Markkula Center of Applied Ethics

Ethics Center Thrives in New Building

After more than 10 years tucked into various nooks and crannies on the Santa Clara University campus, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics moved into a 4,000-square-foot wing of the new Communication, Public Policy, and Applied Ethics Building in December.


Thomas Shanks, S.J., who became director when the Center was housed in a single office behind the stairs at Orradre Library, said, "We now have the space to become the center of distinction we want to be."

Where once Center staff members were spread from the Religious Studies Department to the Division of Counseling, Psychology, and Education, now all have offices along the same corridor, facilitating the kind of hallway conversations that spark new programs and ideas.

Where once our course in Leadership Through Ethical Action and Development was crammed into the made-over garage of Ethics House, participants in this and other programs for students now meet in our own conference room.

Where once our Ethics at Noon programs took place in the basement of one of the University residence halls, they now unfold in the state-of-the-art E.L. Wiegand Teleconference Center, where they can be videotaped and even broadcast to the campus and beyond.


The building combines the feel of the Mission campus with the most up-to-date facilities. Traditional stucco and arches coexist with a soaring glass atrium, which provides the common area for all of the occupants. One of the most difficult parts of the design, according to architect Peter Saitta, "was integrating the 150-year history of the campus with the need to look to the next millennium-all the while combining three departments into one building."

The Center shares the building with the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the departments of Communication and Political Science. This blend was no accident. "By combining three departments under one roof, the University hopes to encourage intellectual and civic dialogue, stimulate integrated learning, and foster a community of scholars,"