June 2012

Believe in Yourself and Help Others Believe in Themselves, U.S. Education Under Secretary Urged Santa Clara University Advanced-Degree Graduates

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 15, 2012 — With fewer than eight percent of the U.S. population holding advanced degrees, those who attain those heights possess both the ability and responsibility to lift others, said Martha J. Kanter, the U.S. Under Secretary of Education.

“You can do more, you can be more, you can lift others and you can change and improve our world,” said Kanter, the commencement speaker for about 650 Santa Clara University advanced-degree recipients from the schools of engineering, business, education and counseling psychology, and arts and sciences.

SCU’s 161st graduate commencement took place Friday evening at the University’s Leavey Center.
With an advanced degree and Santa Clara University’s emphasis on service to others, SCU graduates are well-prepared to benefit their community and the world, said Kanter, the official whom President Obama has charged with helping to educate America’s workforce for the next decade.

Reciting a list of prominent SCU alumni including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta; Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano and California Gov. Jerry Brown, she urged the graduates to “add your names to the honor roll of those who walked these corridors and made positive change happen for decades before you entered these doors.”

She told the story of SCU counseling psychology master’s student Fabian Castaneda, whose early teachers told him he was not college material.  “He represents each of you,” she said. 

Kanter is the former chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, which serves more than 45,000 students with a budget of about $400 million. She holds a doctorate in organization and leadership from the University of San Francisco; a master’s degree in education with a concentration in clinical psychology and public practice from Harvard University, and a bachelor's degree in sociology from Brandeis University. She holds honorary degrees from Palo Alto University, Chatham University, Lakes Region Community College, Moraine Valley Community College, and the Alamo Colleges.

University President Michael Engh, S.J. urged the graduates to use their Santa Clara education “to construct more humane, sustainable and just communities in the world,” and to be ethical and compassionate.

Other information about the graduating class: 

Graduates represent  17 states and more than 17 countries, provinces, and territories.

Top Ethnicities: Asian (63%); White (19%); Other/Unknown (12%); Hispanic (3%)
Gender: 68% Male; 32% Female

Top Ethnicities: Asian (49%); White (25%); Other/Unknown (20%)
Gender: 65% Male; 35% Female

Education and Counseling Psychology
Top Ethnicities: White (48%); Hispanic (17%); Other/Unknown (18%); Asian (12%)
Gender: 84% Female; 16% Male

Arts and Sciences (specifically Pastoral Ministries)
Top Ethnicities: White (70%); Hispanic (10%); Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (10%)
Gender: 70% Female; 30% Male

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see www.scu.edu.

Media Contact:
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | (408) 554-5121 | dlohse@scu.edu

Martha Kanter,commencement,graduate-commencement