Santa Clara University

Santa Clara Magazine

Mission Matters

 

commencement_599
Share the news: Ramya Holehonnur '10 is excited to spread the word about her M.S. in Computer Engineering
Photo: Joanne H. Lee

Engage the world

From the crossroads between the Mission and the microchip, the biggest graduating class ever sets forth.

The sun shone brilliantly on the lawn of Buck Shaw Stadium for undergraduate commencement ceremonies on June 12, when 1,392 Santa Clara undergrads acquired all the privileges and responsibilities that come with bearing an SCU diploma. Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), delivered a stirring address to the assembled commencers—but first he called for a round of applause for the parents, grandparents, and assorted family members who had come to witness the grand occasion.

Hackett, assessing Santa Clara University’s place on the Pacific Rim and its identity as a university where the microchip and the Mission intersect, surmised, “It is hard to imagine a better place to have prepared you for the 21st century. That’s not easy for me to say .… I come from a city called Boston where we are pretty proud of our institutions of higher learning.”

As for that fabled microchip, Hackett said, it “might make people a lot of money,” but in the larger scheme of things, “it is worthless without the mission.” The Internet, he said, “will sell you anything … ideas and products, good and evil. It has become one of the main recruiting tools for terrorists. Hate groups form many of its virtual communities. And though Facebook might keep you in touch with far-flung friends … it has become a terribly efficient mechanism to bully classmates. My point is not that this technology is evil. But nor is it good. It is indifferent. It has no moral sense.”

hackett_150x139
CRS Director Ken Hackett
Photo: Charles Barry

Hackett was presented with an honorary degree by SCU President Michael Engh, S.J. Members of the SCU community are no strangers to CRS, the organization Hackett directs, which provides humanitarian relief and development assistance to the poor and marginalized in more than 100 countries. CRS has responded to humanitarian crises and disasters such as this summer’s flooding from Tropical Storm Agatha, human trafficking in India, and the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia. Inspired by a speech given at Santa Clara by Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., in 2000, when he served as superior general for the Society of Jesus, CRS and SCU forged a partnership several years ago; students Rebecca Fox-Guttadauro ’10 and Patrick Schweiger ’10 are among those who have worked internationally with the organization since then.

Hackett also pointed to the values some graduating seniors have exemplified during their time at Santa Clara: Michael Hayes ’10, who traveled to Honduras delivering medical supplies; Sarah Bradley ’10, who worked in schools in India and Spain; and Anne Murphy-Hagen ’10, who journeyed to Tijuana to help build a house. The three students received the Nobili Medal, the Saint Clare Medal, and the Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., Award, respectively.

Other 2010 honorary degree recipients this year included Bernard and Barbro Osher, in recognition of their enormous influence on higher education, integrative medicine, and the arts through their philanthropy in the U.S. and Sweden. Bernard Osher is the founder and treasurer of the Bernard Osher Foundation. Barbro Osher is the chair of the Bernard Osher Foundation and president of the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, and she is the consul general of Sweden in California. George Coyne, S.J., president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation, was also honored for his work in promoting dialogue among philosophy, theology, and the sciences.
Steven Boyd Saum and Deborah Lohse

nick
Newly degreed: Nick Benavides '10 and Lindsay Azarello '10.
Photo: Charles Barry
Reaching out … in Afghanistan or Silicon Valley

Along with picking up their diplomas, graduates of SCU’s advanced-degree programs heard a story about the Taliban this year. It was a real-life experience shared by Sakena Yacoobi, an Afghan women’s rights pioneer, who spoke to the 800 students assembled from the School of Engineering, the Leavey School of Business, the School of Education and Counseling Psychology, and the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries as part of the graduate commencement ceremony on June 11 at the Leavey Center.

Yacoobi founded the Afghan Institute for Learning, which promotes health and education for the women of her native country; it also supports human rights and leadership training. She shared a personal experience of when extremists visited her office, having discovered she had, years before, started an underground school for girls and boys, when the Taliban had outlawed schooling. Surprisingly, the men came not out of animosity but seeking her help. “‘Our women are dying,’”

Sakena_Yacoobi_150
Graduate Commencement Speaker Sakena Yacoobi.
Photo: Charles Barry
Yacoobi recalled them saying. “‘We want them to live. We want a school inside Afghanistan.’ This told me everyone has some goodness in them if we work through our differences,” Yacoobi said.

Yacoobi’s work has focused on women and children in refugee camps. She urged the graduates to seek commonality in a world of division because in doing so “you give a gift” both to yourselves and others, which she said is the key to success. “I don’t ask you to move to Afghanistan … but here in your home town there are many, many things you can do to reach out for others.”
Liz Carney '11

On to practice

On May 22, Miguel S. Demapan J.D. ’85 opened the 99th Law School Commencement with a warm “Hafa Adai,” a Chamorro greeting from the Northern Mariana Islands—where he serves as chief justice. Standing before the graduating class of 350, Demapan spoke of the moral challenges facing the legal profession, as profitability and marketplace competition begin to challenge the core values of practicing law: public service, loyalty, trust, confidentiality, competence, and avoidance of conflicts of interest in a global economy.

gradkids_180x120
Singing for their alma mater: from left, Jennifer Sullivan '10, Veronica '10, P.J. Johnson '10
Photo: Charles Barry

“The legal community now faces a new reality in today’s society, in which firms are seen as business entities as much, or more so, than as a practice,” Demapan said. And he wondered, “Can the maximization of profits coexist in a profession in which we owe the highest duties to both the court system and our clients?”

