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$5 million gift to Santa Clara University will support student learning

Monday, Feb. 4, 2008

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Feb. 4, 2008. A $5 million gift from a Silicon Valley philanthropist and former Santa Clara University trustee will boost support for the University's social entrepreneurship program and support the newly approved core curriculum for undergraduate students.

The gift comes from the RNN Foundation, one of the charitable entities established by the Robert Noyce family. Ann Bowers, the widow of Robert Noyce, was instrumental in making the gift happen. She served as a member of the SCU Board of Trustees from 1986 through 1998. She said her donation stems from her admiration for the SCU mission. "I am very impressed with Santa Clara University's emphasis on educating the whole person. The new core curriculum, with its emphasis on social justice and student engagement, will help SCU students become leaders of   competence, conscience, and compassion who will help make the world a better place."

Bowers, who received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Santa Clara in 2000, was the first director of personnel for Intel, and then the first human resources vice president for Apple Computer. Later, she worked with the Silicon Valley Joint Venture Education Initiative. She is a senior trustee for the Noyce Foundation, which funds programs for students and teachers in literacy, math, science, and technology.

A portion of the funds are designated to support the Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) program run by SCU's Center for Science, Technology, and Society. This on-campus residential program helps social benefit entrepreneurs from around the world learn business skills, scale their projects, and achieve sustainability. The RNN Foundation has been supporting the GSBI program for the past two years.

The bulk of the RNN Foundation gift is earmarked to help implement specific elements of the University's new core curriculum, which may include student financial aid for research courses or immersion experiences; development of courses to meet new student learning outcomes; or transitional support for faculty salaries while the University raises funds for endowed professorships.

"I chose to support the new core curriculum because it is a powerful idea that will have a very significant and positive impact on SCU's mission for the long term," explained Bowers.

The RNN foundation was established to hold the Noyce Trust interest in the San Jose Jet Center, which was recently sold, making the gift possible.

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 8,685 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, 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

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