Steve Wozniak, the iconic co-founder of Apple Computer, current chief scientist at Fusion-io, and one of the original architects of the personal-computing industry, will be the commencement speaker for SCU’s undergraduate class of 2012 on June 16 at 8:30 a.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium. The event will mark the University’s 161st commencement, as well as the centennial celebration for the University’s School of Engineering.
The day before, the woman President Obama is counting on to help educate America’s workforce of the next decade, Martha J. Kanter, will address SCU’s graduate students at their commencement ceremony. The graduate event will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the University’s Leavey Events Center.
Wozniak’s career is the stuff of Silicon Valley legend. In 1976, he and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer Inc. with Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. The following year, he introduced the Apple II personal computer, with features like a central processing unit, a keyboard, color graphics, and a floppy disk drive. The development of the Apple II proved to be an integral step to launching the PC industry.
“I look forward to speaking to Santa Clara’s graduating class as they close this academic chapter of their lives and embark on the many adventures that await them in the next chapter,” said Wozniak, a longtime supporter of education, especially math, electronics, and science education for school-age children in the Bay Area. He will receive an honorary degree of Doctorate of Engineering Leadership.
He has spent many years supporting causes to spark a passion for math and science education in grade school students and their teachers, teaching grade school, stressing hands-on learning, and encouraging creativity for students. He “adopted” the Los Gatos School District by providing students and teachers with teaching tools and donations of state-of-the-art technology equipment. He also was the founding sponsor of the Tech Museum, Silicon Valley Ballet, and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.
“We are pleased to welcome Mr. Wozniak back to campus, as a reminder to our students that following their passions and nurturing their talents is a path to becoming men and women for others,” said Michael Engh, S.J., the president of Santa Clara University. Wozniak was last on the Mission Campus as a guest speaker for the President’s Speaker Series in January.
Kanter is the under secretary of education for the U.S. Department of Education, nominated to the post by President Obama and confirmed in 2009. She was formerly chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, which serves more than 45,000 students with a budget of about $400 million.
“[Under Secretary Kanter] has dedicated her career to improving both access and quality of higher education—goals that have also been part of Santa Clara since its founding,” said Fr. Engh.
At the undergraduate ceremony, the University will also award honorary degrees to renowned theologian Michael J. Buckley, S.J., and Mary Somers Edmunds, who will represent the pioneering women in undergraduate education at Santa Clara. This year marks the 50th anniversary of women in undergraduate education at SCU.
Paul van Zyl, CEO of PeaceVentures, will give the commencement address for the School of Law, and Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, S.J., will speak at commencement for the Jesuit School of Theology. Both commencements will be held on May 19.