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President Engh at podium during 2018 State of the University address

President Engh at podium during 2018 State of the University address

Bearing One Another’s Burdens

President Michael E. Engh, S.J., discussed the year’s successes and holding one another “in awe,”  in his State of the University address. 

Santa Clara University can be a model in today’s stressful times for helping one another carry burdens, be they political stress; financial challenges; mental health; racial discrimination; or threats of deportation.

That was the message of Santa Clara University President Michael E. Engh, S.J., at his annual State of the University address, delivered Feb. 13 at Mayer Theatre.

“I often stand in awe for what you do at Santa Clara, how you live out the mission of this university,” said Engh.

He noted that Santa Clara’s campus community had heeded his call from last year, to be more efficient and help identify revenue-generating opportunities.

“You delivered,” he said. “The budget ended in the black, balanced through painful cutbacks, but no layoffs of staff or faculty," he noted. In addition, he said the Sustaining Excellence Project task force helped identify additional sources of efficiency or revenue, including coordinating and centralizing event planning on campus; evaluating the use of technical services; and reviewing summer orientation.

From the stage, Engh greeted two attendees: W. Kamau Bell, the College of Arts and Sciences Artist in Residence and host of CNN’s docu-series United Shades of America, and Mike Crowley, the former A’s president who was recently named associate vice president for finance and administration at SCU.

Engh cited numerous success stories from the past year, including:

  • SCU’s third Rhodes Scholar in eight years, Sean Reilly ’16, who was assisted in his application by Prof. Leilani Miller, director of the University Honors Program and Office of Fellowships
  • The launch of SCU’s first online MBA program, led by management Prof. Nydia MacGregor
  • A provisional patent filed by students of engineering Prof. Emre Araci, related to their work on “smart contact lenses” that can detect early stages of glaucoma

Quoting Greg Boyle, S.J., an alumnus of Jesuit School of Theology who founded Homeboy Industries and wrote the new book, Barking to the Choir, Engh said “the ultimate measure of health in any community might well reside in our ability to stand in awe at what folks have to carry, rather than in judgement at how they carry it.”

Bell was also featured in a video with Theatre and Dance Prof. Aldo Billingslea, discussing the current-day impact of an address on nonviolence by Martin Luther King, Jr., to the American Baptist Assembly, parts of which Billingslea read in the video.

“In that video you see the power of our Santa Clara University community,” Engh noted. “What’s your life like? Ask the question. Host the conversation. Across any lines that divide us.”

 “Let us see with new eyes that we’re all kin, related to each other,” he concluded. “Moved by compassion and understanding our kinship, let us remember that every person we encounter deserves our awe and our respect.”

Click here to watch the video stream from the State of the University address.


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Photo by Charles Barry