Demapan spoke as well of new, positive challenges facing lawyers as technology increasingly empowers the public in the legal arena. “People are now demanding more from their courts than ever before. They are more aware of their rights and what government should be doing for them and how their leaders should be held accountable.”
Molly Gore '10



 

Power to the People

The Center for Science, Technology, and Society launches a defining three-year project: pursuit of clean energy for the developing world
Blueenergy-4_139
Wind and water in Nicaragua: Projects from blueEnergy, one of the participants in the Power to the People conference. Villagers perform wind turbine maintenance, a vital part of the renewable energy effort.
Photo: blueEnergy Corporation

In the office she shares with Jeffrey Miller at Nobili Hall, Radha Basu leans forward. “In much of the developing world, they don’t have grid power,” she says. “Underserved means not served.”

A report released by the United Nations in April backs up Basu’s sobering observation: Globally, 1.6 billion people, one-quarter of humanity, lack access to electricity—which affects their health and keeps them trapped in poverty, said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who requested the study.

Confronted with the enormity of this global crisis—energy scarcity begetting poverty—Basu and Miller, implacable optimists, don’t despair. The two, co-managing directors of the Center for Science, Technology, and Society (CSTS), have inaugurated a three-year Clean Energy Sector Program that combines Santa Clara’s leadership in engineering and social enterprise with the school’s Jesuit values in pursuit of clean energy for the developing world.

Basu frames her optimism with an analogy: the deployment of mobile phones in rural Africa and Asia, where landlines were never built. “The developing world is now the highest-growth market for mobile phones,” she says. “In China, India, and Africa mobile customers use solar-powered kiosks for charging. Nokia develops entirely new products just for these markets.

“We will see the same with energy,” she says. Remote parts of the developing world might never be served by conventional grid power: large, centralized base-load power plants feeding a far-flung transmission grid. The developing world could be a laboratory for clean energy and alternative fuel solutions we might never see in the developed world.

Scaling social enterprise

Blueenergy-3_150
Technicians work with community members to install a wind turbine
Photo: blueEnergy Corporation

An overarching goal of the center for the next three years is to help deploy renewable energy to so-called base-of-the-pyramid communities. Arriving at that goal required Miller and Basu to objectively assess what the University could contribute. After all, SCU can’t compete with the R&D muscle of major research universities. Their answer: social enterprise, acting as a bridge between Silicon Valley innovation and solutions being developed around the world. That means leveraging alumni of the Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) and the Tech Awards—a network that spans the globe.

Since its launch in 2003, the GSBI has trained and mentored more than 100 social ventures in developing countries. Miller and Basu estimate that GSBI ventures have benefited more than 10 million people in more than 30 countries. The program’s chief aim is to scale proof-of-concept ventures, especially clean energy solutions, such as off-grid power and light or biofuels, for underserved markets.

Why three years?

Blueenergy-6_139
Children help collect water as part of a commitment to provide a safe water source to villagers.
Photo: blueEnergy Corporation
When Basu and Miller settled on a three-year arc for the Clean Energy Sector Program, they decided that an annual spring conference would be a staple. “‘One and done’ will not work,” Miller said. The April 22 Power to the People inaugural conference attracted a cross-section of 300 Bay Area clean-tech and business leaders to the Louis B. Mayer Theatre. There, in her opening remarks, Basu noted that multinational corporations expect about 70 percent of the world’s growth over the next several years to come from emerging markets, with 40 percent from China and India alone. China has launched an initiative to give every rural community power within the next six years. “Most off it will be off-grid,” she said.

Limited access to clean energy afflicts rich countries, too, especially among the poor—and one panel focused on innovations that deliver renewable energy to the Bay Area’s low-income communities.
Justin Gerdes

 

Building a network like no other

mexico_599
Celebrating Mass: From left, Adolfo Nicolas, S.J. Paul Locatelli, S.J., and Carlos Morfin Otero, S.J.
Photo: Charles Barry
In Mexico City this April, Paul Locatelli, S.J. ’60 brought together leaders of Jesuit universities from around the world to work on a modest goal: shaping the future for a humane, just, sustainable globe.

When SCU Chancellor Paul Locatelli convened an international conference for faculty and leaders of Jesuit universities in Mexico City, April 22–24, he took as his cue an observation familiar to folks here on the Mission campus: “Learning in a global context is the future.” As Secretary for Higher Education for the Society of Jesus, a position to which he was appointed in 2008, he recognized that technology enables Jesuit universities around the world to collaborate as never before—and that there is a mutual responsibility to address shared concerns, such as poverty, sustainability, and human rights.

The conference brought together the largest ever gathering of international leaders in Jesuit education for “Networking Jesuit Higher Education: Shaping the Future for a Humane, Just, Sustainable Globe,” held at the Jesuit Universidad Iberoamericana. Delivering a keynote address was the Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Adolfo Nicolás, who built upon themes articulated in a speech at Santa Clara University a decade earlier by his predecessor, Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J. The fundamental question Fr. Nicolás offered: “How does this new context challenge us to redirect the mission of Jesuit higher education?”

While technology enables unprecedented transnational connections, Fr. Nicolás also noted that it fosters “the globalization of superficiality…of thought, vision, dreams, relationships, convictions.” In response, he said, Jesuit education must “promote in creative new ways the depth of thought and imagination that are distinguishing marks of the Ignatian tradition.”

mexcio_225
Celebrating Mass: School Children from Liceo Franco Mexicano sing the liturgy.
Photo: Charles Barry

The conference marked the launch of the Jesuit Commons (jesuitcommons.org), geared to be a virtual meeting place for individuals and institutions to collaborate on projects to benefit poor communities. Educators also convened in working groups around specific themes, and the conference was meant to inaugurate their ongoing work. Representing Santa Clara were President Michael Engh, S.J., part of the group on ecology and sustainability, and chair of SCU’s Department of Religious Studies, Paul Crowley, S.J., part of the group on theology, science, and culture. Other working groups included: markets, inequality, and poverty; human rights and civil responsibility; the intellectual apostolate (i.e., educational in general); identity and mission; and regional challenges.

