Finn Residence Hall Comes to Life
Hundreds of students flood Finn Hall and breathe life to the theme, cura personalis.
How do you expand a University while keeping your values front and center? At SCU, one way is to open a residence hall built around the Jesuit value of caring for the whole person, or cura personalis.
Just before the Sept. 23 start of Fall undergraduate classes, 366 mostly first- and second-year students became the enthusiastic inaugural residents of the Stephen A. Finn Residence Hall, named in honor of foundational donor and trustee Stephen A. Finn MBA ’76. Students call it Cura for short.
Finn, at the time a member of the Board of Regents, stepped up when it became clear that Santa Clara needed an additional residence hall to support the planned growth of the undergraduate student body—especially in the areas of STEM and business—and to increase the percentage of undergraduates who live on campus. With Finn Hall and other planned residence options, SCU is delivering a more integrated and enhanced residential experience for undergraduates throughout their first two years.
On Move-In Day 2019, as students unloaded their bean bag chairs, stuffed animals, computers, clothes, and posters in their rooms, they were pleased to notice the ample communal space and large room sizes in Finn.
“I thought I brought too much stuff, but I have extra room,” said Ethan Frink ’23. from Seattle. His mom Janet marveled that Finn “is nicer than the hotel we’re staying in.”
Each of the four floors has elevators that don’t just plop occupants onto a hallway, but rather put them at the center of a community’s social scene—open common areas with kitchens, couches, and games. Foosball on one floor. Ping pong, air hockey, and pool on others. The rooms are mini-suite style, two students per room sharing a bathroom with an adjoining room.
“It’s exciting to be the first ones here and the first ones trying everything,” said Mehak Bohra ’23.
That is what happens when you plan for community. The theme cura personalis is not just a motto. Community facilitators will host workshops or floor events around a theme of well-being each week—social, financial, spiritual, emotional.
“The theme of well-being is very present and important,” said Bella Ilk-Greenhill ’21, a studio art and Spanish double major and a community facilitator in Finn. “It’s going to be really exciting.”
About Finn Hall’s Namesake
Stephen A. Finn MBA ’76 had always hoped to attend Santa Clara, dating back when he attended nearby Saint Clare as an elementary schooler.
So after completing his undergraduate degree at San Jose State University, he applied for the MBA program at SCU. He was turned down. But he was persistent. He met and talked with the dean of the business school.
“I got a letter two weeks later,” Finn said. The envelope was thin. “There was one page. It said, ‘We’ve reconsidered.’”
Then, Santa Clara MBA in hand, he went on to a successful career in financial services, including serving as CEO of Trust Company of America, and served on the Los Altos Hills city council. He’s stayed active at SCU, including as a member of SCU’s Board of Regents and now as a University trustee.
On Oct. 10, during the inauguration-week festivities, Finn Hall was formally dedicated at a well-attended ceremony. Finn Hall is part of strategy for SCU “to stay ahead, to stay relevant for the next generation,” Finn has said. At the dedication, he recalled how as a Regent he learned that SCU's growth was constrained by a need to house all students on campus in their first years. His friend John A. Sobrato ’60, P’83, P’94 told him "we can handle more students if you'll help us build the next residence."
"I am just happy to be able to give back, because I’ve received so much from the Valley, the Jesuits, and Santa Clara University,” he said standing outside the building he helped make happen.
The jubilant inhabitants of Finn Hall could not be more delighted.
Said Taylor Kealoha ’23 from Hawaii: “I’m really excited for the new courses..and getting to know everyone else in the dorm.”
To learn more about Innovating with a Mission: The Campaign for Santa Clara University visit campaign.scu.edu.