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At SCU's 150th commencement, all eyes are on the future
SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 16, 2001 - More than 13,000 family and friends of Santa Clara University cheered nearly 1,100 undergraduates as they walked across an outdoor stage at Buck Shaw Stadium today, celebrating the 150th commencement of California's oldest institution of higher learning.
The theme and setting were historic and harkened to rich traditions, but the messages graduates heard focused on the challenges of the new century.
Former SCU President William Rewak, S.J., who received an honorary degree, told the graduates they can look forward to the inevitably of life-long learning.
"The most obvious thing about your identity right now is that you are graduates of Santa Clara University, where ideas have stretched your minds, people have stretched your hearts and God had needled and graced your spirit."
"Let justice be one of the songs of your life," he said.
Rewak, who is director of the Jesuit Retreat House in Los Altos was an active SCU president, serving on local and national boards. During his tenure at SCU, he presided over the re-routing of The Alameda around campus, the creation of the Eastside Project, now the Pedro Arrupe Center for Community-based Learning, and the renaming of the university as Santa Clara University.
"It's not the end, its just the beginning of the rest of your career," Intel co-founder Gordon Moore told the graduates, after bring presented an honorary degree by SCU President Paul Locatelli, S.J.
"You probably are a year too late for the euphoria of the dot-com madness that we had here the last couple of years, and you're probably better off to have missed it," said Moore, who is now chair emeritus of Intel after retiring last month. Moore forecast a vision of change for the high-tech world more than 35 years ago, accurately predicting in the famed "Moore's Law," that memory capacity in computer chips would double every 18 months.
"The rate of change is accelerating," Moore said. "At this rate of change, you can't continue to be on the cutting edge unless you continue to learn as you have the last 4-5 years here at Santa Clara: Probably the most important skill you received here was learning how to learn - life-long learning that really is important and that is necessary for you to continue participating in the several careers you will have in the future."
Locatelli told the graduates: "May compassion extend your horizons beyond the ordinary and inspire you to fashion a just and faith-filled society for people of all languages and cultures, religious and ethnic backgrounds, especially those now on the edge of our society."
In addition, honorary degrees were presented to Bellarmine College Prep, accepted by president William Muller, S.J., and to the SCU Alumni Association, accepted by national alumni president Charmaine Williams.
Graduate school ceremonies are set for 9:30 a.m.Sunday, June 17. The speaker is the Most Rev. Patrick J. McGrath, Bishop of San Jose. He will receive an honorary degree, as will Silicon Valley icon Douglas Engelbart, inventor of the computer "mouse."
Santa Clara University's first "annual exercises" occurred in 1851, the same year it was founded as California's first institution of higher education. This year, the University conferred approximately 1,100 bachelor's degrees on Saturday.
The 2001 SCU valedictorian is Dana Keali'inuipi'ilaniomaui Creston Wolfe, an English major selected for "outstanding academic achievement and University service," and who also spoke on Saturday.
Two students received special recognition at the commencement: Shawna M. O'Day received the Saint Clare Medal, established in 1968, as the outstanding female graduate; and George Edward Barnidge received the Nobili Medal, established in 1876, as the outstanding male graduate. Other students receiving University awards in ceremonies Friday were Erika Nicole Bratton, the Student Life Award; and Anne Louisa Garrison and David Michael Thompson, the Presidential Leadership Awards. Another 60 students were recognized with honors on Friday also, plus 36 members of Phi Beta Kappa.
Santa Clara University is a Jesuit university with 4,300 undergraduate and 3,050 graduate students. The university offers a rigorous undergraduate curriculum and nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. In 2001, the American Association of Colleges and Universities awarded SCU a commendation for Distinguished Achievement in Undergraduate Education.
For more information about commencement exercises, and about media access, call Barry Holtzclaw, 408-554-5126, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Class of 2001, commencement speakers, honorary degree recipients, and student and faculty award winners, call Barry Holtzclaw, 408-554-5126, or email email@example.com. For information Santa Clara University, see www.scu.edu.