June 2013

Live a Life Aligned with Your Values, Speaker Urges Santa Clara University Advanced-Degree Graduates

SANTA CLARA, Calif., June 14, 2012 —  Be true to your heart rather than pursuing prestige or others’ expectations, Pamela Eibeck, the first woman president of the University of the Pacific told the graduate-degree recipients of Santa Clara University.

“Use your competence to excel in your profession, but live a life aligned with your values and with purpose,” Eibeck advised the 600 Santa Clara University advanced-degree recipients from the schools of engineering, business, education and counseling psychology, and arts and sciences.

SCU’s 162nd graduate commencement took place Friday evening at the University’s Leavey Center.

She told the story of her own uncertainty upon graduating from Stanford, wondering whether an academic career was the right path, and how her first, seemingly dream job at UC Berkeley was a bad fit for her. She said her final career path did not become clear until a few years ago, when she discovered she wanted to become a university president at an institution highly focused on undergraduate teaching.  

“When I made a major life choice that was true to my heart, when I followed my conscience and made a commitment, I could achieve a meaningful career and personal life,” she said. “Don’t be distracted by prestige or status – make choices in life that are true to your values.”

She told the graduates that their careers won’t have Google Map precision,  “from point A, graduation from Santa Clara, to point B, the pinnacle of your career.” Instead, “you will follow paths that bend and maybe even double back. Bifurcations will arise …where you need to make difficult choices with insufficient information,” said Eibeck,  who is also an award-winning engineering educator.

Eibeck’s presidency follows a distinguished career as a researcher, teacher, educational reformer, and university administrator. She was previously a tenured member of the faculty at the University of California at Berkeley, after which she became a professor and chair of mechanical engineering at Northern Arizona University, where she also served as director of the honors program and then vice provost for undergraduate studies. In 2004, she was named dean of the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering at Texas Tech University

University President Michael Engh, S.J. urged the graduates to reach their full potential by traveling with God, with compassion, and with love that "takes us all out of a self-centered life."

Other information about the graduating class:

Graduates represent 15 states and more than 18 countries, provinces, and territories.

Top Ethnicities: Asian (55%); White (25%); Other/Unknown (13%); Hispanic (3%)
Gender: 68% Male; 32% Female

Top Ethnicities: Asian (43%); White (31%); Other/Unknown (18%); Hispanic (6%)
Gender: 61% Male; 39% Female

Education and Counseling Psychology
Top Ethnicities: White (46%); Asian (20%); Other/Unknown (19%); Hispanic (11%)
Gender: 81% Female; 19% Male

Arts and Sciences (specifically Pastoral Ministries)
Top Ethnicities: White (60%); Other/Unknown (20%); Hispanic (10%); Asian (10%)
Gender: 60% Female; 40% 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

graduate commencement,Pamela Eibeck