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SCU President Paul Locatelli, S. J. to Speak at 2008 Commencement

Thursday, Apr. 17, 2008

SANTA CLARA, CA– April 17, 2008. Santa Clara University's president, Paul Locatelli, S.J., will deliver the commencement speech for the school's undergraduate class of 2008 on Saturday, June 14. The ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Buck Shaw Stadium.

Graduating seniors who have just begun their last quarter at SCU, and their families and friends, will hear an address from Locatelli before he steps down as president during the 2008-2009 academic year. Named to the position in 1988, Locatelli, 69, is the longest serving president at the University, which was established in 1851. He leaves SCU to take on expanded duties with the Jesuit order, requiring more time in Rome and more international travel.

A departure from the usual practice of inviting a speaker from outside the University, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to have Locatelli as this year's speaker. "This is a way of honoring him for his twenty years of service as president and also provides an opportunity for him to speak to the graduates about the meaning of their Santa Clara education both from his perspective as president and secretary for higher education," said Mike Markkula, chairman of Santa Clara University Board of Trustees.

Locatelli has written or spoken on such topics as Jesuit education in a globalizing world, educating for justice, service-learning in accounting, Catholic education in the 21st century, and the role of the teaching scholar. He is known for his commitment to ethics and social justice, and his emphasis on developing leaders of conscience, competence, and compassion.

"Paul's compassion, dedication, and moral strength are keys to his leadership," said Leon Panetta, director of the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, a former congressman, and former chief of staff for President Bill Clinton. "It is the legacy he strives to pass on to every Santa Clara graduate."

In addition to the 2008 commencement address, the ceremony will also include awarding an honorary degree to Roselyne "Cissie" Swig, founder and president of ComCon International, and a member of The Swig Company board of directors. The founder of SF Partners Ending Domestic Abuse, she has devoted decades to philanthropic and community service efforts emphasizing women's and social welfare issues, fine art, political advocacy and education.   

About the speaker

Paul Locatelli, S. J. 

Paul Locatelli, S.J. previously served as academic vice president and associate dean of business at SCU, as well as a member of the accounting department faculty. He received a baccalaureate degree from Santa Clara, a doctorate of business administration from the University of Southern California in 1971, and a master of divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley in 1974. He became a Jesuit in 1962 and was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1974.

Among the awards he received during his tenure are: the 2007 Community Builder Honoree from PACT (People Acting in Community Together); the 2005 Distinguished Service award from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley; the Exemplary Community Leadership Award from the National Conference of Community and Justice/Silicon Valley chapter; and the Spirit of Silicon Valley Lifetime Achievement Award from the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony
Saturday, June 14, 8:30 a.m., Buck Shaw Stadium
Commencement speaker:
Paul Locatelli, S.J., President of Santa Clara University


About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,377 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see


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