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Why I’m Thankful for My Jesuit Education

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SCU chapter.

Before coming to Santa Clara, I was aware that it was a Jesuit school that promotes Jesuit values, but I had little knowledge as to what these so called “Jesuit values” meant. I barely even knew who the Jesuits were. Not long after my first quarter here, whether it was through classes or service opportunities or lectures, I felt completely emerged in the Jesuit tradition and as a result, feel that I am benefitting from my college education in a unique way that not many other students experience while in college. As a student at a Jesuit university, I find myself more engaged and aware of the world around me and now feel that it is my obligation to give back to my community.

Although there are a total of twelve ideals, the Jesuit tradition can be summarized as one that emphasizes the education of the whole person, social justice, and service to others. These values are often integrated into the courses taught at Santa Clara University, resulting in a holistic approach to education. Here at SCU, the entire person including the soul, rather than simply the mind, is educated. This allows students to go out into the world and make a difference in whatever they find most meaningful.

Because of the emphasis they put on a life of service, the Jesuits and the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education on campus provide students with lots of opportunities to utilize their privilege to help others. Through lectures about current issues in our society or service events, the Ignatian Center embodies the Jesuit values on the Santa Clara campus. Their mission statement reads, “The Ignatian Center promotes and enhances the distinctively Jesuit, Catholic tradition of education at Santa Clara University, with a view to serving students, faculty, staff, and through them the larger community, both local and global.” It also hosts Immersion Trips throughout the year for students to travel to places such as Los Angeles and El Salvador to work with marginalized communities. Through these trips, students are able to work closely in communities much different from their own. This summer, I am lucky enough to experience the India Immersion trip where I will be volunteering in a hospital and women’s college as well as other opportunities for service in an impoverished community. Through this experience, I will be able to fully embrace the Jesuit tradition.

The Jesuit education, in my opinion, is one of the best types of education anyone can receive due to the holistic approach of teaching. I know that my time at Santa Clara will help me become someone who prioritizes social justice in the issues I believe are most important, and will enable me to impact my community in a positive way. I am more than thankful for my Jesuit education and am excited to experience it for the next few years.

Mara Strong is a freshman at Santa Clara University where she is studying English and Philosophy. She loves everything Hamilton and is proud to call herself a Ravenclaw.
Laurel Fisher is a senior at Santa Clara University. She is double majoring in math and French. She loves traveling, scrapbooking, and anything to do with France. In her free time, she loves taking photos of just about anything, watching Netflix, eating delicious food, going to the gym, and spending time with her friends.