In inviting educators to the conference, Fr. Locatelli explained, “As the only global network of higher education in the world, Jesuit higher education should seize this opportunity and, at the same time, accept its responsibility for helping to fashion a more humane, just, and sustainable world for all.” No question that the conference showed a largeness of vision—pursuit of the magis, in Jesuit terms—that was the hallmark of so much of Fr. Locatelli’s work here at Santa Clara. It applied on a global scale both lofty ideals and practical sensibilities, with a serious desire to get things moving.

At the same time, the conference underscores even more deeply the loss that so many feel with Fr. Locatelli’s death in July. The meeting was meant to launch new initiatives; what more was in store—and how will that work be carried on?

In the next issue of this magazine, we’ll look at the conference in greater depth, including the speech by Fr. Nicolás. In the meantime, you can read or download the speech.
Steven Boyd Saum

 

New vice president for University Relations

gunsalus_120
Photo: Russ Morriss

With the start of a new academic year, the University welcomes a new vice president for University Relations. Robert Gunsalus will head fundraising efforts, government relations, alumni relations, and marketing and communications. He comes to Santa Clara from Humboldt State University, where he served as vice president for university advancement and as head of the university advancement foundation.

“Robert’s experience in leadership, external relations, and fundraising, and his understanding of how to orchestrate a successful campaign make him a great addition to the leadership team at Santa Clara,” noted SCU President Michael Engh, S.J., in announcing Gunsalus’ appointment.

Gunsalus follows in the footsteps of Jim Purcell, who served as vice president for the past 14 years. Purcell will continue to work with the University in a part-time capacity, assisting with fundraising for particular projects. While Gunsalus was here on campus this summer, he answered questions on a number of topics.

Why he does what he does

In my 20s I became committed to the cause of higher education. It changes people’s trajectories in life more than just about anything else. Helping to fulfill the mission of a place like Santa Clara University—which brings together not only the practical and professional aspects of learning a trade, but also the personal attributes of a well-educated human being, able to apply ethical thinking to careers, neighborhoods, and families—is something that I’m very excited about.

On rankings

(given that he’s worked at Trinity University, which always seems to be one spot ahead of Santa Clara in the U.S. News & World Report list):

It’s nice when outsiders recognize the quality of your institution by ranking it highly in U.S. News & World Report or Kiplinger’s or any one of the other growing number of magazines that do rankings. But I’ll say this about rankings: They’re secondary. What’s really important is the mission of the University and that Santa Clara is able to fulfill its mission.

On soccer

I grew up in Oklahoma, a fan of the Sooners football team, but I ended up playing soccer in college, and then coached for several years. I’m looking forward to watching a lot of the Broncos’ games.

On how to pronounce his last name

It’s pronounced similar to the traditional spelling of Gonzalez, only with “s” sounds in place of the “z.” I’m told it goes back to the Inquisition: Jews fled Spain, intermarried with the Dutch, O’s and Z’s got changed to U’s and S’s and a few A’s thrown in. Then at Ellis Island, there was some bad spelling, and some misspellings on birth certificates. . . . My grandfather was the last one to really take seriously trying to change all of the records to spell our name correctly, but it’s set now.
Margaret Avritt

 
C.V. for the VP

Age: 44

Education: B.A. in theology form Oklahoma Wesleyan University; M.A. in political science from North Carolina State University; Ph.D. in political science from Purdue University with minors in higher education administration and theory, political economy, and political theory.

Experience: Vice President for University Advancement at Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., and executive director of the Humboldt State University Advancement Foundation; Associate Vice President for University Advancement at Trinity University in San Antonio, Tex.; Vice President for University Advancement at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Wash.

Family: His wife, Aejung Gunsalus, is a psychologist by training. They have three children, ages 4, 6, and 8.

Alumni, take note: He served as president of the alumni association for his undergrad alma mater.
Justine Macauley '10

 

Provost transition

gilbert_120
Lucia Albino Gilbert
Photo: Charles Barry

After nearly four years as SCU’s chief academic officer, Lucia Albino Gilbert stepped down from her position as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs effective June 30. She is on leave this year and plans to return to campus as a professor in psychology and counseling psychology at the beginning of the 2011–12 academic year.

During her tenure, the University completed a major portion of the WASC Comprehensive Review for Re-accreditation, implementation of the new Core Curriculum, and preparation of the 2010-15 Strategic Plan, which will be presented to the Board of Trustees for review in October 2010. President Michael Engh, S.J., noted as among her contributions: the University Council on Inclusive Excellence, formed to develop and implement campus diversity initiatives; the LEAD Scholars Program for firstgeneration college students; formation of the Data Integrity Task Force and the use of data to inform decision-making; the Office of Research Initiatives to develop and support strategic research initiatives; the Writing Hub, formed to strengthen the culture of writing throughout the University community; hiring new deans for the School of Engineering and the Leavey School of Business; working closely with the college and school deans in the area of faculty hiring and retention; and the academic integration of the Jesuit School of Theology as a school of Santa Clara University.

