CORRECTING and REPLACING “Everybody Matters,” Soccer Champion Brandi Chastain Tells Santa Clara University Class of 2014 Santa Clara University

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--()--Ninth paragraph, second sentence, should read: Johnson Scholars Program (instead of Johnsons Scholars Program).

The corrected release reads:


Nearly 15 years after scoring the winning goal that won the U.S. the World Cup and inspired the passionate celebration that landed her on front pages across the globe, soccer legend Brandi Chastain, ‘91 returned to her alma mater to deliver the 163rd undergraduate commencement address. The speech helped mark 50 years of women’s athletics at Santa Clara University.

The class of 2014 cheered her as loudly on the stage as if they were watching her on the field, with fist pumps and chants of "USA, USA."

Even a championship-winning player has to realize that "everybody matters," said Chastain. "Not just the players that score goals. Not just the 11 that get to be on the field. Not the substitutes. But every single player. The ones that are on the bench make the team great."

Chastain graduated with a degree in communication from Santa Clara University before going on to win two gold medals and one silver medal while representing the U.S. in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic games. She is also a volunteer assistant coach with the SCU women’s soccer team and co-founder of the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative. The non-profit offers a free weekly after-school program for elementary school girls to develop self-esteem and good health practices with mentoring from women athletes from collegiate and high school teams.

She told a story of helping a young girl overcome her reluctance to stand out, and the girl thanking her for "not giving up on me."

"That is the kind of impact we can all have on our community," said Chastain, adding "light a fire under someone please."

Chastain also shared lessons she learned from her parents, coaches, and her grandfather, which helped fuel her service-oriented life. For instance, her grandfather, who knew she loved to score goals, offered a young Chastain $1 for every goal -- but $1.50 for every assist.

Such lessons taught her that “if I gave something to somebody else so they could do something great, it would come back twofold to me,” said Chastain, who was awarded an honorary doctorate of public service.

Rupert and Maryellie Johnson also received an honorary doctorate of public service for their dedication supporting higher education and scholarship. With a five million dollar donation, the Johnsons founded the Johnson Scholars Program at SCU in 2013 to cultivate compassionate, intelligent empowered leadership in SCU students.

Rev. Howard A. Lincoln was honored with a doctorate of pastoral ministry for his outstanding work with churches across the country and his leadership in helping the poor with food, medical care and education.

The Kino Border Initiative represented by Sean Carroll, S.J. was also awarded an honorary doctorate for its work and mission to make a more humane, just and workable migration between the U.S. and Mexico a reality.

Santa Clara University’s undergraduate class of 2014 is comprised of more than 1200 students, ranging in age from 20 to 55.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see


Santa Clara University
Marika Krause, 408-829-4836


Santa Clara University
Marika Krause, 408-829-4836