Fall 2013by Staff

Decade of Distinction



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Ten years ago, the University of San Diego celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Sciences and the School of Leadership and Education Sciences. Academically on the rise, USD made its inaugural appearance in Princeton Review’s student guide to the nation’s top U.S. colleges and had just been granted a charter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society. In 2003, the Donald P. Shiley Center for Science and Technology opened its doors and Joan B. Kroc bequeathed $50 million to establish the Kroc School of Peace Studies.

That was the same year Mary E. Lyons, PhD, was named the third president of USD. She took her post in July and was inaugurated in November, following a weeklong celebration with the entire USD community, during which she shared breakfast with alumni, talked with local business representatives over lunch, hung out with students before a basketball game, read a Dr. Seuss book with children at a local elementary school and received the key symbolizing USD’s membership in Phi Beta Kappa.

Since then, USD has been recognized as a leader both in and out of the classroom. It is one of the nation’s top 100 universities and is ranked No. 1 for the number of undergraduate students who study abroad. It is also one of only 19 campuses nationwide that’s known, near and far, as a Changemaker campus.



The pomp and circumstance of the installation ceremony inaugurating President Mary E. Lyons, PhD, at the Jenny Craig Pavilion included prayers from Bishop Robert H.Brom and Monsignor Daniel Dillabough while members of USD’s ROTC program led the national anthem. Dr. Lyons offered her future vision of USD, which she said should be “private in its mission and public in its purpose.”



U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia serves as chief justice for the School of Law’s second annual Paul A. McLennon Sr. Honors Moot Court Competition, which gives students the opportunity to develop their written and oral advocacy skills — and to test them in competition. Justice Scalia reminds students that many decisions are on “the razor’s edge” and that the oral argument can help judges cement their decisions.


Three new centers of excellence are established including the Lindsay J. Cropper Center for Creative Writing in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate in the School of Business Administration and the School of Leadership and Education Sciences’ Center for Nonprofit Research, now known as the Caster Family Center for Nonprofit Research.



The Energy Policy Initiative Center (EPIC) is established at the School of Law. In addition to being a place where law students learn about energy-related legal matters, the center is a clearinghouse for research, public education and legal advocacy on behalf of energy consumers. The aim is to find permanent solutions to the region’s dwindling natural resources.



The University of San Diego is recognized as one of 141 colleges and universities honored for Distinguished Community Service in the nation’s first-ever “President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll,” a distinction that would become fundamental to USD’s earning the designation of an official Changemaker campus five years later.



The campus celebrates the inauguration of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, home of the Institute for Peace & Justice, the Trans-Border Institute and the Master of Arts in Peace and Justice Studies. The celebration welcomes Founding Dean Father William R. Headley, CSSp keynote speaker Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services, and noted actor and peace advocate Martin Sheen.



The Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science introduces a new Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) program, complementing an expansive curriculum designed especially for nurse educators and practitioners.


The University of San Diego hosts myriad campus celebrations throughout its 60th Anniversary year. The yearlong celebration culminates with the black-tie Founders’ Gala honoring the university’s six decades of unparalleled success in the advancement of education, student development and service to the community.



USD flipped the switch during its “Running on Sunshine” event celebrating the installation of 5,000 photovoltaic solar panels on the roofs of 11 buildings throughout the campus to generate 1.23-megawatts of renewable energy. The installation makes USD the second largest solar energy producer of any private U.S. college and the 10th largest solar facility on a university campus in the nation. It becomes the latest component to President Lyons’ strategic initiative to make the campus one of the most sustainable in the country.


USD is ranked No. 1 among doctoral universities in the percent of undergraduates studying abroad. Students in USD’s graduate programs are also part of groundbreaking work and research around the world. Examples include the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science’s work in Uganda, the School of Leadership and Education Science’s work in Ghana, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies’ work spanning the globe and the international consulting projects, practicums and internships in the School of Business Administration’s International MBA program.



The Office of Undergraduate Research is established to ensure that students from all disciplines in the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Business Administration have the opportunity to engage in research and creative activities. It offers programs, including the annual Undergraduate Research Conference, and encourages faculty to integrate research projects and scholarly presentations into their courses.



USD is designated an official Ashoka U Changemaker campus and joins a select group of colleges and universities that have established themselves as hubs of social innovation throughout the world.



His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, the spiritual leader of Tibet, visits the University of San Diego as part of a joint symposium with UCSD and SDSU entitled, “Compassion Without Borders: Science, Peace and Ethics.”



The University of San Diego captures the 2011-12 West Coast Conference (WCC) Commissioner’s Cup for the fifth consecutive year, a Conference first. The Commissioner’s Cup is awarded to the WCC member institution garnering the most success during conference play.



USD inaugurates the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering and welcomes Founding Dean Chell A. Roberts. The $20 million gift from USD Trustee and former Chair of the Board, Darlene Marcos Shiley, honors her family’s dedication to education and pays tribute to her late husband and renowned engineer, Donald P. Shiley. “My husband was, first and foremost, an engineer,” she says.

Building on Greatness

Four state-of-the-art facilities, built at Alcalá Park in the past 10 years, gave alumni a place to call home, changed the landscape of learning and enhanced the student experience, and added a diamond to help Torero Baseball shine.