A committee has been appointed to search for a new provost. Don Dodson—who has taught and served in the SCU administration since 1977, most recently as senior vice provost—is serving as interim provost.
Steven Boyd Saum

 

Townhouse living comes to SCU

townhouse_599
Photo: Courtesy the Sobrato Organization

Starting in fall 2011, upperclassmen and graduate students will be able to enjoy independent townhouse living at 1260 Campbell Ave., a stone’s throw from Schott Stadium. Construction is under way on a new gated community that will be home to 11 three-story buildings spread over five acres. Units come in fully furnished one-, two-, or four-bedroom varieties. Each will have a gourmet kitchen with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, air conditioners, laundry facilities, and a patio or balcony. Rent will include all utilities, cable TV, and Internet access. Students will also be able to partake in community activities on the volleyball and bocce ball courts within the complex.
Mansi Bhatia

 

snapshotnew
Bird's-eye view: The Mission Campus 50 years ago.
Photo: SCU Archives

Santa Clara Snapshot: 1960

  • 0 Levi’s jeans allowed to be worn on campus
  • 1 Catholic Chaplain for the U.S. Olympic Team returning to Santa Clara from the games in Rome
  • $5 application fee
  • 18 permanent buildings
  • $40 average cost for books
  • 215 undergraduate degrees conferred
  • $400 per semester for tuition and fees
  • 2,325 students enrolled
  • $4,100,000 of new construction in progress
 

Varsity 4G

Four generations of sporting Bedollas

By Sam Scott '96

bedollaswing
Swinging for the green: Kimberly Bedolla '10
Photo: John Mecina

When Kimberly Bedolla ’10 sank the final putt to win the Santa Clara County Women’s Golf Championship in August 2009, nobody was more surprised than she was. After all, she had only picked up the sport her senior year of high school.

From the beginning, she brought dedication to the game. Prepping for her lone high school season, she swung till her hands blistered, taped them up, and swung some more. She zeroed in on Cañada College, the only Bay Area community college with women’s golf, before choosing Santa Clara—where she just made the traveling squad.

But Bedolla’s golf was more effort than excellence. She had never broken par, never hit lower than 70, and never found a way to focus in competition like she could in practice. Then came the county championship, where she slipped into a groove disrupted only on the final green.

She finished with a 69, three shots under par—her best round ever. Not bad for a woman who was hitting well into the 100s a few years earlier. But then Bedolla apparently has athletic genes to draw upon. She is the fourth generation of her family in a row to play varsity sports at Santa Clara.

The grand Turk
bedollateam
Ernest "Turk" Bedolla on the 1923 football team, top row, third from left.
Photo: SCU Archives

Her father, Kevin Bedolla ’73, J.D. ’76, played golf. Her grandfather, Charles Bedolla ’50, starred in baseball. And her great-grandfather played practically everything. The late Ernest “Turk” Bedolla ’25, J.D. ’26—a member of SCU’s Athletic Hall of Fame—was a baseball, football, and track star who once won the pentathlon in an Olympic trial.

The streak of family athletes is now a source of pride, though Kevin Bedolla—an attorney who serves on the law school alumni association board of directors—jokes that it’s been downhill from its start. That’s debatable, given his daughter has more holes-in-one in five years than he has in nearly 50. But there’s no question that Turk Bedolla’s accomplishments are unparalleled.

In addition to playing sports, Turk moonlighted as a jazz pianist playing local clubs with classmate and future Hollywood star Lloyd Nolan ’25. As a halfback, Turk once threw a 65-yard touchdown for Santa Clara. He could smack the baseball with the skills of a major leaguer. Indeed, he could well have gone on to a pro career if weren’t for family objections. His mother dismissed ball players as a bunch of tobacco-chewing, boozeswilling bums. Instead, Turk settled down to life as a farmer and police judge in Salinas, though he continued to play semi-pro ball for decades.

Triple duty

By the time Charles followed in his father’s footsteps to Santa Clara, World War II had just wound down. The University’s baseball team was a motley mix of fresh-faced teenagers and world-traveled vets, including Charles’ brother, Ernest Bedolla II ’50, who had been pulled into the Navy while still in high school.

At the time, tuition, room, and board (including laundry) cost $250 per semester, Charles recalls, and the team’s practice field appeared to have been made for just such a bargain. The infield was carved into the football field, which was circled by a track that ran through the outfield. A flyball would soar over the fields of three sports.

bedollanews
Charles Bedolla in the center.
Photo: SCU Archives

It was, in other words, nothing like the baseball team’s splendid modern digs—though Charles can lay some small claim to the transition. After military service cut short his fledgling pro baseball career, he returned to Santa Clara to coach, recruiting Stephen Schott ’60, who would become a real estate magnate and owner of the Oakland A’s. It was the best thing he did as coach, Charles jokes. Schott funded his namesake stadium, which opened in 2005.

War also colored Kevin Bedolla’s time at SCU. Protests against the Vietnam War shut down campus during his freshman year, sending students home to an early summer vacation. In 1970, draft numbers were high on everyone’s mind, he says.

But mostly SCU felt sheltered from the storms of the day. Kevin was more occupied with shooting pool in Benson and playing golf, an addiction since his days as a kid sinking tin cans in the backyard to use as holes. SCU’s team was then a small-time, no-scholarship affair. And long before Tiger Woods, the sport earned little interest among his male peers—and even less among women. “It wasn’t helping dating,” he says.

But golf ’s solitary challenges grabbed him then as they grab his daughter now. Despite her struggles in the 2010 season to replicate last summer’s success in collegiate tournaments, Kimberly, who graduated with a degree in communication, says she’ll play golf for the rest of her life.

Whether that will inspire a fifth-generation scholar/athlete is, of course, a question for far into the future. But if one does, Charles Bedolla says it will be because of one thing.

“The guy who works the hardest is the one who performs the best,” he says. And the gal.

 

Awards

drago_133
Photo: Charles Barry

Dragoslav Siljak shows well-organized complexity can take you to the stars.

