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Santa Clara University’s alumni director retires

Wednesday, Mar. 19, 2003

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- March 20, 2003 -- June 2003 will mark the end of an era at the Santa Clara University Alumni Association when Jerry Kerr ’61, executive director of the Santa Clara University Alumni Association, retires after 31 years of service.

"Jerry’s dedication and success at building relationships between the University and its alumni are legendary," said President Paul Locatelli, S.J. "Jerry’s legacy of commitment and service to our alumni and the University is a tremendous gift to the Santa Clara family. His departure leaves a void that will be hard to fill. Even though he has chosen to retire, I have asked Jerry to continue his good work in bringing the alumni closer to the University."

During his term as executive director, the membership of the Santa Clara University Alumni Association grew to 60,000 alumni, of whom 1,400 are volunteer leaders in 53 chapters providing more than 240 events a year. Kerr led the association into several new areas particularly the alumni student recognition program, the alumni networking system, and the University parents' program.

Other major annual activities initiated by Kerr include, the Ignatian Awards, which recognize alumni who have demonstrated outstanding service to others; Vintage Santa Clara, an annual food and wine festival; and the annual graduation picnic for graduates and their families.

Kerr was also responsible for establishing the Alumni Family Scholarship Program that provides more than 100 scholarships every year to undergraduates who are related to alumni.

"Jerry knew all the alumni like they were family," said Bob Watanabe, president of the Santa Clara University alumni board. "He cared about them, listened to what they had to say, and was instrumental in making alumni feel they were a part of the large Santa Clara family."

Kerr received his B.A. from Santa Clara University in 1961. His five sons, John, Matthew, Brian, Michael, and Gregg are all Santa Clara University graduates, and his wife Jean is an honorary member of the class of 1995.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its 8,060 students’ rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the third-highest graduation rate among all U.S. masters ’ universities, California’s oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is online at

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