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Silicon Valley visionary tells SCU graduates that future is about networks, not technology

SANTA CLARA, Calif.-- June 16, 2002 - Regis P. McKenna was introduced at Santa Clara University today as "the father of relationship marketing," but for the legendary Silicon Valley marketing consultant, Father's Day had a more personal meaning.

McKenna, who directed marketing efforts for Intel and Apple when they were start-up companies, saw his son Sean receive a masters in business administration in morning ceremonies at Buck Shaw Stadium on the Santa Clara campus.

The elder McKenna also received an honorary degree from SCU President Paul Locatelli, S.J., before speaking to approximately 660 recipients of graduate degrees and their nearly 3,500 friends and family.

McKenna, a member of the SCU Board of Trustees, told the graduate schools' audience that "this is a difficult time…when science and technology create such hope for greater progress and prosperity - a better quality of life for all peoples of the earth - (but) we live in a world plagued by political, religious and social turmoil."

"I suspect that the idea of networks will define the social, political, economic and business concepts and the vision for the 21st century, just as mass production defined cultures of the 20th century," he told the graduates, most of whom worked full-time for Silicon Valley companies while pursuing graduate degrees part-time.

"Silicon Valley is a living laboratory that is much more about the people, the leadership and the community and networks, than it is about the technology," McKenna said.

"Perhaps the next wave of our development here in the valley is not biotech or nano-tech, but rather the social and spiritual revolution that stimulates our knowledge and understanding of this new connected world," he said.

Although the events of September 11 and the bust of the Silicon Valley economic boom have shaken public confidence in the past year, McKenna said, " There is perhaps an even greater threat to our sense of stability, as news stories reveal failures of peoples' responsibility for ethical and moral leadership, and subsequent loss of trust in traditional institutions of authority."

He said he remained optimistic: "I am encouraged by an abiding sense of optimism among young people, for the future of science, technology and their society."

Santa Clara University on Sunday morning conferred: 335 masters in business administration, 167 masters of science in engineering, 73 masters of arts in counseling and counseling psychology, 70 masters of arts in education, 18 masters in pastoral ministries, and one Ph.D. in engineering.

McKenna founded his own high tech marketing firm, Silicon Valley in 1970 and the firm has evolved from a marketing business focused on high tech start ups to a broad-based marketing strategy firm servicing international clients in many different industries. He became chairman emeritus of The McKenna Group in 2000.

McKenna helped launch some of the most important technological innovations of the last 30 years including the first microprocessor, the first personal computer, the first recombinant DNA genetically engineered product, and the first retail computer store.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 7,400 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the third-highest graduation rate among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is on line at

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