Complex systems are everywhere: from electric power networks to economics, from transportation networks to space exploration vehicles. The more sophisticated the systems get, the more difficult they are to control. But as Dragoslav Siljak has shown through his research and writing over the past half century, distributed intelligence and decentralized control can take you far; his control design for spacecraft was integrated into the Saturn V rocket that carried astronauts to the Moon. For Siljak’s prolific and profound contributions to the field, this July he was honored with the Richard E. Bellman Control Heritage Award. Siljak holds the Benjamin and Mae Swig University Chair for the School of Engineering, and he’s taught at Santa Clara since 1964. Along with achievements in science, Siljak claims water polo greatness: Playing with the Yugoslav national team, he garnered a silver medal at the 1952 Olympic games in Helsinki, a water polo world championship in 1953, and a fourth-place Olympic finish in 1960.
Jon Teel '12

Hansen_180(2)
Photo: Charles Barry

Denise Levertov Award for Ron Hansen M.A. '95

From the mysticism of his novel Mariette in Ecstasy to the tapestry of biography and tragedy woven in Exiles, Ron Hansen M.A. ’95 has embraced spiritual struggles in a fiction in a way that has earned him recognition as one of the leading Catholic writers in America. This May, in acknowledgment of his sustained and serious engagement with the Judeo-Christian tradition in prose, he was presented with the Denise Levertov Award by the journal Image and Seattle Pacific University. Hansen is the Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., Professor of Arts and Humanities at SCU and the literary editor of this magazine.
Steven Boyd Saum


VBCover_110
Photo: Charles Barry


National recognition for ace photographer Charles Barry

Longtime SCU Photographer (and SCM mainstay) Charles Barry was honored this summer on national stage by the esteemed University Photographers' Association of America: first place in the Viewbooks category (for the publication that goes out to prospective SCU students) and second place for Publications Covers for the Summer '09 SCM. The awards were presented at a symposium held in Big Rapids, Mich. in June.
Sean Lenehan

 

 

 

Three Fulbrights for Poli Sci grads of 2010

fullbright_599x300
Fullbrights left to right: Jennifer Mock, Jack Mahoney, and Megan Williams
Photo: Charles Barry
Destinations: Poland, Indonesia, and Germany

This fall Megan Williams ’10 becomes the first American to study at the prestigious Centre for East European Studies at Poland’s University of Warsaw. The center serves as a unique bridge to the East, bringing together Polish students and young scholars and activists from all over the former Soviet Bloc, as well as from Western Europe.

Williams is researching how Polish young people see politics and their country’s future—and why the nationalist (read: anti-EU) and Catholic political parties get so much support. She begins her work at a turbulent time in Polish politics, following the death of President Lech Kaczynski, numerous political leaders, and scores of others in a horrific plane crash in Russia in April. The tragedy piled national grief atop historic tragedy; the plane was carrying travelers to the Katyn Forest, where thousands of Polish officers were murdered by Soviet forces in World War II.

Poles now have a new president, Bronislaw Komorski, from the ruling center-right Civic Platform party. In a summer runoff, he defeated the dead president’s twin brother, Jaroslaw, who previously served as prime minister and is now the standard-bearer for the conservative Law and Justice Party. Analysts predict a strong showing by the right in next year’s parliamentary elections. In the meantime, a cross honoring the slain president has been erected in front of the presidential palace and is guarded by young Catholic “scouts” who have resisted allowing the cross to be moved to a nearby church.

Williams’ interest in Poland was piqued by a trip she took (through SCU’s London program) to Gdansk, where the Solidarity movement began. She was struck, she said, by the fact that “the movement ended up having such a profound impact on not only Poland, but the entire Eastern Bloc.” At SCU she took a class on post-communism with Professor of Political Science Jane Curry, a scholar on Poland and politics in the former Communist bloc, and learned that while much has been written on political attitudes among Polish youth immediately after the fall of communism, much less research has been done on current attitudes.

Curry has held several Fulbrights herself, including the first undergraduate Fulbright behind the Iron Curtain at the University of Warsaw. “It opened my eyes and a lot of doors,” Curry notes. She hopes this pioneering fellowship will do the same for Williams, especially at a time when “Poland is coming to grips with what democracy really means,” Curry says.

Curry was also the inaugural Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Eastern European Studies in Warsaw in 2003–04, and she has returned nearly every summer since to teach in the summer program. One graduate of the Centre for East European Studies (and former student of Curry’s) is now studying at SCU—Gulmonjon Azimov ’14, who is from Uzbekistan and is completing a joint J.D./MBA.

Islam and Indonesia

Thanks to a Fulbright Teacher Assistantship Award, John “Jack” Mahoney ’10 has already headed for Indonesia to teach English at one of the country’s pesantrens, or boarding schools. It’s his second visit to Southeast Asia; he studied in Vietnam during his sophomore year.

Mahoney became fascinated with Islam after a course with Professor of Religious Studies David Pinault. For his senior thesis, he wrote on Islam’s role in the democratization of Indonesia. While teaching, he plans to research the intersection of Muslim youth culture and Western identity. Recent economic growth makes the country a fascinating place to observe rapid change and its effects, Mahoney says.

Teaching English in Bavaria

Jennifer Mock ’10, a double major in German and political science with minors in international studies and history, will be teaching English to middle or high school students in Burghausen, Germany. It’s a return of sorts for her too; during her junior year, Mock traveled to Freiberg for language study and to examine the foreign and economic policy, history, integration, and current status of the EU.
Molly Gore '10

 

The song remains the same

Dusting off a World War II-era tune by one of Santa Clara's own
piano
Tickling the ivories: Composer Fred Lico with choral director Ryan Brandau
Photo: Charles Barry

Fred Lico ’49 has long forgotten what exactly inspired the wistful lyrics to “There Santa Clara, There With You.” Indeed, he might not even have remembered writing the song had he not attended his 60th reunion last fall.

At that reunion, though, classmates asked whatever happened to the tune Lico once played on piano and crooned on campus. That sent Lico rummaging in his basement, looking through old boxes and files. And there, stashed away for generations, he found the words and music to the vocal jazz harmony he’d written shortly after returning to SCU from World War II. While Lico remained foggy on what had moved him to write the song, he was clear on one thing: He had crafted a pretty darned good tune.

