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2010-2011 President's Report
A Letter from the President
From the beginning, St. Ignatius of Loyola found a way to be true to his core beliefs while simultaneously adapting himself to the realities he encountered. A man ahead of his times in the 16th Century, Ignatius was a restless leader of the Jesuits (Society of Jesus). He was never content with things the way they were. He was possessed of a drive to always improve, to try new ways of working, to locate new opportunities to serve God and God’s people better.Don Sull of London’s Financial Times described this approach of Ignatius as “strategic agility.” Sull defines this as “an organization’s ability to seize opportunities to achieve long-term goals as they arise and build the resources—including people, cash, and brand—to exploit unforeseeable opportunities.” Ignatius had the traits of an entrepreneur: his creativity, his responsiveness to new opportunities, his willingness to take risks, and even to fail. He also had a dimension beyond your everyday entrepreneur. He was a “spiritual venture capitalist.” Grounded in deep faith and formed with ethical values, Ignatius used his resources to work for the good of souls, and to better their condition in heart, mind, and body.
It is my desire that each of us feels that same restlessness of Ignatius, a desire for the better, an eye open for the next opportunity. When I listen in coffee sessions with staff and faculty, share a meal with student leaders, and read the dreams of our deans for their schools, I have a better sense of that restlessness, that shared desire to be an ever better, ever stronger, ever more humane Santa Clara.
This report illustrates our new Strategic Plan, one that has the stamp of restlessness coupled with vision and direction. This plan breathes new life into our rigorous programs and progressive initiatives. It will enable us to remain solidly committed to our mission and, at the same time, to unleash energies to realize our higher ambitions. With our plan in place, we have charted our course and positioned ourselves well for ongoing improvement.
Santa Clara University is thriving, and our students are flourishing. Enrollments are strong and our ever-rising applications for undergraduate admission are up 25 percent over the past 4 years. Our endowment realized a 19.3 percent return on investments in FY11. In two years, the number of alumni donors has increased by 50 percent. Signs of growth and revitalization abound in the new construction around campus. All are indicators that we are going in the right direction.
Our vision to educate leaders of competence, conscience, and compassion remains constant, and our restlessness will spur us to fulfill our great potential as the Jesuit, Catholic University in Silicon Valley.
Michael E. Engh, S.J.