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Campus Laudato Si' Stories

SCU is proud to be one of the 130+ founding universities from around the world that have committed to Pope Francis’ 7-Year Journey Towards Integral Ecology through the Laudato Si’ Action Platform. Read on below to see the stories that reflect the many ways the Santa Clara and Berkeley campuses have implemented unique paths to deepen our community’s integral ecology efforts. 

Stories from the Plan

Leading through Laudato Si’ Implementation Team Updates

Laudato Si’ Action Plan Updates



Alison Benders

Alison Benders book: Living Prayer

A new book by Alison M. Benders, Lisa Fullam, and Gina Hens-Piazza coming July 2024!


Students in a classroom

Summer Workshop Series

The Center for Sustainability’s summer workshop series (Sustainability Across the Curriculum, Environmental Justice and Integral Ecology, and Pedagogy for Sustainability and Justice) have helped 312 faculty (including 221 from SCU) integrate new sustainability and environmental justice materials into their curriculum since 2007.

Photo of bell outside IHS building

The Jesuit School of Theology has been on a seven-year journey toward integral ecology since launching its Laudato Si’ Action Platform Initiative in October of 2022. Each initiative outlined in our plan aims toward the goal of weaving this commitment to Laudato Si’; into the cultural, spiritual, and institutional identity of the JST-SCU community. Over the past eighteen months, significant progress has been made across a range of metrics. Several new courses have been developed, including “Food, Justice, and Eucharistic Eating” (Spring 2023), “Catholic Social Teaching in Action” (Summer 2023), “Environmental Ethics” (Fall 2023), and “Hope: An Experiment in Loving the Future” (Spring 2024). 


More stories coming soon!
Campus Engagement

Students looking at clothes on campus

Styling Success: Career Wardrobes Grant

Erin Kimura-Walsh (Director, LEAD Scholars Program), Melissa Thiriez (Director, Employer Relations and Partnerships, Career Center), and Veronica Johnson (Academics and Engagement Program Manager, Center for Sustainability) have been awarded a grant from the Regents Experiential Learning Initiative for “Styling Success: Career Wardrobes.” This program aims to educate students on workplace attire and expand the Center for Sustainability’s thrift pop-up to a permanent store.

There have also been numerous opportunities for students to participate in the action plan through community-wide events. In the Spring of 2020,
there was an all-school Environmental Justice Teach-In, and in the Fall of 2023, the First Annual Laudato Si’ Symposium took place. This Spring, students participated in a Lenten ‘Laudate Deum’ Pledge that involved education about sustainable food practices and volunteer opportunities. In addition, there have been student learning opportunities in partnership with local nonprofits and student immersion experiences.

The Action Platform has provided an opportunity for students, staff, and faculty to engage in community formation and civic engagement around our shared commitment to Laudato Si’. The plan has sparked important ongoing dialogue and action around sustainability and care for our common home.

Community Engagement

Photo of SVP Scholars

Silicon Valley Power Sustainable Futures Program

In Summer 2022, Santa Clara University and Silicon Valley Power announced a five-year Silicon Valley Power Sustainable Futures Program to enhance college access through scholarships and support project-based research fellowships for undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds pursuing studies and careers in sustainability fields. So far, the program has awarded scholarships to eight students and has funded six research fellows.

Operations Energy

Miguel Ozuna Leavey Bird Solar Picture

Miguel Ozuna Leavey Bird Solar Picture

As of March 2024, construction of the Bird Solar Project is 2/3 complete! Dual-sided solar panels now provide shade to the parked vehicles in the Leavey Lot and cool down the roof of the Athletics Excellence Center. More importantly, they are supplying over 16% of SCU’s electricity needs.

Operations Resources

Becca Nelson receives Environmental Justice Initiative Research Grant Award

Amy Lueck (Associate Professor, English), Becca Nelson (Manager, Forge Garden), and Maia Dedrick
(Assistant Professor, Anthropology) received a grant from the Environmental Justice and Common Good Initiative and the Miller Center for “Native Plants for Stewardship, Harvest, and Sustainable Use in Ohlone Cultural Projects.” This project will support sharing Ohlone cultural knowledge and public education in the local community and include teaching the SCU community about some new native plants at the Forge Garden.