Lico went looking for a second opinion. He tracked down Ryan Brandau, Santa Clara’s recently hired director of choral programs. Brandau sat down at a piano, tinkered with the song, and pronounced his firm agreement: Not only was it good, but Brandau wanted to include the piece at the Santa Clara University Concert Choir’s spring concert.

Brandau was planning the concert around the themes of war and peace, and Lico’s lyrics were right in tune with that. Lico had entered Santa Clara in 1942, staying only a year before joining the Navy for three years for another kind of schooling, which culminated with him steaming on a troop transport ship toward the planned invasion of Japan.

“We were in the Pacific when the bomb dropped,” Lico says. “I was supposed to hit the beach with the Marines with a radio on my back.”

For Brandau, such biographical details added poignancy to the lyrics that Lico wrote soon after returning to the Mission Campus:
So ring the Mission bells
Ring loud the campus bells
Call back the sons we knew
Back, back to you.

Brandau set about arranging the melody into an a cappella piece for the Concert Choir, including women’s voices—though Lico would hardly have imagined that when he wrote the song. Lico was just as eager to see Santa Clara’s changed makeup reflected in the song, changing “sons” in one of the lines to “friends.”

Working on the song was a return to an old passion for Lico. As a young man, he was talented enough on the keyboard that he could walk into nightclubs and give a breather to grateful pianists—then ubiquitous in club orchestras. Shortly after graduating from Santa Clara, he earned an extra few days at a swank holiday resort after the hotel’s band leader heard him play piano at an amateur night and asked him to fill in.

Music, though, progressively played less of a role in his life as he focused on running the family business, the San Martin Winery. But at 86 years old, with his best playing days long behind him, Lico showed he still had an ear for music this spring. After hearing Brandau’s initial arrangement, he suggested the song be lengthened into two sections: one with the choir together, the other with solos. Brandau readily agreed.

The final product was unveiled May 7 as the concert choir debuted the piece at a concert in the Mission Church titled “Reconciliations— Music of War and Peace.” Lico’s song was performed alongside the music of Handel, the words of Walt Whitman, and tunes by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Brandau notes that meeting Lico helped the students capture the warmth of the lyrics and melody. And he hopes it’s a tune they’ll be singing again.
Sam Scott '96

"There Santa Clara, There with You"
Hear a recording of Fred Lico's song performed by the Santa Clara University Concert Choir at the spring 2010 concert.

 
This text will be replaced
 

 


CivilityChairs

Notes on civility in a fractured society

James Leach, Chairman, National Endowment for the Humanities and former GOP Congressman, came to the Mission campus on April 6 to deliver the annual Regan Lecture. Below is the full copy of that lecture.

Click here to listen to a recording of the lecture.

The image of the namesake of this wonderful college is an imposing sculptural presence to stand beside. It inspires us to be ascetic though none of us can live up to her standards. In any regard, I've been visiting a number of states talking about things happening in our country, about our country, to our country, and addressing the issue of civility.

Few subjects seem duller than concern for public manners. But in the context of American history, where change was wrought in the crucible of debate about the nature as well as the rights of man, little is more important for the world's leading democracy than recommitting to an ethos of thoughtfulness on campuses as well as in the public square.

The concept of civility implies politeness, but civil discourse is about more than good etiquette. At its core, civility requires respectful engagement: a willingness to consider other views and place them in the context of history, philosophy and life experiences.

Comments several months back on the House floor involving advocates on both sides of the health care debate have gathered much attention, but vastly more rancorous, socially divisive acts and assertions are being made across the land.

According to police authorities, for instance, a little over a year ago an Ecuadoran immigrant named Marcelo Lucero was stabbed to death by a group of teenagers in a small Long Island town. In this town, Hispanics had reportedly been frequent targets of harassments and for years had been scoffed at as “beaners.” Lucero's stabbing is being described as an emanation of an activity known as “beaner-hopping.”

Maybe it is a long step from a derogatory “beaner” reference to “beaner-hopping” to a murderous hate crime, just as maybe it is a long step from swastika waving to the torching of buildings to mass murder.

Then again, history tells us it may be a short step. Indeed, in one of the world's most advanced cultures it took less than a decade for the stoking of anti-Semitic rhetoric to migrate to Kristallnacht, where buildings of Jewish merchants were torched, with windows shattered, to Auschwitz.

So, for those who might question what is so awful about a simple expression of personal bigotry, it must be understood that there are few greater threats to civilization than intolerance. It is far better to address intolerant acts at their outbreak - that is, to resist at the beginning - rather than after a chain reaction ignites.

Let me be clear. In the act of painting a swastika on a Jewish student's door as occurred recently at a nearby California university, the person wielding the brush is expressing both hateful ignorance of the individual who may be asleep in his or her bed and dangerous ignorance of the never-sleeping nature of history - that made and that in-the-making.

While the past may at times have murky dimensions, there is clarity about the Holocaust. Members of the Jewish faith were robbed on a systematic basis first of their worldly goods, then of their human dignity with the substitution of tattooed numbers for names, and finally of the breath of life itself. At death, mass graves were dug and no notification of individual fate made to kin or society at large. The message that a totalitarian state attempted to send was that part of humanity was not considered part of human kind.

For those whom the prejudiced masses targeted hate, there was to be neither dignity in life nor death.

When Jim Balassone and I were in college we all read Hannah Arendt's “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” a historical and philosophical tract describing gruesome similarities between communist gulags and fascist concentration camps. Three decades later as chairman of a House committee I held a series of hearings on the Holocaust as the greatest mass theft as well as genocide in history. One of the upshots was the clarity of how so many seemingly genteel parts of many societies benefitted from Nazi crimes against humanity. Swiss banks, for instance, refused for years to return assets to family members whose relatives had bank accounts if they could not produce a death certificate, a legal document which was not provided when living human beings were herded into gas chambers.

