Skip to main content
Logo for Alumni

Past Letters from the President

On behalf of the Santa Clara University Alumni Association Board of Directors, Season’s Greetings to our more than 106,000 alumni across the globe.

As we continue to emerge from the pandemic and the uncertainties imposed onto our everyday lives, rest assured the Santa Clara spirit of perseverance and progress were evident throughout 2021, and we continue to find hope as we move into the year ahead.

Among the highlights of 2021 at SCU was the completion of landmark investments in STEM and athletics. The stunning 270,000 square foot Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation opened this fall as did the awesome Steven C. and Patricia A. Schott Athletic Excellence Center. In October, we saw more than 6,000 Broncos gather on campus for a “double” , joined by the Class of 2020 for the commencement and graduation celebration that had been postponed for more than a year. Most importantly, campus came back to life in September with the return of undergraduate students. As beautiful as the Santa Clara campus is, it is the energy and buzz of students filling the residence halls and classrooms, cheering on our athletic teams, and socializing throughout campus that truly makes Santa Clara come alive. Just like every year, it seems, the Class of 2025 joined our ranks as both the largest and brightest class in our 171-year history.

Though we–and our alma mater–have endured challenges of late, the hope and promise of the Christmas Season is evident all around us. From Grand Reunion to local alumni celebrations, as we have done since 1881, our Alumni Association will continue to provide meaningful connection opportunities to all alumni. We will gather. We will celebrate. And, sometimes, we will cry and mourn, but we do so together. We will work and pray and serve our communities as we realize the Bronco bonds that carried us through the trials of years past are the same ones that keep us strong as we emerge from today’s challenges. These are the bonds that make this Bronco Family special.

Our continues to serve as the voice of our alumni, supporting the dedicated and tireless work of the Alumni Relations staff. Our Board is a diverse representation of undergraduate and graduate alumni spanning more than 60 years and 17 domestic and international geographic regions, each bringing a unique Santa Clara experience to the table. Those voices have informed our key priorities for the year as we focus on providing more meaningful career connections, ensuring all alumni are represented and served, and providing more engagement opportunities for current and future alumni.

As we enter this holiday season, I wish you and your family all the joy, hope, and love of the Season. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, the little-known yet prolific writer Agnes Pharo’s words summarize my wish for you all:

“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.”

Warm regards,

Scot Asher

Scot Asher, ’87
2021-2023 National President
Santa Clara University Alumni Association

Scot Asher '87

Dear Alumni Family,

This time two years ago, I began my term as President of SCU’s Alumni Board of Directors. As a Board, our main responsibility is advising the Alumni Association in its efforts to foster lifelong relationships between the University and Broncos around the world. I also made a commitment to use our time and efforts to help amplify the voices of alumni and, whenever possible, highlight alumni as an important pillar of the SCU community—always emphasizing students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

In 2020 and 2021, the University faced many challenges, most notably the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, a national conversation about systemic racism, and the resignation of our recently inaugurated University President. And the challenges continue.

Through it all, I have met and been inspired by incredible Broncos from across generations. Alumni have shown themselves to be essential in the community’s ongoing efforts to support each other, make change, and move forward with hope. (To hear about the progress made on our , please read our .)

Looking ahead to the next academic year, I know the Alumni Association plans to restore some of your favorite events, reimagine others, and create new avenues for bringing us together based on what we’ve learned since the spring of 2020. I encourage everyone to participate, whether it be for the first time or the fiftieth; we should not take for granted the opportunities we have to come together as a community.

As I mentioned in my final remarks at the May Alumni Board meeting, particularly as a first-generation college graduate, it has been an absolute honor to serve the alumni community and represent the 100,000+ Broncos living worldwide. In the last two years, my connection to the University has evolved into a feeling of connection to each of you.

The work of doing all we can to help maintain these important connections and a meaningful presence in the larger SCU community will continue under the leadership of Scot Asher ’87, our incoming Board President. Our love for the SCU family is shared, and I look forward to staying involved as we work together in service of meaningful fellowship.

