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Santa Clara University

SCU Stories
Gaffney photo

Aideen Gaffney '89. '92

At a glance:

SCU gave this alumna many great memories, especially her study abroad experiences--so she decides to give back.

Aideen Gaffney has some great memories from Santa Clara. From studying abroad in London and Vienna, to living in the Brown House, to the "Happy Corner" at the Hut "where most of their problems were solved," so many of Aideen's memories include Santa Clara. She remembers the night the Member of Parliament she worked for came to her flat to meet her Santa Clara roommates who were also studying abroad in London. It was one of the highlights of her Santa Clara experience – in fact, her study abroad experience is a big reason of why she chose to give back to Santa Clara.

"I realized some of my best memories in life involved Santa Clara. It was at Santa Clara that the foundation was set for a life devoted to strong values, faith, and a belief in a Catholic education."

 Aideen's husband was the student body president at St. Mary's College– so there has been a bit of school rivalry over the years, but that didn't stop Aideen from supporting Santa Clara. She says: "There will always be a 'reason' or 'excuse' not to give, but the reasons to give far outweigh any excuses to remain status quo! I wanted to contribute to a program that would give the University freedom to allocate the resources where they were most needed – yet I wanted to make sure a portion was designated to the Study Abroad Program, as it played such a critical part in my personal development. The Santa Clara Fund was an easy choice for me – it gives the University some flexibility but still supports programs that are important to me."
Aideen knows that her gift will help insure that every student who wants to receive a Catholic education will have the opportunity to do so. "I have found, especially in economically challenging times, that giving is particularly rewarding. It sounds counter-intuitive but if I truly need to make a sacrifice, I must really love that place to give a gift. To think that I can help even one person have the same experience I did at SCU is so rewarding."

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