo: Charles Barry

The Learning Commons and Library will be roughly twice the size of the previous library. It will have the capacity to store 1.1 million volumes, approximately 20 years’ growth, with an automated retrieval system that will expand the library’s capacity to store and access well over a million volumes. Construction of the building, which will also be a showcase for green building technologies, began summer 2006 and will be completed by the start of the academic year in fall 2008.

“I figure if one can afford to make an investment in the future of education, one pitches in right now to help matters along,” Lokey says. The money he’s given to Santa Clara is not, he says, “a gift or a donation—it’s one tremendous investment.” And it’s an investment that pays dividends in terms of educating global citizens with the abilities and commitment to fashion a more humane, just society.

The other major capital project in the Campaign is a new 84,000-square-foot building for the business school. The new business school building will be more than twice as large as the current building and will unite the business school classrooms, faculty offices, research centers, and executive education programs that are currently spread across campus. And the new business school building will also walk the walk when it comes to green innovations in construction. Both the undergraduate business program and part-time MBA program were recently recognized by BusinessWeek and U.S. News & World Report as among the best in the nation.

Top students and scholars

The money raised through the Campaign will have a direct effect on students through increased financial aid as the University exceeded its $101 million goal for student scholarships. This keeps front and center the mission of transforming students into leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion—so they, in turn, can go out and transform the world.

“Approximately 70 percent of the University’s undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid,” notes Jim Purcell, SCU’s vice president for University Relations. “Funds for scholarships were the largest single goal in the Campaign. We will continue to raise funds for scholarships because Santa Clara is committed to helping families and students access a Jesuit education. The gifts will allow students to come to SCU who could not have attended without financial support.”

The Campaign has made possible 12 new endowed professorships and six new fellowships as well, which complement the many existing chairs and professorships that help attract and keep top teaching talents. Which, in turn, enables the University to respond to the educational needs of the 21st century.

 

A capstone event

Below, from left: Lorrey I. Lokey, whose $25 million gift kicked off the Campaign for Santa Clara; Student Body President Jennifer Moody; and friends of the University gathered to celebrate the Campaign for Santa Clara on March 16.

Lorry Lokey ASSCU president Jenny Moody '07 campaign wrapup celebration dinner
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