And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea,
to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, …
to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
While they were there, the time came for her to have her child,
and she gave birth to her firstborn son.
- Luke 2: 4-7
Dear Members of the University Community,
This is the time of year when Christians celebrate the miraculous event of the birth of Jesus Christ to the Virgin Mary. The Gospels tell the familiar narrative of Joseph caring for his pregnant wife, of Mary giving birth to the Son of God, and of the shepherds journeying to the manger to pay homage to the newborn King.
We see in this image of a brave mother, a humble father and a helpless infant the images and life stories of people all around us. It is in the humanity of neighbors known and unknown where we can discover the face of God who sent Jesus to redeem the world. During this Christmas season we reflect on God’s great love for us and see it manifested in the lives of our own holy families and the holy family of all humanity.
Celebrated at this time also is the Jewish festival of lights, Hanukkah, which will take place December 9-16. Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Jews of Judah triumphed over their oppressors. For Jewish people around the world, these days recall the light of justice and peace that will triumph over the darkness of conflict and injustice.
In many faith traditions, light symbolizes the best of who we are and hope for blessings to come. This holiday season I pray that with your family and friends you experience the peace, joyful living and unconditional love that God wishes for all of us. May this also be a time for us to see the face of God in those who suffer illness, injustice, and economic insecurity, and to respond as members of the same family. At Christmas Mass, I shall remember the Santa Clara community, thanking God for all of you and asking God’s blessing now and throughout the new year.
With best wishes,
Michael E. Engh, S.J.
Board of Trustees Meeting Held
The Board of Trustees held their fall business meeting last week at a two-day offsite. Prior to the business meeting, the new trustees attended an orientation session to get an overview of key elements of the University – its Jesuit educational values and history, academic programs, financial overview, the fiduciary responsibility of the board members, and the fundraising plan for the University. The orientation is one of several ways that the University welcomes new trustees to the board and gives them a framework for understanding their roles and responsibilities as trustees.
At the opening reception, students involved with the Global Social Benefit Fellows program and the Frugal Innovation Lab held poster sessions for the trustees, sharing their experiences with these high-impact interdisciplinary projects. The GSB Fellows related their work with Solar Sister, a GSBI social enterprise that distributes solar lamps using Avon-style direct sale distribution network of women entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa. Students from the Frugal Innovation Lab highlighted their projects that ranged from affordable water quality monitoring, solar energy distribution, and mobile platforms for vocal pattern analysis. The students and mentors were very well-received by the trustees.
During the business meeting, the trustees approved the Audit Report and received an update from the Campaign Planning Task Force, chaired by John A. Sobrato. The chairs of the various trustee committees reported out on the activities of their respective groups. Other reports included those by the Chair of the Board of Regents, Patti Boitano; President of the Faculty Senate, Barbara Molony; and President of the Associate Student Government, Jenna Saso.
A significant portion of the meeting comprised presentations and a breakout session about strategic issues. I provided the trustees with an update on the state of the University, and Provost Jacobs gave an overview of the University’s strengths, challenges and aspirations. Trustee Bill Leahy, S.J., President of Boston College, presented on the role of trustees as stewards, ambassadors and benefactors and how they can advance Santa Clara University. Father Leahy offered valuable insights from his experience with trustees at Boston College and the special contributions they make in strengthening the institution. Following the presentations, the members broke out into small groups to discuss institutional priorities and identify practices that will help trustees be more effective stewards of Santa Clara’s educational mission.
What's Ahead on My Calendar
- October 30 - Administrative Leaders Group Meeting
- November 1 - Feast of All Saints
- November 1 - Conference of Catholic Colleges and Universities
- November 2 - Feast of All Souls
- November 2 - Silicon Valley Leadership Group Annual Luncheon
- November 5- Interfaith Prayer Service for the Election
- November 15 - The Tech Awards
- November 16 - West Coast Conference Presidents Council Meeting
- November 22 - Thanksgiving
Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award
This month I would like to acknowledge that Alexander Field, professor of Economics, received the 2012 Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award in the field of social sciences for his book, A Great Leap Forward: 1930s Depression and U.S. Economic Growth. Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honor Society, holds an annual book awards competition to recognize outstanding publishing achievement in the humanities and sciences by faculty and administrators in Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada and Korea. Congratulations to Professor Field for this accomplishment that brings recognition to him, to the Leavey School of Business and to the University.
Month of Holy Souls
During November, the Month of Holy Souls, we will honor the long-held tradition in the Catholic Church when we remember in a special way our deceased loved ones. We shall offer our prayers for family and friends who have died and pray for their eternal peace in the Lord. I invite you to submit your personal requests through the online remembrance form. Submissions will be collected through Wednesday, October 31, and placed in the Book of Names for remembrance throughout the month of November, beginning at the Mass for the Feast of All Saints on Thursday, November 1 in the Mission Church. Masses that day will be at 12:05 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and a Misa en Español at 8:00 p.m. Throughout November, the Book of Names will remain on display in the Mission Church. My hope is that the prayers we offer throughout the month bring a sense of peace and consolation to all of us who have lost loved ones.