Santa Clara University

President's Report 2009-2010




Pope Benedict

Last spring, at the conference in Mexico City, the leaders of 180 Jesuit colleges and universities met at a three-day gathering organized by the late Paul Locatelli, S.J., former SCU president. The attendees discussed four “frontier challenges” in Jesuit education:

  • Theology, science, and culture;
  • Markets, inequality, and poverty;
  • Ecology and sustainability; and
  • Human rights and civic responsibility.
How does Santa Clara University meet these challenges?
Theology, Science, and Culture

theologyAt Santa Clara, we strive to educate students with theological and religious literacy to help navigate a world in which political and military conflicts involve clashes between cultures and theological worldviews. We offer students the intellectual tools to step back and clearly perceive the place of science and religion as harbingers of truth in their own cultures.

In this report, we will discuss theologians and engineers in dialogue with their students about chaos theory, suffering, and beauty, as well as a team-taught, cross-disciplinary course in genetic engineering and ethics.

Markets, Inequality, and Poverty

We encourage students to develop compassion, to immerse themselves in the realities of those who are on the margins of society, and then reflect on the meaning of these experiences in their own lives.

In this report, we talk about the Global Women’s Leadership Network, which sends both male and female business students abroad to not only help those in underdeveloped regions, but also to transform themselves. We also relate how an economics professor shares with students his research on economic growth and happiness inequality.

Ecology and Sustainability

mindWe instill in our students a deep care of the earth. We demonstrate how religious values can join forces with technology to protect the environment and those most harmed by pollution and climate change.

In this report, we tell the story of our engineering students whose senior project was to build an “energy bike” to teach elementary school children about sustainability.

Human Rights and Civic Responsibility

rightsWe strive to help our students develop a genuine sense of compassion with those in need. We provide them with experiential learning opportunities to engage with those on the margins, such as refugees and migrants.

In this report, we share stories about the law school’s Alexander Community Law Center, where students and faculty are working with victims of human trafficking—not overseas, but in the heart of Silicon Valley.

In the best Jesuit tradition, Santa Clara students and faculty are immersing themselves in geographical and spiritual places that are most difficult to reach.