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October 2019

Fr. O'Brien in clerical garb shaking hand of female student, seen from behind student

Fr. O'Brien in clerical garb shaking hand of female student, seen from behind student

Santa Clara University to Host Inauguration of President Kevin O'Brien, S.J., Oct. 11

A week of inauguration activities—some in support of migrants and refugees—will precede a formal ceremony Oct. 11, installing Kevin O’Brien, S.J., as SCU’s 29th president.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Oct. 8, 2019—Media are invited to attend a formal, celebratory ceremony installing Kevin O’Brien, S.J., as the 29th president of Santa Clara University, Oct. 11 at 11 a.m. in the University’s Leavey Center, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053.

Delegates representing more than five dozen universities across the United States—including 16 Jesuit institutions— will join SCU faculty, trustees, and leadership in procession in the first such formal academic ceremony since 2009, when former President Michael Engh, S.J., was inaugurated.


Attendees will hear from welcoming speakers including Georgetown President John J. DeGioia; San Jose Bishop Oscar Cantu; Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino, and others. After his ceremonial missioning and investiture by Jesuits West Provincial Scott Santarosa, S.J. and SCU Board of Trustees Chair John M. Sobrato, President O’Brien will give an inaugural address to an estimated 2,000 guests who will fill the Leavey Center.

Week of Inaugural Events

In the days prior to the ceremony, guests are being invited to numerous inauguration-related events, including several focused on the plight of migrants and immigrant families. That focus reflects President O’Brien’s deep commitment to vulnerable migrants and refugees, nurtured during his years as a chaplain with Jesuit Refugee Service and frequent visits to the Kino Border Initiative working with migrants along the Nogales border of Arizona and Mexico.

Among the inauguration-related events, each of which will be attended by Fr. O’Brien:

“Separating Children and Families of Refugees.” A panel on Monday, Oct. 7, will focus on the context and history of child detentions and family separations that continue to occur at U.S. borders. Speakers will include Julissa Arce, author and immigration activist; Mimi Nguyen, attorney with Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County; and Deep Gulasekaram, Santa Clara University law professor.
Prayer Service for Migrants. On Wednesday, Oct. 9 from 4 to 5 p.m., the campus community will join in a posada-style prayer service, walking among three campus locations in prayer for migrants worldwide.
President O’Brien Birthday Celebration. On Tuesday Oct. 8, from 4 to 9 p.m., SCU students will hold a 53rd birthday celebration for Fr. O’Brien around the Benson Memorial Center. A cake-cutting will be held at 4:30 p.m. across from Benson, under the Kenna trellis.
Community Weaving Project. All week, campus members will be invited to help create a community weaving artwork project memorializing the inauguration.
Clothing Drive for Migrants. All week, campus members will be encouraged to contribute to a clothing drive for migrants.

For full information on events please see the inauguration website.

A limited number of media will be admitted for photo opportunities during the pre-Inauguration robing. Please see Deborah Lohse or Deepa Arora to request access.

President Fr. O’Brien can also be made available for brief one-on-one interviews prior to Inauguration Day. Only prescheduled interviews will be accommodated.

Media Contacts
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Communications | | 408-554-5121
Deepa Arora | SCU Media Communications | | 408-554-5125


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