Once a Bronco, always a Bronco.
Dr. Melina Johnson ’01, M.A. ’03

Melina Johnson BOD profile pic Oct 2019


Season's Greetings Bronco Family,

No doubt, the events of 2020 have made an impression on our lives. In my fall message to alumni just over a year ago, I emphasized a continued commitment to the Big Ideas of the Alumni Association’s Strategic Plan, and that has not changed. Now, more than ever, our role as lifelong stakeholders in the University encourages us to remain involved in the healing and growth of our community, local and wide. We must remain committed to strengthening our connections by engaging in meaningful inclusive ways, learning together, and supporting each other.

As we head into the holiday season, I wish the entire Bronco family peace. I pray you make time for rest and renewal because you are needed. We have more good work to do, and I am confident our diverse alumni family will be leaders in this time.

Warm regards,

Dr. Melina Johnson ’01, M.A. ‘03
2019-2021 National President
Santa Clara University Alumni Association

Melina Johnson BOD profile pic Oct 2019


Greetings Bronco Family!

This fall I had the honor of beginning my two-year term as President of SCU’s Alumni Association , which serves to represent all 100,000+ alumni around the world. In these first few months, it has been such a pleasure to meet so many of you and witness your continued connection to the University community.

In addition, I was grateful to be given the opportunity to participate in the Inauguration of SCU’s 29th President, Kevin O’Brien, S.J. In my welcome to Fr. O’Brien on behalf of all of us, I spoke about the rich stories of our alumni. Sharing those stories remains one of the Association’s key priorities as we continue our efforts to foster a deep sense of school spirit, history, and tradition among alumni and current students. We also aim to remain committed to the three Big Ideas of the :

Once a Bronco, Always a Bronco – Alumni are seen as lifelong stakeholders in the University.

Activate the Tribe – Assemble our alumni, share their stories, and engage them in meaningful ways.

Surprisingly Relevant and Wildly Useful – Offer our alumni continued opportunities for lifelong learning and personal and professional growth.

I look forward to the remainder of the year, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve as a representative of 14 decades of incredible Broncos.

We hope to see you back on campus soon, or at an alumni  near you.

Go Broncos!

Warm regards,

Dr. Melina Johnson ’01, M.A. ‘03 
2019-2021 National President
Santa Clara University Alumni Association

Melina Johnson BOD profile pic Oct 2019


Dear Santa Clara Alumni Family,

I have been honored to serve as the 2018–19 President of Santa Clara University’s Alumni Association Board of Directors.

We began the year with great anticipation, knowing the months ahead would be filled with excitement, change, and a commitment to driving our vision to action. Without a doubt, our experiences met those expectations. 

It is with great appreciation that we thank University President Michael E. Engh, S.J., for his dedication to Santa Clara. SCU has experienced 10 years of transformational change under his leadership, and we will continue to see the benefits of his influence for years to come. It is with equal excitement that we welcome incoming president Kevin O’Brien, S.J., as the 29th President of Santa Clara University and offer the full support of our Alumni Association Board of Directors.

As we close out an eventful year, I would like to thank the members of the Board of Directors. They have provided thoughtful leadership and tirelessly supported the Alumni Relations Office—while focusing on better engaging all members of our alumni family. This year we revised our constitution to extend the term of President of the Alumni Associations Board of Directors to two years. This change allows improved alignment with SCU’s Integrated Strategic Plan, and provides continuity with other University volunteer boards. I wish to offer a personal note of thanks to Melina Johnson ’00 and Scot Asher’ 87 who will provide leadership to the Alumni Board during this upcoming period of transition.

