Santa Clara University Names Julie Sullivan President

By Robert Haugh

Santa Clara University (SCU) made a historic decision naming Dr. Julie Sullivan its president. She will be the Jesuit university’s first woman and first non-Jesuit president.

Sullivan is currently the president of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. She was unanimously chosen by SCU’s Board of Trustees following a nationwide search.

Sullivan takes her position at SCU on July 1, 2022.

New SCU President Julie Sullivan

“This is a historic moment for Santa Clara University as we welcome Dr. Sullivan as our next president,” said Larry Sonsini, chair of SCU’s Board of Trustees.

“In Dr. Sullivan, we have found a proven leader and faithful servant ideally suited to lead Santa Clara University in our pursuit of a more humane, a more just, and a more sustainable world.” 

Former SCU President Father Kevin O’Brien, S.J. resigned in May, 2021. O’Brien “engaged in behaviors” during dinners with Jesuit graduate students that were “inconsistent with established Jesuit protocols and boundaries,” according to the University.

2021 was an up-and-down year for SCU. 

They had a great high when the Lady Broncos claimed their second national championship by defeating No. 1 ranked Florida State.

But they also had some big lows. In addition to O’Brien’s resignation, two other SCU alumni did not honor their alma mater very well.

SCU Law School graduate Brian Exline lost his frivolous lawsuit against Mayor Lisa Gillmor in 2021.

And last summer Gary Stephen Maynard was charged with setting at least one arson fire near the Dixie fire. Maynard was a former SCU instructor.

Let’s hope 2022 is a better year for SCU. And congratulations to Dr. Sullivan.

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