Dear Alumni, Parents, Friends, and Colleagues,
Oh, what a difference a year makes. Having just “lapped” and completed my first year at Santa Clara University, I am excited to reflect back on an amazing year thanks to our incredibly talented and engaged students, faculty, staff, parents, administrators, and alumni. Looking ahead, next year promises to be action-packed. In this newsletter, you will see the breadth and depth of accomplishments across all disciplines in the College. We are excited to share and celebrate with you.
For years, Ethnic Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies have been College programs, offering companion majors (which students could complete as a complement to another major). This year, the Board of Trustees approved stand-alone majors and Department status for both disciplines. The Board of Trustees also approved a new interdisciplinary major in Neuroscience. We are excited to make these significant improvements to our curriculum and infrastructure in support of current and future students.
Thinking ahead, watch your email for formal announcements and details on our TWO Frank Sinatra Chairs for 2016-17: Scholar-Artist-in-Residence, actress and playwright, Anna Deavere Smith, and Artists-in-Residence, global musicians and cultural entrepreneurs, Silk Road Ensemble. Known for her roles in The West Wing and Nurse Jackie, Ms. Smith is said to have created a new form of theatre. Following interviews with scores of individuals, usually on a topic of civic and political interest, she creates theatre works in which she plays many characters representing multiple points of view. Her work has been described as “a blend of theatrical art, social commentary, journalism, and intimate reverie.” Ms. Smith is University Professor at New York University where she teaches at the Tisch School of the Arts. Inspired by the exchange of ideas and traditions along the historical Silk Road, cellist Yo-Yo Ma established the Silk Road Project in 1998 to explore how the arts can advance global understanding. The Silk Road Ensemble works to connect the world through the arts, focusing its efforts in three areas: musical performance, learning programs, and cultural entrepreneurship. We hope to see you at their performances.
AND, we are poised to open the Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building with its stunning Chihuly sculpture and launch of the SCU Arts District, a celebration this fall of all of the arts on campus: visual, literary, performing, exhibitions, and collections. We invite you to join us for a Community Celebration on Saturday, October 22nd when we will formally open the building to all and kick-off a yearlong celebration of the arts at Santa Clara University.
Most importantly, congratulations to the class of 2016 and their families. In the words of 2016 Valedictorian Gus Hardy, “goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.” But, he and I both say those words understanding that it’s goodbye for now and we’ll remain in touch and see you all soon.
Wishing everyone the best!
Debbie Tahmassebi, Dean