Santa Clara University (SCU) is the oldest operating higher education institution in California and this private, Jesuit university has remained in its position in the heart of the area now known as Silicon Valley for more than 165 years.
The university began in 1851 as an all-boys preparatory school, known as Santa Clara Colleges, and two years later it began to offer college level courses too. It took until 1912 for the college to attain university status, becoming ‘The University of Santa Clara’, and in 1961 the first female undergraduates were admitted which made SCU California’s first Catholic coeducational university.
Today the university offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Science in Commerce degrees at undergraduate level as well as a range of graduate degree programs. The degree courses are available through six university schools and colleges, located within the 106-acre campus that many SCU students call home.
The campus is a short drive from San Jose and San Francsico and among the 50+ buildings on-campus are 2,200 square-foot television studio, 10 residence halls, the de Saisset Museum, and the iconic Mission Santa Clara, which now serves as a student chapel.
The university athletics teams, known as the Santa Clara Broncos, compete in the NCAA Division I and have a long held rivalry with the University of San Francisco Dons, another local Jesuit institution.
Notable former students include Leon Panetta, former director of the CIA and former Secretary of Defense, as well as Apple Inc CFO Peter Oppenheimer, and former Seinfeld director Andy Ackerman.