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Santa Clara University Celebrates its 159th Commencement Ceremony

Saturday, Jun. 12, 2010

Watch a video from Saturday's commencement ceremony.

Watch a slideshow from Friday's and Saturday's commencement ceremonies.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. June 12, 2010 – Santa Clara University’s undergraduate class of 2010 received their degrees on Saturday after Ken Hackett delivered his commencement address and encouraged the 1,392 students to feel solidarity with the poor – not just in their city, but in their own world as they take up their next adventure in business or in education.

Hackett is the president of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), which was one of the first responders to the devastating earthquake in Haiti. CRS provides humanitarian relief and development assistance to the poor and marginalized in more than 100 countries. It has responded to other humanitarian crises and disasters such this month’s flooding from Tropical Storm Agatha, human trafficking in India, and the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia.

Thousands of family members, faculty, and staff listened intently as Hackett reminded the students of why they first chose to attend Santa Clara University.

“Whether you are Catholic or not, you came to a Catholic institution because it was here that the important ethical questions are debated, asked, answered, and discussed, putting your intellectual pursuits in their proper framework,” Hackett said.

He pointed to the values some of the graduating seniors have imbibed and exemplified during their time at Santa Clara: Michael Hayes’s trip to Honduras delivering medical supplies; Sarah Bradley’s work in schools in India and Spain; and Anne Murphy-Hagen’s trip to Tijuana to help build a house. The three students received the Nobili Medal, the Saint Clare Medal, and the Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., Award, respectively during Saturday’s 159th commencement ceremony.

Hackett also remarked on the valuable education students received at Santa Clara and how it has prepared them intellectually and spiritually for the 21st century.

“You have lived and studied in a fascinating crossroads for the last four years – between Asia and America, between the past and the present, the mission and the microchip,” said Hackett. “Use this wonderful preparation to engage the world every day. Find your own courageous option. Hopefully in some way it will also include an option for the poor. Find your mission. And follow it on the magnificent adventure that awaits you as you leave Santa Clara.”

Before Hackett’s address, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Faith and Justice. Other 2010 honorary degree recipients include Bernard and Barbro Osher and George Coyne, S.J. Coyne, who is president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation, received an honorary Doctor of Science for his work in promoting dialogue between philosophy, theology, and the sciences. The Oshers received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for their enormous influence on higher education, integrative medicine, and the arts through their philanthropy in the U.S. and Sweden. Bernard Osher is the founder and treasurer of the Bernard Osher Foundation. Barbro Osher is the chair of the Bernard Osher Foundation and president of the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation. She is also the Consul General of Sweden in California.

Graduating senior Jamie Staudt was also recognized as valedictorian for her outstanding academic achievement and service at Santa Clara.

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 more than 8,600 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, 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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Tags: 2010 commencement speech, 2010 undergraduate commencement, Ken Hackett

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