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Mission Santa Clara

Help to Keep this Historical Landmark and Student Chapel of SCU Vibrant and Accessible for Generations to Come.

The historic Mission Santa Clara represents the heart of Santa Clara University’s campus, embodying and symbolizing its history and commitment to the Jesuit, Catholic tradition.

The Mission was established by the Franciscan Order in 1777, it was one of the chain of 21 Alta California Missions, located on the traditional homelands of the Ohlone and Muwekma Ohlone tribes. It was the only one of the California missions that the Franciscans bequeathed to the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). In 1851, the Jesuits established a school on the site, making our university the first institution of higher education in the State of California.

Today, Mission Santa Clara remains the central hub of the campus’s religious and spiritual life. It also offers a focal point for campus conversations about justice for indigenous peoples, including the tribal nations who call this land home. As part of SCU’s Division of Mission and Ministry, the Mission Church continues to welcome our faculty, staff, alumni, and neighbors to join the student body in worship. Gifts to the Mission Church help to keep this historical monument - and beating heart of SCU - vibrant and welcoming to all for generations to come.

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