Campus Notebook: Palestine group denied at Fordham; new campus at Santa Clara

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Editor's Note: Welcome to Campus Notebook, NCR's college round-up, where every Friday we bring you the latest news in Catholic college and university life. Do you have news you would like to share? Email Shireen Korkzan at

Fordham University in New York City has denied an application to students interested in forming an official chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, citing the group's "political goals" as contrary to the university's "mission and values," including support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel.

The announcement was made after the Students for Justice in Palestine was given approval from the university's student government. Keith Eldredge, dean of students, vetoed the decision in December 2016. The application process formally started in November 2015.

The National Coalition Against Censorship and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education are currently drafting a joint letter to protest Fordham's decision.

There are currently more than 126 Students for Justice in Palestine chapters in college campuses across the country, including Saint Xavier University and DePaul University.

Real estate mogul John A. Sobrato and his wife Susan recently donated $100 million to Santa Clara University to fund the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation for learning advancement in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.

The Sobratos' donation is the largest in Santa Clara's 166-year history.

Santa Clara said the 300,000-square-foot, undergraduate-focused complex "will enable more interaction between SCU's science and engineering resources and its signature, Jesuit-mission-based programs focused on meeting the needs of the global poor."

John Sobrato is both an alumnus of Santa Clara and a member of its board of trustees. He is known for developing tech campuses across Silicon Valley, including with Apple, Netflix and Yahoo.

Sr. Jean Dolores Schmidt, chaplain of Loyola University Chicago's men's basketball team, was recently inducted into the Loyola athletics Hall of Fame at the age of 97.

Schmidt, a Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is known for meeting with the team after saying a prayer on-court before every home game. During the game, she hangs out in the student section.

"I thank them for coming and make sure they know to distract the other guys," she told the Peoria Journal Star.

Fr. Thomas Worcester will become the 11th president of Regis College.

He will begin his five-year term on Aug. 1, just before the start of the 2017-2018 academic year.

Worcester is currently a tenured history professor at College of the Holy Cross, specializing in the Reformation, religion and society in 17th-century France, the history of the Jesuits, and the history of the papacy.

On Jan. 30, Jonathan Brown, director of the Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, will give a free, public lecture at Gonzaga University.

Brown's lecture, titled "Why Shouldn't I Think There's a Problem with Islam?" is part of Gonzaga's Being Religious Interreligiously Lecture Series. Brown will discuss contemporary misunderstandings of Islam.

[Shireen Korkzan is an NCR Bertelsen intern.]

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