Dear Members of the Santa Clara University Community,
George J. Alexander, former law school dean and professor emeritus, died peacefully Monday night after a prolonged illness. George led the law school from 1970 to 1985—a period of great growth both in enrollment and in prominence for the law school, making him one of the most influential deans in its 100-year history. During his time as dean, George emphasized scholarship, hired distinguished faculty, and with his commitment to diversifying the legal profession, recruited talented students of color from across the country. He led the law school in developing a more international law curriculum and established it as a pre-eminent global legal educator.
George left a strong legacy of commitment to advancing the legal profession and improving access to legal services. He and his wife, Katharine, have been great friends and supporters of the law school. In 2004, they endowed operations of the Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center, which serves low-income people in matters of consumer law, immigration law, and workers’ rights. In 2008, they established the annual Katharine and George Alexander Law Prize, which recognizes lawyers who have used their legal careers to help alleviate injustice and inequity.
As professor, dean and friend of Santa Clara, George embodied the University’s mission and values by combining a high regard for academic rigor with a personal commitment to making the world a better place. While we mourn George’s death, we also thank God for the gift of his life. The University community will miss his leadership, wisdom, and friendship.
Please keep George and his family in your prayers. May he rest in peace.
Michael E. Engh, S.J.
Dear SCU Community,
Below find a recent statement, which I fully support, regarding "DREAMers" that was authored by the U.S. Jesuit Conference and Kino Border Initiative. It highlights one of our courageous incoming law students. I have also contacted our local representatives requesting their assistance with this matter on behalf of our student.
Michael E. Engh, S.J.
July 23, 2013
The U.S. Jesuit Conference and the Kino Border Initiative recognize the enormous courage of the eight young “DREAMers” who crossed through a port-of-entry at the U.S./Mexico border yesterday, July 22, 2013 to reunite with their families and communities and to call attention to the continued deportations of hundreds of thousands of our undocumented community members, even as Congress seeks to address problems in our broken immigration system.
The eight young people, who call communities across the United States their home, presented themselves to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Morley Gate in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Accompanied by their lawyers, U.S. citizen friends, faith leaders and supporters, these young men and women walked to the official pedestrian crossing point and requested humanitarian parole to rejoin their family members and communities within the United States.
All eight individuals were born in Mexico but were brought over the border as young children and would be eligible for the DREAM Act currently being considered as part of the immigration overhaul legislation pending before Congress. The eight youth are currently in CBP custody, awaiting review of their requests for humanitarian parole, among them an aspiring lawyer, Lizbeth Mateo who is registered to attend Santa Clara University’s Law School, a Jesuit University this fall. Lizbeth and her compatriots represent the kind of promising, bright, and courageous young people that Jesuits encounter every day in ministries throughout the United States, especially in our schools and universities.
Last week, Jesuit University presidents joined other Catholic college presidents in a letter calling for immediate, comprehensive, moral and humane overhaul of our country’s broken immigration system, which continues to separate families and “trap aspiring Americans in the shadows.” We echo this call, and we stand with the eight DREAMers who crossed yesterday seeking a humanitarian parole policy that reunites families and puts on hold further deportations of our students, our parishioners, our friends, and our family members as comprehensive immigration reform legislation is being debated.
Wednesday, July 31, marks the feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order. As is our tradition at Santa Clara, we shall celebrate the feast day with a liturgy at 11:30 a.m. in the Mission Church, followed immediately with a picnic lunch.
Ignatius' unique gift to the Society of Jesus and to the Church was his spirituality that invites women and men to integrate learning into a life of faith. Through education, he sought to build better communities for the greater glory of God, with a mission of love, justice and a special concern for the poor, the sick and the hungry. My hope is that our prayer on his feast day lead us to see God, our world, our work, and ourselves in a new way.
Please mark you calendars to gather together on Wednesday, July 31, and celebrate our Ignatian roots.
The holy month of Ramadan begins July 9 for Muslims around the world. Marked by fasting and sacrifice, Ramadan is a time for inner reflection, devotion to God, and self-control. The traditional practices of prayer, fasting and acts of charity help bring members of Islam closer to God during these holy days. For the Muslim community, fasting frees the body and soul from worldly impurities and offers an opportunity to focus on spiritual needs. Muslims are called upon to reflect on their lives and make peace with others.
May this holy month bring personal transformation and a deeper relationship with God to members of the Muslim community. May it also remind each of us of our own need for spiritual renewal and reconciliation with one another and with God.
Beginning today and continuing for the next few weeks, the Class of 2017 will come to campus with their parents for orientation. This is a special occasion for our new students when we welcome them to the University community and assure their parents of the care they will receive when they arrive in the fall. This is also a time when the students begin to build relationships with their classmates and the faculty and staff who will teach, mentor and support them over the next four years. I know that many of you are involved in the orientation sessions, and in many capacities; without you we would not be able to provide our incoming students and their parents with a warm welcome and a successful transition to college life. Thank you for your hard work and commitment to our students.