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Santa Clara University Shares Rich History in Growth of Santa Clara

Santa Clara University's humble beginnings in 1851as the Santa Clara California College started at the height of the Gold Rush. The school, created by two Italian Jesuits who were given the mission and its land after promising to establish a college, was built around the historic Mission Santa Clara. The college received its charter in 1855 and awarded its first bachelor's degree to Thomas I. Bergin in 1857. The school inherited the grounds of the Mission Santa Clara de Asís, which included extensive art and library collections dating back to 1777 which are still found on campus today.

Continued Growth and Expansion

 Santa Clara California College grew to include an engineering school and a law school and officially became a university in 1912. Women were allowed to attend the previously all-men's school for the first time in 1961, making it the first Catholic university to allow men and women to enroll. Over the past century, the school has expanded its campus by more than 100 acres. Recent additions include a renovated basketball arena and a Jesuit community residence.

Today campus facilities include Bellomy Field, used for sports and student use, Kids on Campus, a preschool established in 1969, Malley Fitness Center, used for recreational use and fitness classes, Saint Clare School, an elementary school serving grades K-8, Saint Clare Parish/St. Clare Parish Hall and the mission, still serving as the university's chapel.

Community Involvement

The university remains a vital and active part of the Santa Clara community. Annual events include Family Weekend, bringing together students, parents and family; Grand Reunion Weekend, with alumni returning to provide inspiration for current college students; and the President's Speaker Series, offering a wide selection of distinguished guest speakers. The campus includes a museum, open to the public, that displays artifacts from the city's past. Many campus events are open to the general public and coincide with community events, celebrations and festivals.

SCU at a Glance


Santa Clara, California





School Colors

Santa Clara Red and White



Size of Campus

106 Acres

Undergraduate Enrollment
(Fall 2010)


Faculty (Fall 2010)





Undergraduate Expenses

Tuition and Fees


Room and Board

$11,742  (Varies)

University Finances 


Total Operating Budget (2010-11)

$346 million


University Endowment (June 30, 2010)

$603.6 million



NCAA Division I


West Coast Conference


19 intercollegiate sports


Academic Calendar

Quarter system


(Law School is on semester system)


Undergraduate Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts


Bachelor of Science


Bachelor of Science in Commerce


Graduate Degrees Offered

Law (J.D., LL.M.)


Business (MBA, EMBA, MSIS)


Engineering (M.S., Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology (M.A.)


Education (M.A.)


Pastoral Ministries (M.A.)


Jesuit School of Theology (M.A., M.Div, Ph.D)


Contact Information

Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053





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