As I reflect on the past year, much has transpired, but one of the most defining moments was the renaming of our alumni home to the Bannan Alumni House on March 23rd. This celebration and gathering of the Bannan family, who has shared their time, treasure, and love of SCU for more than 100 years, highlights how Santa Clara—with the assistance of our 100,000+ alumni—can look ahead to a bright future while simultaneously embracing our history and honoring the contributions of myriad individuals and families to the Santa Clara spirit.

Go Broncos!

Ryan Joy ’00

Photo of Board of Directors member Ryan Joy

Dear Santa Clara Alumni Family,

I am Ryan Joy, proud member of the Class of 2000. For 2018-19,  I am honored to serve as president of Santa Clara University’s Alumni Association Board of Directors, which represents over 100,000 undergraduate and graduate alumni in all 50 states and more than 120 countries around the world. With a new University President to be named and the public launch of SCU’s comprehensive capital campaign, the year ahead promises to be exciting. As such, the Alumni Board is enthusiastic and committed to implementing the Association’s vision of inspiring our alumni, supporting our University, and bettering our world.

This year we ambitiously set out to fulfill our commitment of achieving one million points of alumni engagement during the next four years. With the support of those who came before and in conjunction with the Alumni Relations Office, we start this journey with a focus on:

  • Spirit, Pride, History, and Tradition: We will reinforce a culture of commitment to our alma mater and accelerate our efforts to deepen our sense of school spirit and pride in our history and traditions.
  • One Family: With graduate and international alumni comprising 47% of our population, we aim to strengthen our engagement of all alumni in the Santa Clara family.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: We will affirm the value of all members of the SCU family and pursue new programs to connect with alumni of different cultures, as well as those with diverse identities, affinities, and interests.
  • Professional Connections: We will create valuable relationships with alumni around industry-based knowledge sharing and network-building programs.
  • Alumni Stories:We are a community of diverse, interesting, and caring individuals living the University’s mission with compassion, competence, and conscience. With pride we will highlight and share our collective stories.

As alumni, we are lifelong stakeholders in our University. Whether you live close or just want to remain close to SCU, your Alumni Association Board of Directors encourages you to stay connected. Visit campus, attend an event in your area, watch a career webinar, join a geographicidentity, or industry group, check out our Online Classroom, and join any of our online communities.

 We’re confident you’ll find many ways to engage with SCU and your fellow alumni as we strive to stay surprisingly relevant and wildly useful in your life.

Once a Bronco, Always a Bronco,

Ryan Joy ‘00
Alumni Association Board of Directors

Photo of Board of Directors member Ryan Joy


Dear Bronco Alumni & Friends-

This past September, when we kicked off my term as president of your Alumni Association, we set a simple but ambitious goal for our year:  tell the stories of our nearly 100,000 Santa Clara University alumni. A quote from the author, Sue Monk Kidd, aptly captured the rationale for our goal: “Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can't remember who we are or why we're here.” As Broncos, we know who we are and we remember why we are here: to be people of competence, conscience, and compassion, with and for others, in order to create a more humane, just and sustainable world. So that we never lose this identity, we felt compelled to commit our time and talent to do a better job of telling your stories.

I invite you to see samples of the dozens of stories our Board collected over the course of the year. These are stories about Spirit, Pride, History & Tradition, Professional Connections, and One Family, three themes from our Alumni Association’s new Strategic Plan, “Inspiring Our Alumni. Supporting Our University. Bettering Our World.” My personal favorite is the story of Ed Rotticci ‘52, the last living member of the SCU football team which won the 1950 Orange Bowl – his spirit jumps off the screen, and his pride in his Bronco identity is genuinely contagious. It is worth noting that the interview of Mr. Rotticci was filmed at this past January’s Pasta Feed and Bronco Legends Night, where the Alumni Association, the SCU Athletics Department, and a record crowd honored the coaching legacy of Pat ’53 and Terry Malley ’76.

More than anything, I also invite you to continue to make and to share your Bronco stories. My friend and our outstanding head of Alumni Relations, Kathy Kale ’86, loves to say: a strong Santa Clara family makes the world a better place. She is so right. And our strength, I believe, comes from our competence, conscience, and compassion and the real life stories those qualities inspire.

