Santa Clara University

SCU Today

University Press Releases

Back to Blog

Arizona governor to speak at undergraduate commencement

Monday, May. 19, 2003

SANTA CLARA, Calif.— May 19, 2003. Arizona governor Janet Napolitano will give the keynote address and receive an honorary degree during Santa Clara University’s commencement exercises for the class of 2003 on Saturday, June 14, at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Napolitano graduated summa cum laude from Santa Clara University in 1979 with a degree in political science. She earned a J.D. from the University of Virginia in 1983.

"We are very pleased to have Governor Janet Napolitano be part of our commencement ceremony," said Santa Clara University President Paul Locatelli, S.J. "We hope that Governor Napolitano, as an alumna of Santa Clara, will be an inspiration to students, faculty, and alumni who are committed to lives of professional excellence, responsible citizenship, and public service."

Napolitano served five years as Arizona’s U.S. Attorney. Her legal career was marked by the prosecution of several high profile criminals. She created the first Office for Women to make issues affecting women a top priority, and implemented Arizona’s first statewide Domestic Abuse Public Awareness Campaign.   During her watch she oversaw the investigation into Timothy McVeigh’s activities in Arizona prior to the Oklahoma bombing.

Elected Arizona’s Attorney General in 1998, Napolitano oversaw an office with 900 state prosecutors and support staff. She targeted and reduced child dependency cases. In addition, Napolitano prosecuted drug traffickers who manufactured drugs in homes where children were present and implemented the Attorney General’s School Hotline.

The Santa Clara University undergraduate commencement will be held Saturday, June 14 at 8.30 a.m. at Buck Shaw Stadium on the SCU campus. Approximately 12,000 people are expected to attend the ceremony for the estimated 1100 undergraduate students. Napolitano will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Locatelli. For more information about the commencement ceremonies, visit

About Santa ClaraUniversity

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,060 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


<p><a href=Janet Napolitano'79 speaks to students at 152nd commencement.

" style="float:none; margin:0; width:140px; border:none;" />

Tags: undergraduate

Printer-friendly format