As in past years, I invite the University community to participate in the Month of Remembrance. Throughout November we honor a long-held tradition in Christian churches when we recall our departed loved ones and pray for their peace. Whether inscribing names in the Book of Names or sharing photos of deceased family and friends at the Altar of Remembrance, these actions give rise to healing and comfort. See the Campus Ministry Newsletter at http://www.scu.edu/cm/newsletter/remember2015.cfm for more ways to remember the communion of saints who have gone before us. 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.
Michael Engh, S.J.
At the recent Board of Trustees meeting on October 15-16, the board approved a series of action items. Two of the actions were recommended by the Trustee Academic Affairs Committee and one was recommended by the Audit Committee. The Board approved:
- the creation of a new Master of Science degree in Business Analytics;
- the elimination of the Master of Science degree in Entrepreneurship; and
- the acceptance of the Audit Report.
The trustees also received updates on the Law School building, athletics, campaign progress, and plans for integrating our academic programs with Silicon Valley. Penny Alexander, Chair of the Board of Regents, delivered the Regents report. Robert Numan, president of the Faculty Senate Council, and Aaron Poor, Associated Student Government president, reported on activities of their respective groups to the Trustees Executive Committee.
Trustees spent much of the second day of the meeting discussing key questions about the distinctiveness of Santa Clara and specific actions to enhance the University’s national reputation. The small-group discussions generated thoughtful feedback and valuable ideas that will be considered in the coming months.
Plans are taking shape for the conference, "Our Future on a Shared Planet: Silicon Valley in Conversation with the Environmental Teachings of Pope Francis," to be held on November 3-4 on campus. We are honored to host Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, the president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, who will open the conference.
Cardinal Turkson is widely considered one of the most influential voices in the church on the environment and a chief contributor of the encyclical, "Laudato Si'". Following the release of the encyclical, he has urged religious leaders, businesspeople, and politicians to take action on the implications of the encyclical and the negative impact of environmental decisions and policies on the poor. In a recent address, he advocated the need to "move forward in a process of change in defence of the Earth and of human dignity."
Santa Clara University is responding to Cardinal Turkson's urging by holding our conference in dialogue with Silicon Valley. We shall consider the environmental teaching of Pope Francis in light of the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley and the broader moral, political, and spiritual changes that are called for as we face the global environmental crisis. Environmental justice, not only related to sustainability and ecological preservation but also to the concern for the poor, remains a theme that resonates for our campus. The conference will guide us in dialogue on how Santa Clara University can link our work for social justice to our concern for the environment, recognizing that the poor have a real claim on our hearts and on our actions. In this place and time, Santa Clara University can be a resource for Silicon Valley to explore and reflect on the environmental questions that Pope Francis raises.
Members of the conference committee have been planning throughout the summer to arrange for an engaging slate of guest speakers and thought leaders. I wish to thank the committee members for planning a conference program that will invite interdisciplinary dialogue and reflection: David DeCosse (chair), John Farnsworth, Iris Stewart-Frey, Pat Haines, Lindsey Kalkbrenner, Theresa Ladrigan-Whelpley, Blair Libby '16, Ken Manaster, Tom Massaro S.J., Ed Maurer, Sean Reilly '16, Aven Satre-Meloy, Bill Sundstrom, Keith Warner, O.F.M.
On Wednesday, September 30, at 12:00 p.m. in the Mission Church, the University community will celebrate our annual Mass of the Holy Spirit, followed by a picnic lunch. At this special liturgy, Santa Clara will continue the centuries-old tradition among Catholic colleges and universities of calling upon the Holy Spirit to guide and bless us in our work throughout the academic year.
To enable the campus community to attend the Mass, classes will not meet between 11:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. that day. Classes that usually meet from 11:45 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. will be cancelled. Classes scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. will begin at 1:15 p.m.
We welcome one and all to join in the celebration.
Coming up on my Calendar:
- September 7 - Labor Day
- September 9 - Staff Faire
- September 13 - Vintage Santa Clara
- September 15 - Convocation
- September 15 - Faculty Recognition Event
- September 16 - Student Orientation Session 7
- September 18 - Alumni Board Meeting
- September 19-20 - Welcome Weekend
- September 23-24 - Board of Fellows Trip, New Orleans, LA
- September 25 - Bost College Board of Trustees Meeting, Boston, MA
- September 29 - Bellarmine College Prep Board of Trustees Meeting
- September 30 - Mass of the Holy Spirit
- October 2 - JST Board of Directors Meeting