As I hand over the reins, I want to welcome your next president, Ryan Joy ’00, your next president-elect, Melina Johnson ’01, M.A. ’03, and your incoming vice president, Scot Asher ‘87. The Alumni Association is truly in great hands. Finally, I want to thank Michael Engh, S.J., for his leadership and incredible support of the work of the Alumni Association.

I wish you a wonderful and peaceful summer!

Go Broncos! 


John Torrey 

President, 2017-18 

Santa Clara University Alumni Association

John Torrey headshot


Generally speaking, I have no complaints. This is a lesson I’ve learned over the course of my life, in large part due to my Catholic faith, my parents’ examples, the incredible blessings of my wife, Juliette (SCU class of 1993), and our kids, and the amount of business travel I’ve completed without incident over the course of my career — all of which have taught me well to be, as much as anything else, grateful.

In my experience, however, things, especially bad things, tend to happen in threes. So, I was more than a little terrified of what might happen next after those four trying days. Sadly, it didn’t take long for me to learn. On the 9th of December, Santa Clara University lost one of its own, and one of its very best. Michael Zareski, a beloved veterinarian from the class of 1993, died tragically in a plane crash near his home in San Diego County. He is survived by his wife, Shanna, and their four children, ages 3 through 7.

Mike Z was simply one of those people who made everyone better. Funny, charming, deeply caring, kind, interested, interesting, inspiring, humble — a man of unquestionable compassion, competence, and conscience. Everyone who knew him, I’m sure, has a Mike Z story — he didn’t just pass through people’s lives, he constructively changed them.

So, as we begin a new year, and in honor of Mike, I am reminded and challenged to be more kind, to take more time with people, to show more compassion to everyone, to be a better friend, to make new friends, to help more people (and animals), to be more patient, to try to make a positive difference — ultimately, to love more, in an honest effort to be more like Mike. 

Take care,

Class of 1993
National Alumni Association President

 John Torrey headshot

I am John Torrey, and on behalf of 98,000 undergraduate and graduate alumni of SCU, I am privileged to serve as the 2017-18 President of SCU’s Alumni Association and its Board of Directors. We enter this upcoming year with incredible momentum and energy from the Alumni Association’s recently approved Strategic Plan, “Inspiring Our Alumni. Supporting Our University. Bettering Our World.” This new multi-year plan defines the key priorities of the Alumni Association while contributing meaningfully to the success of the University’s Integrated Strategic Plan and responding to the feedback and current attitudes of our large and diverse Bronco family. We look forward to sharing it with you soon.

While we will make progress against all of the plan’s key priorities in 2017-18, we will especially focus on four of them:

  • Spirit, Pride, History & Tradition: we will accelerate our efforts to foster a deep sense of school spirit, history & tradition among students and alumni.
  • One Family: with graduate and international alumni comprising 47% of our alumni population, we will launch an integrated approach to engage all alumni in the Santa Clara family.
  • Diversity & Inclusion: following in the footsteps of Pope Francis’ Holy Year of Mercy and His call “to give consolation to every man and woman of our time,” we will pursue new programs with fresh focus on underrepresented or underserved groups.
  • Professional Connections: we will engage alumni around industry-based knowledge sharing and network-building programs.

In short, we will activate our Bronco tribe. And, we will set the bar very high, targeting 1 million points of engagement with our alumni family over the life of the plan.

As we introduce and execute the plan, I want to thank Fr. Michael Engh, Kathy Kale, the entire University administration, and my fellow Alumni Board members for all of their support and partnership. We gratefully stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us, and we are fortunate to have so much good work in front of us. Just keep swimming.

Go Broncos!


