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Gregory J. Boyle, S.J., to speak at SCU undergraduate commencement

Tuesday, May. 18, 2004

SANTA CLARA, Calif.— May 18, 2004 --  Fr. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J., a Jesuit priest who works with youth gangs in Los Angeles, will speak at the Saturday morning, June 12, undergraduate commencement at Buck Shaw Stadium at Santa Clara University.

Boyle will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Faith and Justice degree at the 8:30 a.m. undergraduate ceremonies. Also at the undergraduate commencement, former professional football player Ronnie Lott will receive an honorary Doctor of Public Service, and Sister Barbara Flannery, CSJ, will receive an honorary Doctor of Religious Education.

Approximately 12,000 people are expected to attend the ceremony for the estimated 1,200 undergraduate students.

Boyle is the founder and executive director of two programs, the Jobs For a Future employment referral center, and the Homeboy Industries economic development program, that serve at-risk and gang-involved youth in the Los Angeles area.

"Father Greg Boyle exemplifies the best of the living a life of faith and justice," said SCU President Paul Locatelli. "His work with the young people of Los Angeles, especially those in gangs, gives hope to many who, because of their circumstances, had little hope of leading successful lives."

The Los Angeles native earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Gonzaga University, and master’s degrees from Loyola Marymount, the Weston School of Theology, and the Jesuit School of Theology. A former high school teacher, he was a prison chaplain in Mexico and Folsom, Calif., and pastor of the Dolores Mission. Boyle is a nationally-renowned speaker at conferences for teachers, social workers, and criminal justice workers, stressing the importance of adult attention, guidance, and unconditional love in preventing youth from joining gangs.

Flannery is a member of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet and has been chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Oakland since 1994. Under her leadership, the Oakland Diocese has become a model for how the church can help victims of sexual abuse and priests who are accused of sexual abuses.  As an outgrowth of meeting many victims of clergy sexual abuse, Flannery helped develop the Ministry for Survivors of Clergy Sexual Abuse, which has planned a campaign titled “No More Secrets” encouraging victims of abuse to come forward.

Lott, best known as a Hall of Fame football player, also has been a leader in community service. His 14-year NFL career culminated in his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 1989, he founded All Stars Helping Kids, a non-profit organization that helps disadvantaged youth in the Bay Area, and has created an All Stars Technology Room and children’s garden at UCSF Children’s Hospital. In 2001, he founded Olympius Capital, a minority-controlled firm committed to enhancing diversity in the financial services industry. In 2002, Lott was selected to join The Guardsmen, a service organization consisting of business and professional members devoted to advancing at-risk Bay Area youth by funding indoor and outdoor educational programs. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California.

For more information about the commencement ceremonies, visit

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,047 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the fourth-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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