September 2014

Cornel West Kicks Off Yearlong Bannan Institute Speaker Series on Leadership

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 24, 2014— Leaders from Janet Napolitano to Cornel West will speak on the role of social justice, faith and intellectual engagement in the lives of today’s leaders, as part of the yearlong Bannan Institute speaker series at Santa Clara University’s Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education. The series runs from Oct. 3, 2014 through May 19, 2015. 

The series this year focuses on the topic of leadership relative to larger themes of justice, faith, and the intellectual life.

“St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, challenges all persons to live our lives in pursuit of a greater end, the end for which we were created,” said Michael McCarthy, S.J., executive director of the Ignatian Center. “Our claim is that real leadership always comes from a personal integration and sense of ultimate priority.  When we seek to live lives of purpose, we become agents of personal and communal transformation.” 

Speakers will address timely issues and challenge the audience to consider questions and issues including:

Black Prophetic Fire. Cornel West, internationally known activist, philosopher, and professor, will offer a fresh perspective retrieving notable African-American leaders as the revolutionary figures that they fully are, not the “sanitized” versions that history sometimes makes them out to be. (Oct. 3).

Evolving Catholic Social Teaching. Maureen O’Connell, the award-winning author If These Walls Could Talk: Community Muralism and the Beauty of Justice will use case studies of pioneering figures enlivened by Catholic Social Teaching to reimagine a new method for addressing calls for justice in the 21st Century. (Oct. 9).

Social Change. Simone Campbell, S.S.S., who organized the national Nuns on the Bus tours that called attention to health care reform, the federal budget, and immigration reform, will reflect on faith and justice, and how the integral relationship between the two leads her to act for social change. (Jan. 27, 2015).

How Interfaith Dialogue Strengthens All. Rabbi Abraham Skorka, a friend and co-author of On Heaven and Earth with Pope Francis, will discuss the importance of interfaith dialogue with San Jose diocese Bishop Patrick McGrath and San Jose Temple Emanu-El rabbi Dana Magat. (Feb. 10, 2015.)

Bringing Jesuit Values into Leadership Roles. Three SCU/Jesuit-educated leaders – Congress member Zoe Lofgren, Yale’s first Catholic chaplain Sharon Kugler, and UC system president and former director of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano – will discuss how their Jesuit education and Jesuit values have shaped and challenged their roles as leaders. (Feb. 21, 2015, all day event.)

Spirituality in the Corner Office. SCU professor Andre Delbecq, a pioneer in the field of leadership spirituality, will discuss the value and impact of integrating spirituality with the business, healthcare, and academic arenas, with Elizabeth McCabe and Diarmuid Rooney of Ministry Leadership Center, and David McCallum, S.J., Chief Mission Officer of Le Moyne University.  (April 28, 2015).

Anniversary Reflections

The year 2014 marks two important anniversaries for the Jesuit order: The 25th anniversary of the politically motivated murders of six Jesuits and two household members in El Salvador at the University Central America (UCA), and the 200th anniversary since the Jesuit order was reinstated by Pope Pius VII in Europe, after having been outlawed for 25 years. Several speakers will address how those events are important today:

Leadership Born of Struggle and Hope. Speakers Kevin Burke, S.J. of the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, Bob Lassalle-Klein of Holy Names University, Lynette Parker of SCU Law, and Ana Maria Pineda, R.S.M. of SCU religious studies will explore how the lives, commitments, and struggles of the UCA martyrs formed them as leaders for justice and call forth our own leadership today. (Nov. 5)

La Verdad y La Justicia. Lucia Cerna, witness to the UCA murders by military members, and her co-author on a book on her life and the Salvadoran context, Mary Jo Ignoffo, will discuss Cerna’s firsthand account of the events in El Salvador and take audience questions. (Nov. 12)

Jesuit Reinstatement. Tom Lucas, S.J., the rector of the Jesuit community at Seattle University, will discuss the cultural, political, and religious context of the 16th century suppression and restoration of the Jesuit order. (Oct. 21)

University Dialogue

Diversity on Campus. The Santa Clara University community will be invited to reflect on how well it is living up to its commitment to dialogue, engagement, and diversity on campus, at two talks led by Karla Danette Scott, of St. Louis University and Aldo Billingslea, Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at Santa Clara University. (Oct. 14 and 15).

Past and Future of Jesuit Higher Education. Historian Gerald McKevitt, S.J. of SCU will discuss the history, current challenges, and future role of Jesuit higher education. (April 14, 2015).

Shared Governance. Mission and ministry VP Stephanie Russell of Marquette University will discuss challenges and successes for collaborative leadership and shared governance among faculty, staff, and administrators at Jesuit Universities. (April 20, 2015.)

A full line-up and calendar of speakers can be found at

Media Contact
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | | 408-554-5121



Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education,Cornel West,Janet Napolitano