John Torrey
President, 2017-18
Santa Clara University Alumni Association

John Torrey headshot


It is with deep gratitude and warm regards that I greet you in my last communication as the 2016-17 National President of the Santa Clara University Alumni Association and its Board of Directors that represents all 97,000+ living alumni around the world. The Alumni Board members advise and guide the Alumni Office staff in fulfilling the mission of the Association and the University. I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to represent and serve you.

It has been a particularly productive and historic year for the Board of Directors and the Alumni Association:

  • The Board approved one of the largest single-year expansions in the history of the Alumni Association with the establishment of new regional chapters in Hong KongManila, and Guam.
  • The Board has made an important step in recognizing and supporting the LGBTQ+ members of our Alumni Family with the creation of the LGBTQ+ Alumni Identity Group.
  • For the first time in the Alumni Association’s one hundred thirty-six year history, the Board of Directors made a historic vote to adopt a formal Resolution Advancing Diversity and Inclusion.
  • And finally, the Board has approved a new strategic direction for the Alumni Association that will guide the association and inform its activities into the next decade. We look forward to sharing more about this exciting new direction in the coming year.

This year, we had the most diverse board membership in the history of the Alumni Association with representation across racial, age, gender, and geographical metrics, and we look forward to having even more diversity next year.

Despite our achievements, there is still more work to be done. And I leave you with a challenge to be engaged with our Alumni Family – at our mission campus and in your own communities – and inspire our future alumni to make the world a better place. I bid you a fond “aloha a hui hou,” until we meet again.

It’s always a great day to be a Bronco!


Brent K. Izutsu ‘05

2016-17 National President
Santa Clara University Alumni Association


It is with the warm and fond greeting of my home state of Hawai’i that I welcome you to the beginning of a new academic year. I am Brent Izutsu ’05, and I am serving as the 2016-17 national president of the Santa Clara University Alumni Association Board of Directors that represents all 94,000+ living alumni around the world. The alumni board is made up of over 30 fellow Broncos who advise and guide the staff within the Alumni Office to fulfill the mission of the association and the University. It is both an honor and a privilege to be your voice for the next year. 

Some of the key areas that the Alumni Association and board of directors will focus on this year include: 

  • Engaging current students earlier with more meaningful interactions and experiences with the Alumni Office and the alumni family;
  • Providing more opportunities for professional networking both online and in person;
  • Strengthening our alumni community by joining with and amplifying broader University dialogue and efforts around diversity and inclusiveness;
  • Reinforcing the board’s connection to each of the alumni chapters with enhanced dialogue and coordination; and
  • Aligning the association’s strategic plan with the University’s long-term vision.

These are ambitious albeit important goals that will help the Alumni Association and the University better serve and engage all alumni. Much time and effort has been invested in building programs and offerings in these areas, but there is still more work to be done.

If you have suggestions or ideas for how you would like to engage with us and your fellow alumni, and how Santa Clara can be relevant in your life today, please share them with us.  We’d love to hear from you.

I am looking forward to the coming year, and I hope that we’ll see you back on campus or at an alumni event near you.

It’s always a great day to be a Bronco!

Warm Regards,

Brent K. Izutsu ’05

2016-17 National President
Santa Clara University Alumni Association

SCU Needs You

Alumni giving participation is down eight years running. But you can change that.
the trend v5

Fellow Broncos, I’ll put it plainly: SCU needs your help. Notice the benchmark chart depicting alumni giving participation at some of our peer institutions. The numbers reflect the percentage of undergraduate alumni who make a financial gift of any size to their alma mater each year. As I’m sure you are well aware, the contributions of alumni are critical to the success, sustainability, and prominence of all universities. Note, if you will, Santa Clara’s position at the very bottom of the list.

