May 2018

Close up of Howard Charney at C. Hall groundbreaking

Close up of Howard Charney at C. Hall groundbreaking

Retired Cisco Executive, 3Com Founder Howard Charney to Speak at Santa Clara Law Commencement

Tech executive and key donor to Charney Hall will be the featured speaker at Santa Clara Law's commencement May 19.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 10, 2018—The former Cisco senior vice president who co-founded 3Com and Grand Junction Networks, Howard S. Charney MBA ’73, J.D. ’77, will be this year’s speaker at the Santa Clara University School of Law commencement.

The event will be held Saturday, May 19, at 9:30 a.m. in Santa Clara University’s Mission Gardens.

Charney will be speaking to students just a few months after the opening of the new law school building bearing the Charney name, the Howard S. and Alida S. Charney Hall of Law. Charney and his wife donated the foundational $10 million in 2014 to construct the new law building.

“In addition to his immense generosity, Howard Charney has been an invaluable source of guidance and support for the direction and future of Santa Clara Law,” said the school’s dean, Lisa Kloppenberg. “I know our students will enjoy and be inspired by his story and insights.”

Charney co-founded the $3 billion company 3Com in 1980, and 12 years later founded Grand Junction Networks, which was acquired by Cisco in 1995. Until his recent retirement, he served as senior vice president in the Office of the President and CEO at Cisco, contributing to the company’s strategy and direction and also advising businesses, governments, and educators around the world in implementing critical Internet technologies to improve organizational effectiveness.

Over his career, he has overseen the development and expansion of key technologies that have helped build the global Internet as it exists today. He helped grow Cisco’s two-tier distribution business to more than $2.4 billion and helped turn fast ethernet and low-cost switching into fundamental, global Internet technologies.

A licensed patent attorney, Charney has served as a board member for several technology companies. He serves as a trustee of Santa Clara University, and has been an adviser to Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, including funding a professorship and serving on its advisory board and executive committee.

He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an MBA and J.D. from Santa Clara University. His son, Tristan, is a 2006 MBA alumnus from Santa Clara.

At the ceremony, Charney will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree. Prior to the ceremony numerous outstanding graduates will be given awards, including:

  • Natalie Parpos will be awarded the Mabie Outstanding Graduate Award based on academic performance, scholarly activities, leadership and service roles at the law school and in the community
  • Jonathan “Jojo” Choi will receive the Dean's Leadership Award for exemplifying the school’s motto of “lawyers who lead” and serving other students, the school, and community
  • Maya Younes will receive the John B. Bates, Jr. Dispute Resolution Award, established in 2017 and given in recognition of the student’s coursework, publications, performance, and service related to the field of dispute resolution.

About Santa Clara University School of Law
Santa Clara University School of Law, one of the nation’s most diverse law schools, is dedicated to educating lawyers who lead with a commitment to excellence, ethics, and social justice. Santa Clara Law offers students an academically rigorous program including certificates in high tech law, international law, public interest and social justice law, and privacy law, as well as numerous graduate and joint degree options. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Santa Clara Law is nationally distinguished for its faculty engagement, preparation for practice, and top-ranked programs in intellectual property. For more information, see

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in Californiaís Silicon Valley, offers its more than 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering; masterís degrees in business, education, counseling psychology, pastoral ministry, and theology; and law degrees and engineering doctoral degrees. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. masterís universities, Californiaís oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

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


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