Santa Clara,California, a city in Santa Clara County near the southern tip of San Francisco Bay. It is about 35 miles (56 km) southeast of San Francisco and adjoins San Jose. Santa Clara is a commercial and industrial center in one of California's most rapidly growing areas. Santa Clara University, founded in 1851, is here. On its campus is the Mission Santa Clara de Asís, a mission established in 1777 by Father Junípero Serra. Santa Clara, which grew up around the mission, was incorporated in 1866. The city has the council-manager form of government.