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Spotlight on Spotlight

Santa Clara's own Blye Pagon Faust '97 was on campus for a hometown screening of Spotlight, the Academy Award-winning film for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture that she co-produced.

Communication students and special guests were given the additional treat of Faust’s introduction of the film and a Q & A session with her after the viewing, which was hosted by Knight-Ridder/San Jose Mercury News Endowed Professor of Communication, Michael Whalen. Some guests even had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of posing for a photo with Oscar himself (For the record, despite the clichéd remarks about his weight, he really is heavier than one would expect!).

When San Jose Mercury News reporter Scott Herhold interviewed Faust at the event, asking about the impact of her Santa Clara education on her career, she talked about her English classes, especially those with professor Diane Dreher. "I felt I knew how to write, how to synthesize ideas, and that was huge," she said of her education. "In terms of the Jesuit influence, and good moral compass, that's pervasive here. When you go out into the world, it's hard not to take that into account."

And take her moral compass out into the world is precisely what she did. Faust’s pull toward social justice and the power of investigative reporting led her to tackle the Spotlight film project, which follows the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team, the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalist unit in the United States, and its investigation into cases of child sex abuse in the Boston area by numerous Roman Catholic priests. The film is based on a series of stories published by the reporters of the Spotlight team that earned The Globe the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Faust worked for seven years to get the film made, exemplifying a deep commitment to the role of journalism in our society to uncover wrongdoing and uphold the central role of a free and aggressive press in our democracy.

Her tenacity in making this film has given her the opportunity to join the board for The Center for Investigative Reporting. "Joining CIR’s board represents my own commitment to pursuing the truth and ensuring that journalism in the public interest continues to thrive," Faust said upon announcing her affiliation with the organization.

Faust’s passion for justice is just part of what makes her a model Bronco. The rest is evident in her willingness to come "home" to Santa Clara to share in the celebration of her Oscar win and in her active involvement in joining other alumni each year in Los Angeles to meet with current SCU students who are interested in entertainment careers.

Alumni Story