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Patrick A. Donohoe, S.J. papers

 Record Group
Identifier: 3DB24

Scope and Content of the Collection

During Father Donohoe's ten year administration, the University underwent tremendous physical growth and social change: it became coeducational in 1961, the undergraduate student body tripled in size, graduate programs at both the Master’s and doctoral levels were installed in the Schools of Business and Engineering, and the Santa Clara Plan, a new academic program, was adopted. In addition, Father Donohoe created the Board of Regents in 1959, broadened the university’s fundraising efforts, and launched a building program that produced 11 buildings and Buck Shaw Stadium, totaling nearly $13 million. During the turbulent 1960’s, Father Donohoe became an eloquent spokesman in defense of academic freedom as Santa Clara began sponsoring speakers and programs considered controversial. Records include copies of speeches given by Fr. Donohoe during his presidency, clippings, correspondence, policy decisions, unusual events, units reporting to the President, committees, task forces chaired by the President, reports, minutes, publications and brochures from the President's Office, staff memos, meeting minutes, and program files.


  • 1958-1968



Records may contain restricted materials.

Publication Rights

Materials in Archives & Special Collections may be subject to copyright. All requests for permission to publish from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Permission for publication is given on behalf of Archives & Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials, and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials.

Biographical History

The Very Rev. Patrick A. Donohoe, S.J. was named the 24th president of Santa Clara in 1958. Born in San Francisco in 1914, he entered the Society of Jesus at the Los Gatos Novitiate in 1931, following his graduation from St. Ignatius High School. Father Donohoe received his B.A. and M.A. degrees at Gonzaga University, an S.T.L. degree from Alma College, and earned his Ph.D. in political science at St. Louis University in 1952. Fr. Donohoe came to the University of Santa Clara in 1950, and taught political science until 1957. In 1953, he was named chairman of the Political Science Department. Fr. Donohoe served as the regional assistant and director of studies in the Provincial’s Office in San Francisco from 1957 to 1958, prior to being named President of the University of Santa Clara. On January 31, 1968, Fr. Donohoe was named California Provincial of the Society of Jesus. He served briefly as acting president at Santa Clara when then president, Father Thomas Terry, S.J., resigned the post because of ill health. Fr. Donohoe died February 6, 1984.

Organizational History

Santa Clara University was founded in 1851 by the Society of Jesus as Santa Clara College and is California’s oldest operating institution of higher learning. It was established on the grounds of Mission Santa Clara de Asìs, the eighth of the original 21 California missions. The college originally operated as a preparatory school and did not offer courses of collegiate rank until 1853. The institution became known as the University of Santa Clara in 1912, when the schools of engineering and law were added. For 110 years, Santa Clara University was an all-male school. In 1961, women were accepted as undergraduates and Santa Clara University became the first coeducational Catholic university in California. The number of students and faculty tripled over the next decade and the university began the largest building program in school history with eight residence halls, a student union, and an athletic stadium. In the early 1970s, the Board of Trustees voted to limit the size of the undergraduate population, an action that was intended to preserve the character and ensure the quality of the university for generations to come. In 1985, the university adopted Santa Clara University as its official name. Bibliography: Santa Clara University. “About SCU – History.” (Accessed Nov. 23, 2010) McKevitt, Gerald, S.J. The University of Santa Clara: A History, 1851-1977. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1979.


12.5 linear feet (31 containers)

Language of Materials



Contains the office files from the Office of the President for Patrick A. Donohoe, S.J. The records are arranged alphabetically by file title or chronologically within each series in 28 boxes. The series are: Speech and clipping files, Box 1; Subject Files, Boxes 1-29.

Physical Location

This collection is located in Santa Clara University Library's Archives & Special Collections.

Language of Materials


Processing Information

Collection processed prior to 2020. Legacy collection data migrated from existing MARC records by Evan Rabinowitz in 2020. Please consult Archives & Special Collections staff regarding the existence of container lists or other finding aids for this collection.

Guide to Patrick A. Donohoe, S.J. papers
In Progress
Legacy collection data migrated from existing MARC records by Evan Rabinowitz in 2020. Reviewed by Nadia Nasr.
© 2020 Santa Clara University. All rights reserved.
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Repository Details

Part of the Archives & Special Collections, Santa Clara University Library Repository

Santa Clara University Library
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara California 95053-0500 USA US