Santa Clara University


Donald L. and Lygia Lucas Hall, opened in 2008, is the current home of the Leavey School of Business. 


The Leavey School of Business in the 2000's 

This most recent decade of the Leavey School of Business was transformative. Housed in Kenna Hall since the 1920s, the business school had outgrown its facilities, containing little space for students to work collaboratively, with faculty and department offices spread out over five buildings. To remedy this, Dean Barry Posner chaired a committee of faculty, staff, University fundraisers and technical advisers to begin planning a new building: an 84,000 square foot building with classrooms, labs, study rooms, faculty offices and suites for the various centers and institutes within the school, and a cyber-café and lounge. Fundraising began in 2001 for the $49 million building, located on the north side of campus, along Franklin Street. 

“The Leavey School has contributed to the vitality of our region, and this new building will ensure that SCU continues to produce leaders for future generations,” predicted alumna and University trustee Rebecca Guerra ’73, MBA ’78, at the start of the campaign. 

Don Lucas surrounded by friends and family
Above: Don Lucas surrounded by family and friends at the 2008
Lucas Hall dedication ceremony.

The effort was made more difficult by the decade’s turbulence—a recession, September 11th attacks, two wars, and significant technological changes—but the University was able finally to break ground in June 2007. In September 2008, the building was dedicated as the Donald L. and Lygia Lucas Hall, named for one of Silicon Valley’s first venture capitalists and his wife. 

An innovative and technologically up-to-date facility that fosters collaboration in a welcoming environment, the new building is more than twice the size of Kenna Hall, providing much needed space—not only for the Business School, but also for the University, which moved administrative and academic offices into the newly vacated Kenna Hall. Built to LEED certified standards, Lucas Hall expresses Santa Clara’s commitment to sustainability, using environmentally sensitive materials and natural lighting in the design. 

While physical changes were the most visible developments in the Leavey School of Business, its intellectual life flourished as well. Dedicated to educating the next generation of leaders, the business school introduced several innovative degree programs over the decade. The Master’s in Information Systems (MSIS) program was launched in 2003 to provide people with an education that integrated technology and business, developing skills both applicable and relevant in the tech-savvy Silicon Valley. MSIS Director Manoochehr Ghiassi explained, “The goal of this program is to educate individuals with aspirations to become managers and executives of projects and companies with high technical content.” 

Several leadership programs began in the 2000s; dedicated to preparing students for the human side of business, these programs allowed them to explore their leadership skills and interact with Silicon Valley executives as well as local community members to enhance their leadership abilities. Among these: the Dean’s Leadership Program, an exclusive opportunity for high achieving first-year business students; the Senior Leadership Academy (SLA) focuses on current issues in leadership that seniors might experience in their final year in college; the Leavey Scholars program offers opportunities for business students with a record of excellence to advance their education; and the Leadership Competency Certificate allowed students to explore their leadership style, while learning from both corporate and non-profit executives. 

Above: Yolanda, a business owner being helped by NPI, speaking
with students about her vision for her business.

Later in the decade, the business school deepened its commitment to social justice by initiating the Contemplative Leadership & Sustainability Program (CLASP), developing students’ skills and knowledge to lead sustainable enterprises; and the Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI), which gives students the opportunity to put their business knowledge to use by helping local business owners to strengthen their businesses. 

After the opening of Lucas Hall and twelve years of leadership, Barry Posner stepped down as dean of the business school, to return to teaching, writing, and research in the business school’s management department. 

OMIS professor S. Andrew Starbird took his place and was named the seventh Dean of the Leavey School of Business in 2010. Implementing a new strategic plan upon his appointment, Drew Starbird identified three priorities for the business school: build a rich academic foundation and transformative learning experiences for students, increase the quality and prominence of scholarship, and create strong partnerships with the business community and alumni. 

As a part of the increased emphasis on a deeper academic experience, a new Master’s in Finance launched in 2013, providing a degree for students to master the quantitative skills needed in senior financial roles; the California Program for Entrepreneurship (CAPE) launched in 2010 to nurture new California businesses; and a minor in entrepreneurship, open to all SCU students, was established. 

Students in Burma
Above: Students, faculty & staff on a trip to
Myanmar in 2013.

In the last decade, opportunities for global learning have expanded for both graduate and undergraduate students. International study became a required part of the Executive and Accelerated MBA programs, and in addition to study abroad courses offered through the University, undergraduates could opt for a “Global Fellows” summer, working with non-governmental agencies in India, Turkey, Africa, and Mexico. In the Global Perspectives program, undergrads and MBAs are taught by SCU faculty in a quarter-long class, exploring business and economic structures in countries as varied as El Salvador, Myanmar, Germany, China, Brazil, and Ghana. The course culminates with a trip on which students and faculty visit organizations in the country to understand how business is actually conducted there. 

Strengthening its ties with Silicon Valley and the larger business community, the business school faculty recruited executives to develop and advise academic and community programs, creating advisory boards for the Finance department and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which joined existing boards for the Accounting Department, the Food & Agribusiness Institute, the Retail Management Institute, and the Dean’s Business Advisory group. 

These programs are the building blocks for the future of the Leavey School of Business. By investing in these core initiatives, the business school is creating a culture of continued change and growth to fit the needs of the next generation of business leaders. 

“I am proud of what we have accomplished so far,” said Dean Starbird. “I am fortunate to be surrounded by colleagues who are committed to the School and our mission, and I look forward to continuing to foster this transformative environment dedicated to shaping future leaders in Silicon Valley and around the world.”  

Below: Panorama of Lucas Hall during construction. 
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