20:24 | 12.06.2010
Santa Clara University Celebrates Its 159th Commencement Ceremony
Santa Clara University’s undergraduate class of 2010 received their
degrees on Saturday after Ken Hackett delivered his commencement address
and encouraged the 1,392 students to feel solidarity with the poor – not
just in their city, but in their own world as they take up their next
adventure in business or in education.
Hackett is the president of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), which was
one of the first responders to the devastating earthquake in Haiti. CRS
provides humanitarian relief and development assistance to the poor and
marginalized in more than 100 countries. It has responded to other
humanitarian crises and disasters such as this month’s flooding from
Tropical Storm Agatha, human trafficking in India, and the 2004 tsunami
Thousands of family members, faculty, and staff listened intently as
Hackett reminded the students of why they first chose to attend Santa
“Whether you are Catholic or not, you came to a Catholic institution
because it was here that the important ethical questions are debated,
asked, answered, and discussed, putting your intellectual pursuits in
their proper framework,” Hackett said.
He pointed to the values some of the graduating seniors have imbibed and
exemplified during their time at Santa Clara: Michael Hayes’s trip to
Honduras delivering medical supplies; Sarah Bradley’s work in schools in
India and Spain; and Anne Murphy-Hagen’s trip to Tijuana to help build a
house. The three students received the Nobili Medal, the Saint Clare
Medal, and the Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., Award, respectively during
Saturday’s 159th commencement ceremony.
Hackett also remarked on the valuable education students received at
Santa Clara and how it has prepared them intellectually and spiritually
for the 21st century.
“You have lived and studied in a fascinating crossroads for the last
four years – between Asia and America, between the past and the present,
the mission and the microchip,” said Hackett. “Use this wonderful
preparation to engage the world every day. Find your own courageous
option. Hopefully in some way it will also include an option for the
poor. Find your mission. And follow it on the magnificent adventure that
awaits you as you leave Santa Clara.”
Before Hackett’s address, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Faith and
Justice. Other 2010 honorary degree recipients include Bernard and
Barbro Osher and George Coyne, S.J. Coyne, who is president of the
Vatican Observatory Foundation, received an honorary Doctor of Science
for his work in promoting dialogue between philosophy, theology, and the
sciences. The Oshers received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for
their enormous influence on higher education, integrative medicine, and
the arts through their philanthropy in the U.S. and Sweden. Bernard
Osher is the founder and treasurer of the Bernard Osher Foundation.
Barbro Osher is the chair of the Bernard Osher Foundation and president
of the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation. She is also the Consul
General of Sweden in California.
Graduating senior Jamie Staudt was also recognized as valedictorian for
her outstanding academic achievement and service at Santa Clara.
About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university
located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley,
offers its more than 8,600 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in
arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s
and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one
of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities,
California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates
faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more
information, see www.scu.edu.