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Donor Profiles

Michelle Etter '95
Michelle Etter

Class of ’95, Santa Clara Fund Donor

As we all can agree, this last year has been anything but normal. We’ve shared concern for community members in need and longed for the days when we can hug our friends and family again. For fellow Bronco, Michelle Etter ’95, she also expresses gratitude for the time she has had with her husband and three boys. But Michelle admits she knows it is time for them to go back to school. “They really need to have that social interaction, that experience that allows them to develop amongst peers, not just with family.” She adds, “My heart goes out to those young adults who are trying to experience their first year of college from home. Those four years at Santa Clara, you just cannot repeat that experience at any other time in your life.”

Michelle knows firsthand how the memories she created as a Bronco influence her today, and this is one of the reasons why she supports current Broncos through the Santa Clara Fund. She explains, “You're building a foundation during these formative years, you're building a channel to adulthood. And some of the values you learn at Santa Clara, with the people who are drawn here, really form a basis for what you do with your life outside of the University.” Last year, had it not been for COVID, she would have been on campus celebrating her 25th class reunion. But she was still happy to participate – attending Mass at the Mission Church and connecting with her classmates on Zoom. As she says, “Luckily, the friends that I made at Santa Clara are just close. No matter what, we're going to make time for one another.”

As a sophomore at Santa Clara University, Michelle became a resident advisor along with many of her friends. She happily recalls that time. "It was a good experience to be able to go back to campus, know what it's like to be new, and then give back to those who were coming to SCU for their first year.” There was just a sense of pride in the school that I belong to and I wanted to share that with those students who were homesick and needed to see that there was a path ahead of them that was going to be wonderful.”

Michelle continues to give back in this Bronco tradition. She has been donating to the University through the Santa Clara Fund since her graduation. She has also been heavily involved in her passion project, the Boys Team Charity in Almaden. As a founding board member, she is proud of the work they are doing helping boys and their parents become active participants in philanthropic projects that develop an altruistic spirit. “I came away from Santa Clara with just this love of being a part of a community that I made the family of my choosing,” Michelle says and then adds, “I want to participate in making the world better for myself, my immediate family, and the community around me.” And we are all grateful she is doing just that!

-Carrie Jensen