Sept. 11, 2006
Santa Clara, Calif. - Santa Clara University announced today that former men's basketball star Steve Nash, who has won back-to-back NBA Most Valuable Player awards for the Phoenix Suns, will be the keynote speaker at the University's Convocation event on Sept. 18. Nash will speak to the faculty, staff and students at the event in the Leavey Center on the campus of the University at 2:15 p.m. PT. The event is for faculty, staff and students only.
The University will also honor Nash by unveiling a banner that will hang in the Leavey Center and Nash's jersey will be raised to the rafters at the event. Nash will be the first Santa Clara student-athlete to have his jersey hung in the rafters.
"We are thrilled to welcome Steve back home to Santa Clara," said Director of Athletics and Recreation Dan Coonan. "He represents the very best of Santa Clara student-athletes and alumni. His hard work in athletics has helped him reach the top of the NBA, but his greatest impact has been off the court with his efforts to aid underprivileged children around the world. We are very proud to count Steve as one of our alumni."
"Steve lives the Jesuit educational ideal of being a person for others. Not only is he an MVP on the court, but a model leader who generously contributes to the well being of community with a special concern for the needy," said SCU President Paul Locatelli S.J. "This models the values of competence, conscience and compassion, the vision for a Santa Clara alum. We are honored that he will return to Santa Clara to reflect on the meaning of his education and the value of this community to his life."
Nash entered Santa Clara as a freshman in 1992 and made an immediate impact on the court, helping the Broncos earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament that season and leading them to an upset of fifth-ranked Arizona in the first round. Nash would go on to earn All-West Coast Conference honors three times and back-to-back WCC Player of the Year awards (1994-95 and 1995-96) in his career. His teams won the WCC Tournament once and twice captured the WCC regular season title. The team advanced to the NCAA Tournament three times in Nash's four seasons at Santa Clara.
Nash finds himself ranked in the top-10 in 10 different statistical categories in SCU history, including holding the all-time records for three pointers made (263), three point field goal percentage (.401) and free throw percentage (.861), while placing second in assists with 510. He ranks fourth all-time in scoring with 1,689 points in a Bronco uniform.
Nash, recently named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people, is known for giving back to the community. He founded the Jim Jennings Memorial Endowment Fund, a memorial established in honor of a volunteer staff member at SCU who served the Broncos basketball team for more than 20 years. In 2001, he founded The Steve Nash Foundation "to aid underprivileged children in their health, personal development, education, and enjoyment of life."
The convocation marks the beginning of SCU's 156th academic year and the start of classes for the fall 2006 semester. The event, which honors staff, students and faculty, caps two days of `Welcome Weekend' celebrations that welcome freshman students to SCU's Mission Campus.
Attendance at the University Convocation will be limited to SCU students, staff, faculty, and invited guests. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,397 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the third-highest graduation rate among all U.S. master's universities, California's oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is online at www.scu.edu.