This is why use of history's greatest symbol of hate - the swastika - cannot be taken lightly. This is why the scars that are inflicted on a student's soul may be more harmful than a wound to the flesh, and why such scars are not only inflicted on the one sleeping behind the door but on students everywhere whose great-grandparents or great aunts and uncles or cousins never emerged from Nazi concentration camps.

In this context, analogous scarring is inflicted on Hispanics throughout the country who read of “beaner” beatings, on people of color when Ku Klux Klan hoods are placed on statues as occurred recently at another California university, and on gays and lesbians when LGBT offices are vandalized on various campuses.

When “prejudice” and its twin—“hate”—flourish, it is inevitable that violence isn't far behind.

It is therefore extremely troubling that in recent weeks a Congressman who was one of our most distinguished civil rights leaders has been spat upon, that a gay member of Congress has been subjected to homophobic remarks, and that with increasing frequency public officials are being labeled “fascist” or “communist,” sometimes at the same time. And more bizarrely, hints of history-blind radicalism—notions of “secession” and “nullification”—are creeping into the public dialogue.

One might ask what problem is there with a bit of hyperbole. To paraphrase Marshall McLuhan's observation about the media, the logic is the message.

Certain frameworks of thought define rival ideas. Other frameworks describe enemies.

If 400,000 American soldiers sacrificed their lives to defeat fascism, if tens of thousands more gave their lives to hold communism at bay, and if we fought a civil war to preserve the union, isn't it a citizen's obligation to apply perspective to incendiary words that once summoned citizens to war? There is, after all, a difference between supporting a particular spending or health care view and asserting that someone who prefers another approach or is a member of a different political party is an advocate of an “ism” of hate that encompasses gulags and concentration camps.

Citizenship is hard. It takes a commitment to listen, watch, read, and think in ways that allow the imagination to put one person in the shoes of another.

Words matter. They reflect emotion as well as meaning. They clarify—or cloud—thought and energize action, sometimes bringing out the better angels of our nature, sometimes baser instincts.

Stirring anger and playing on the irrational fears of citizens inflames hate and sometimes impels violence.

Conversely, healing language such as Lincoln's plea in his Second Inaugural address for “malice toward none” can uplift and help bring society closer together.

The choice for leaders is whether to opt for unifying statesmanship or opportunistic partisanship.

Likewise, the challenge for citizens is to determine whom to follow: those who seek unity by respecting diversity, or those who press debilitating cultural wars or extreme ideological agendas.

But civility is more than about governance. At issue is whether we perceive ourselves as belonging to a single American community with all its variety, and whether we look at people in other neighborhoods and other parts of the world as members of families seeking security and opportunity for their kin just as we do.

Whatever our backgrounds, in politics as in family, vigilance must be maintained to insure that everyone understands each other.

Vigorous advocacy should never be considered a thing to avoid. Argumentation is a social good. Indeed, it is a prerequisite to blocking tyranny and avoiding dogmatism. Rather than policing language, the goal should be to uplift the tenor and tone of debate and infuse it with historical and philosophical perspective.

A century and a half ago the poet Walt Whitman described America as an “athletic democracy.” What he meant was that 19th-century politics was rugged, with spirited debates about immigration, taxes, and slavery. Things could also get violent. A vice president, Aaron Burr, killed our greatest secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton, in a duel triggered by Hamilton's claim that Burr was a “despicable” character. Tragically, that judgment was vindicated at the duel where Hamilton fired prematurely skyward, perhaps not realizing that the triggering mechanisms of the pistols had been filed to a hair trigger.

So, uncivil acts, in this case one legalized in the state in which the duel occurred, are nothing new. What is new in our social discourse are transformative changes in communications technology, debilitating changes in American politics, and the gravity of issues facing mankind.

In teaching at Princeton upon leaving Congress, I developed for lecture purposes a large number of what I termed two-minute courses in governance. Let me cite several that point to some of the causes of American angst and division.

Political Science 101: The country over the past generation has been approximately one-third Democratic, one-third Republican, and one-third independent. Basic math tells us that one-half of one-third is one-sixth, so 16 2/3rds percent of the voters nominally control candidate selection in a typical election. But only one in four voters (often a fraction of this figure) participates in primaries where candidates are chosen. Thus, it is 1/4th x 1/6th, only 1/24th of the electorate that determines who the candidates of the principal parties will be. This 4 percent which a generation ago was principally driven by economic issues is increasingly socially concerned on the Republican side and remains actively liberal on the Democratic. Consequently, legislative bodies intended to represent a vast cross-section of the American public come principally to reflect its philosophical edges.

Political Science 102: In primaries for president, Republican candidates lean to the right, where the vote is, and then, if nominated, scoot to the center in the general election; Democrats do the same, but begin from the left. When it comes to legislative bodies, particularly Congress, however, the scoot to the center is seldom evident. Approximately 380 House seats are gerrymandered to be “safe” for one or the other party. About half of these safe seats are held by Republicans and half by Democrats. With few exceptions, safe-seat members must lean to the philosophical edges to prevail in primaries. Once nominated, there is no incentive for politicians to move to the center, either as candidates or legislators, because the only serious electoral challenge is likely to come from within their party's uncompromising base. Polarization is the inevitable result.

Psychology 101: An increasing number of issues in Congress are being projected as questions of morality rather than judgment. Advocates of one perspective assume that those with a different view are championing immorality. On the left, the problem is frequently evidenced by those who assume that increasing social spending for almost any compassionate cause is the only moral choice; on the right, by those who assume that the moral values of one or another group should be written into law to bind society as a whole.

