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 Catholic Relief Services President to Speak at Santa Clara University's Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony

Wednesday, Apr. 7, 2010

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – April 7, 2010 – Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services, will deliver the commencement speech for Santa Clara University’s undergraduate class of 2010 on Saturday, June 12 at 8:30 a.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium.

“I’m looking forward to taking part in this very important day for graduating seniors,” Hackett says. “It’s a time when they can reflect on the last four years of their college career and some of the most important lessons they learned from their professors, fellow classmates, and their families.”

Hackett has led CRS since 1993. His career with the agency began in Sierra Leone in 1972 and he has served CRS in posts throughout Africa and Asia, as well as in a variety of positions at CRS headquarters. He was the regional director for Africa, guiding CRS’ response to the Ethiopian famine of 1984-85. He also supervised operations in East Africa during the crisis in Somalia in the early 1990s.

CRS provides humanitarian relief and development assistance to the poor and marginalized in more than 100 countries. Some of the operations CRS has organized include: helping survivors in Indonesia rebuild after a devastating tsunami wiped out entire towns and left more than 1.5 million people homeless; reaching out to hundreds of thousands of earthquake survivors in Haiti by feeding, sheltering, and medically treating them; and most recently responding to the catastrophe in Chile, where an 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck followed by a tsunami, causing $30 billion in damages.

CRS is one of the world’s most effective and efficient relief and development agencies, with ties to many Catholic and Jesuit universities, including SCU.

“Catholic Relief Services and Santa Clara have had a formal collaboration for more than five years that builds on our shared commitment to faith, justice, and solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world,” Hackett says.

Catholic Relief Services
Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community, alleviating suffering and providing assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. For more information, see

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

Media Contact:
Connie Kim Coutain | | 408-554-5126 (office) | 408-829-4836 (cell)

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