On behalf of the Santa Clara University Alumni Association Board of Directors, holiday blessings to our more than 108,000 alumni around the world. With Thanksgiving recently behind us and the Christmas season ahead, our global Santa Clara Family has much to be thankful for. We welcomed the Class of 2026 to campus in September (once again, the largest and brightest class ever), welcomed thousands of alumni back to campus for Grand Reunion in October, and continue to celebrate the accomplishments of our student-athletes, the inspirational social impact of our students, and the perseverance of our faculty and staff during these trying times.
Most notably, the Santa Clara Family gathered on campus in October to welcome Dr. Julie Sullivan as SCU’s 30th President. As the first layperson and first woman to serve as President in the University’s 171-year history, the historic nature of Dr. Sullivan’s arrival at SCU is well-noted. But it is her energy, dedication to academic excellence, and vision that will shape the future of Santa Clara. Her belief in what Santa Clara can be is inspiring, and her appreciation of our Jesuit Catholic values, our strong alumni community, and the greater Santa Clara Family is genuine. President Sullivan is eager to connect with you and has held several Meet the President events on the west coast. With a dozen more such events scheduled throughout the country, I encourage you to join President Sullivan in a city near you in 2023.
The Alumni Association’s mission is to foster meaningful, lifelong connections between our alumni. While the pandemic forced our dedicated staff and volunteers to find new, creative ways to do that, it has also provided opportunities to look closely at how we engage our alumni. While alumni voices worldwide have told us they can’t wait to gather together again, we have also realized we can continue to use the technology and tools employed during the pandemic to offer diverse programming in virtual and hybrid environments. So while our Chapter leaders begin to re-engage and plan gatherings locally, our Alumni Relations staff will continue to leverage the lessons learned to reach broader audiences in different and unique ways.
As our Board enters 2023, we remain dedicated to supporting the Alumni Association’s mission, with working committees focused on improving alumni engagement, creating meaningful professional connections between students and alumni, and continuing to support the activities of our industry and diverse affinity chapters. One of our most critical initiatives this year is revising the Alumni Association’s Strategic Plan. Originally created in 2017, the Strategic Plan serves as the “North Star” for the Association and the Board, reflecting the goals and strategies that will best support the Alumni Association’s mission—and best serve you. Creating our new vision will include seeking feedback from a broad group of University stakeholders, including and especially our alumni, to create a strategic vision for the future to better engage, connect, and support our alumni and the University.
I know I share our Board member’s sentiments in saying we are all honored and privileged to serve our Alumni Family and ensure that your voices continue to be heard, especially in these times of change in the world and at Santa Clara. And as we enter this special season, I am full of hope for Santa Clara as our Alumni Association and President Sullivan work together in alignment for a bright future. Agnes Pharo’s description of Christmas seems fitting during this exciting time on the Mission Campus, and in our own lives, as well: “Christmas is the tenderness of the past, courage for the present, and hope for the future.” This Christmas, I wish you and your family wonderful memories, an appreciation for the gifts you have been blessed with, and a hope for continued happiness in the year ahead.
Scot Asher ’87
2021-2023 National President
Santa Clara University Alumni Association