Psychology 102: There is something about the human condition that wants to be allowed to make governing decisions at socially cohesive levels where citizens may have impact. Much is written today about globalism but this century is also about “localism.” To adapt to a fast-changing world, one must understand both of these phenomena - the fact, as Tip O'Neill repeatedly noted, that all politics is local and a corollary that all local decisions are affected by international events. The angst of our times is correlated to the concerns of peoples everywhere that their livelihoods are increasingly buffeted by forces outside the control of family and community.

Sports 101: A mid-20th-century sports journalist, Grantland Rice, famously observed that winning and losing are less important than how the game is played. Likewise in politics. The temper and integrity of the political dialogue are more important for the cohesiveness of society than the outcome of any election. In politics there are few rules and no referees. The public must be on guard and prepared to throw flags when politicians overstep the bounds of fairness and decency. As athletes compete to win, they learn to respect their opponents. Is it asking too much for candidates and their supporters to do the same?

Literature 101: In a set of four books published half a century ago called the Alexandria Quartet, the British author Lawrence Durrell describes urban life in Alexandria, the ancient Egyptian city on the Mediterranean, between the first and second World Wars. In the first book, Durrell spins a story from the perspective of one individual. In each subsequent book, he describes the same events from the perspective of others. While the surrounding events are the same, the stories are profoundly different, informed by each narrator's life and circumstances. The moral is that to get a sense of reality it is illuminating to see things from more than one set of eyes. This observation can apply to interactions in a court room or town hall or on the international stage. What America does may seem reasonable from our perspective, but look very different to a European, African, Middle Easterner, or Asian.

Physics 101: Sir Isaac Newton set forth three laws of motion, the third of which affirmed that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction; in short-hand, action equals reaction. Social chemistry can be quite different. In the kindergarten of life, reaction can be greater than action. If, for instance, one were to malign a rival calling him for instance a “bum” or “crazy” or worse, or describe the country in which a person lives as “evil” or “backward,” the reaction might produce effects far greater than the precipitating words envisioned or intended.

Humanities 101: In the most profound political observation of the 20th century, Albert Einstein suggested that splitting the atom had changed everything except our way of thinking. Human nature may be one of the few constants in history, but 9/11 has taught that thinking must change not simply because of the destructive power of the big bomb, but because of the implosive nature of small acts. Violence and social division are rooted in hate. Since such thought begins in the hearts and minds of individuals, it is in each of our hearts and minds that hate must be checked and our way of thinking changed.

Humanities 102: In Western civilization's most prophetic poem, “The Second Coming,” William Butler Yeats suggests that “the centre cannot hold” when “the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” Citizens of all philosophical persuasions are displaying increased disrespect for their fellow citizens and thus for modern-day democratic governance. Much of the problem may flow from the fast-changing nature of our society, but part of the blame falls at the feet of politicians and their supporters who use inflammatory rhetoric to divide the country. Candidates may prevail in elections by tearing down rather than uplifting, but if elected, they cannot then unite an angered citizenry. Negativity dispirits the soul of society just as it raises the temperature level of legislatures.

I have often assumed that in America process is our most important product, and that our Constitutional processes have propelled our history toward greater justice for all.

But we still have systemic weaknesses, particularly relating to the confounding dimension of money in politics, a problem that has just been further complicated by the recent Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case in which the court has approved direct corporate giving for and against candidates.

It is no accident that just as the gap between rich and poor is widening in America, so the political gap between the powerful and the common citizen is also widening.

Politeness may be an aspect of civil discourse but civility and polite words are not synonymous. Moneyed speech that carries strings may be the most uncivil speech of all. It eviscerates reasonableness in public dialogue and distorts the capacity of citizens and policy-makers to weigh competing views in balanced ways.

For example, little is more uncivil than someone coming up to a Congressman and saying: “Hello. Great day. Best to you and your family. By the way, we have this issue coming up tomorrow and as you recall, we helped you with contributions to your last campaign and we and our allies hope to again in the next. We sure hope we have your vote.” Politely stated, but implied is a quasi-contractual, conflict-of-interest relationship.

Many good people enter politics only to find that the system causes the low road to become the one most travelled. Politicians routinely develop conflicts that do not technically rise to a legal standard of corruption because legislated law and now judicial fiat have weakened that standard.

Speech is thus at issue from two perspectives. At one end, uncivil speech must be protected by the Court but filtered by the public and, at the other end of the spectrum, corporate “speech” must not be allowed to stifle the voices of the people.

Let me conclude with an historical reference, one dating to the 5th-century B.C.

In his chronicle of the Peloponnesian Wars, Thucydides noted how early in the struggle the Athenian assembly became disturbed that the people on the nearby island of Melos had determined that rather than support Athens, they would remain neutral in the confrontation against Sparta. So, a vote was taken and an armed flotilla was sent to conquer the island. Shortly thereafter, the assembly reconsidered and sent a fast vessel to signal a return. Several decades later the issue was revisited and another flotilla was assembled and sent, this time without reconsideration. The men on Melos were killed and the women and children enslaved.

Thucydides wasn't a moralizer but just as the great Greek tragedies and myths unfolded with lessons for all people in all times, he let his reporting tell a story, this one of decaying values.

The democratic seed that popped so briefly up on a rocky peninsula facing the Mediterranean Sea incubated for centuries with sporadic budding across the world before its eventual transplantation to our fertile soil. This country owes much to the Athenian experiment with popular governance, not the least of which is the warning it provided that progressive civilizations can lose their way.

It is our obligation to recognize the forewarnings of history.

We must ask ourselves if we are likely to continue to lead the world if we abandon “E Pluribus Unum” as a national motto and fail to pull together.

If we don't try to understand and respect others, how can we expect them to respect us, our values and way of life?

Civilization requires civility.

Thank you.