It is my genuine pleasure to welcome all new first-year and incoming transfer, graduate, and professional students to Saint Mary’s College this fall. We are extremely proud to have you join the SMC community, and that you will now call our campus your academic home.

While you are just beginning your higher education journey here, it is my great hope that, as you travel along the path to graduation, you discover new aspects about yourself, step out of your comfort zone and take intellectual risks, and, as a result of studying with our world-class faculty, rise up to meet new educational challenges and wrestle thoughtfully, and respectfully, with new ideas and perspectives—even those with which you profoundly disagree.

On your journey here, I encourage you to reach out and make new friends, especially with fellow students who may not be the same skin color, share the same religious or political beliefs, have the same sexual orientation, or come from similar economic backgrounds.

We are at a critical time in our nation. The recent violence on the campus of the University of Virginia and in the city of Charlottesville speaks volumes about the level of hatred and bigotry that remain in our country. At Saint Mary’s, while we too are a microcosm of society, we aspire to embrace and promote a campus of civility, that actively rejects prejudice and embraces the Lasallian Catholic principles of inclusive community and respect for all persons.

We are a supportive and faith-filled community, steeped in the Catholic and Lasallian values of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, and committed to an educational mission that promotes both the personal and professional success of our students and their understanding of the tremendous importance of being part of an inclusive campus and contributing to society’s common good.

You are now part of the great academic tradition and faith mission of Saint Mary’s College of California. I wish you the best in your journey here and success in the discovery of your educational passion and your spiritual compass, and in gaining a greater understanding of your true self. Welcome again to Saint Mary’s!


James A. Donahue

President of Saint Mary’s

College of California

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