At the top there’s Holy Cross, a Jesuit institution much like our own. Can you think of any good reason why the Crusaders from Worcester, Mass., have more than three times the level of alumni giving participation as your own beloved alma mater? Georgetown and Boston College also put us to shame. Even Gonzaga, our West Coast Conference rival, comes out ahead of us.

the trend v5

Note also the chart that documents the direction of alumni giving at Santa Clara during the past seven years. There was a time, not so long ago, when SCU alumni stepped up in far greater numbers than today. That participation fueled the astounding growth and improvements visible to everyone who sets foot on our campus, engages with our community, or reads about the increased recognitions and accomplishments of the University.

As you’ve flipped through this magazine, you’ve no doubt been reminded of your own experience as a student—an experience that was supported in part by the generosity of those who preceded you. Some of you made it through to graduation only with comprehensive financial assistance. But did you know that even a student paying full tuition at Santa Clara is covering only 75 percent of the actual cost of his or her education? Alumni donations are crucial in bridging this gap.

Today, the global financial crisis has affected many of our students and their families. These students are worthy and desiring of the same Santa Clara education that we were able to receive. But to keep those dreams alive, their need for support is even greater.

Any contribution you make will help. The bottom line is that alumni gifts great and small sustain Santa Clara University. Collectively, thousands of individual gifts enable us to provide much-needed scholarships, services, programs, and facilities.

You may think you’re not well-heeled enough to make a difference. You’ve seen the buildings on campus named after this or that donor, and you think, “I can’t give enough to have even a water fountain named after me.” But consider: If every Santa Clara grad contributed a mere $25, more than $1 million would be raised to benefit today’s students. Last year, gifts of $500 or less totaled more than $2 million.

Even a modest donation can give a valuable boost to Santa Clara’s national standing. Because alumni giving participation rate is regarded as one of the ways to measure alumni satisfaction with their alma mater, many foundations consider alumni giving participation when awarding grants for research and student programs. Will Boston College or (perish the thought) Gonzaga receive additional funding because we at Santa Clara failed to rally enough alumni support?

SCU needs our help. Many of us have let this go for too long. Please support SCU with a donation at Even $25 will be gratefully received. Dig a bit deeper, and maybe we’ll have a talk about that water fountain.

Go Broncos,

Catherine Horan-Walker ’69
National President of the SCU Alumni Association for 2009–10

Cathy Horan walker

Reaching out in times of need

A letter from your National Alumni Association President

In the last half year in particular, the global economic landscape has changed dramatically. Financial instability, job cuts, and a weakened housing market have led to fear and uncertainty for millions of people—including many of our fellow Broncos and their families. In difficult times such as this, it is helpful to remember the special connection we share as members of the Santa Clara family and the University community.

The SCU Alumni Association would like to remind you of the many benefits we offer that may be of use to you in the months ahead:

  • Career Center resources
  • Online job and networking tools
  • Continuing education opportunities
  • Temporary health insurance
  • Learning Commons, Technology Center, and Library services

Please visit the Alumni Association Web site at for more information on how you can take full advantage of these support services.

If you need additional assistance leveraging your SCU Alumni network, please feel free to e-mail or call the Alumni Office (, 408-554-6800) or to contact Anne Oja in the Career Center (, 408 554-4860).

Santa Clara is committed to instilling values of competence, conscience, and compassion, and we hope all Broncos will be mindful of fellow alumni challenged by these unprecedented times. We would like to encourage those of you who are in a position to help to strengthen our SCU offerings by posting employment opportunities, networking with fellow alumni, granting informational interviews, reviewing résumés, and facilitating connections with fellow grads where possible.

It’s difficult to know how long this downturn will last. However, we should take great strength and comfort in knowing we are all in this together. By leveraging the talents and resources of the 74,000 alumni that make up our Santa Clara family, we can try to ease the burdens of those most vulnerable and hurt by the financial crisis.

Go Broncos,

Steve Philpott ’97
National Alumni Association President

Steve Philpott

Join us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  Follow us on Instagram  Join our network on LinkedIn  Switchboard Logo

My Santa Clara  Watch us on YouTube  View on our Photos on Flickr  Watch us on Vimeo  social media bronco exchange