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M A R Y ’S



V O L U M E 3 3 • N U M B E R 1 • FA L L 2 0 12





J. Elizabeth Smith EDITOR





Chris Carter ‘97, MA ‘02 Katherine Ellison Kathryn Geraghty Caitlin Graveson ‘11 Ronald Isetti Herman Lujan ‘58 Dan Murphy ‘13 Ginny Prior

The Saint Mary’s College of California experience inspires learning that lasts a lifetime. The College’s rigorous education engages intellect and spirit while awakening the desire to transform society. We are all learners here — together, working to understand and shape the world. For more information, see Saint Mary’s magazine is published three times a year. Please send comments to or call (925) 631-4278. Please submit name and address changes to or write Saint Mary’s College, P.O. Box 4300, Moraga, CA 94575-4300.



Michael Beseda ’79

LAYERS OF TIME Recently a crane operator turned up the tooth of a woolly mammoth in San Francisco while digging holes for the supports for a new downtown transit center. Woolly mammoths were shaggy relatives of the Asian elephant that are thought to have made their way to this continent over the Bering Strait. They were likely done in 10,000 years ago by climate change, loss of habitat and human hunters, although stragglers are thought to have survived on an Alaskan island until about 1700 BC. (Note at right, a woolly mammoth tooth we photographed in SMC Professor Rebecca Jabbour’s office.) Our San Francisco woolly mammoth seems to have fallen somewhere between Mission and Folsom Streets and is so buried in time that our understanding of his life and death is pretty sketchy. But the discovery of his 10-inch-long tooth, found more than 100 feet deep in the sandy soil under the city, is a timely contextual reminder as we celebrate the sesquicentennial of Saint Mary’s College: Every day we stand unawares upon many layers of history and millions of stories that are, nonetheless, the very foundation for our world today. Brother President Ronald Gallagher noted during the Sesquicentennial Mass in September that it was humbling to think of all the people whose zeal, genius and faith have sustained Saint Mary’s for 150 years.“We stand proudly today on their shoulders,” he said. In preparing to tell Saint Mary’s story during this landmark year, we’ve learned a lot about these hardy souls who simply refused to give up on a great idea: providing a life-changing Christian education for working-class kids who couldn’t afford the more expensive Jesuit schools in the area. It was a thoroughly American idea —  education for all — but also rooted in the ethos of the Christian Brothers, founded in France in 1680 to educate the children of the poor, in cheeky defiance of then current practice. It’s no surprise that Archbishop Joseph Alemany, who doggedly championed the founding of Saint Mary’s, recruited the Christian Brothers to run his school after it struggled to get a foothold in San Francisco. Alemany worried about the temptations that the Barbary Coast presented for San Francisco’s young men. The 19th century Irish families living in the neighborhood where our woolly mammoth tooth was found surely must have worried about this, too. The excavation between Mission and Folsom also turned up numerous artifacts of their lives. Meanwhile, the excavation also uncovered a sizeable gold nugget, a symbol of 19th century events that turned the tide of California history and also played a role in the founding of Saint Mary’s College. To fund his idea for a school, Archbishop Alemany engaged a plucky young Irish priest, Father Croke, to go up into the Sierra to convince gold miners, many of them tender-hearted Irishmen, to share some of the bounty they’d dug from the mountains. Father Croke came back with more than $30,000, some of it paid in gold dust. It wasn’t quite enough, but it seeded a plan for a school that has survived and thrived for 150 years. So, this year, we celebrate a significant anniversary of this remarkable college. We’ve named it the Year of the Gael, for everyone who has made this college possible. As we excavate the past, we’ll share the big dreams and tales of derring do, and marvel at the close calls and David and Goliath moments that are part of our history. Of course, we’ll also look to the future, standing on the broad shoulders of people who had a really good idea. JO SHROY ER EDITOR

FA L L 2 0 12



2 feedback 2 events

4 the arcade

WOW | New Student Trends |  SMC Recognized as Transformative Institution  |  Alumni Writers Read Their Poetry  |  Alumni Fellowship in Alaska  |  SMC at the Olympics  |  Faculty Profile: Myrna Santiago

BROTHERS The Christian Brothers are the passionate soul of this college — big brothers to their students and brothers to each other.


34 the quad

Alumni: Herman Lujan  |  Football Alumni  |  Summer Wine Festival  |  Generations of Gaels

36 gael glimpses 44 in memoriam 45 endnote

Cover photo: Each year the new freshman class paints the SMC on the hillside overlooking campus. They use their bodies to coat the letters with color, so it’s a fun, messy affair. This year, with an added 150!, their work (and fun) was doubled. Photography by Andrew Nguyen ‘15.

THE PHOENIX: RISING FROM THE ASHES In its first 150 years, the story of Saint Mary’s has been a surprisingly tumultuous tale, brimming with near-escapes from financial ruin and natural disaster.



WHY NOT DREAM BIG? Saint Mary’s history is a timeline entwined with the lives of brave, visionary souls determined to build something worthwhile in a still rowdy, untamed western town.


A GRAND GAELEBRATION Saint Mary’s celebrated the sesquicentennial with a Gael of a party.


Politically Correct Seminar Redesign? Your summer issue contained an article announcing that the Great Books program has been “redesigned” after a “…reevaluation of the College’s educational goals...” The redesign makes the fashionable books of the moment as important as the classics of the past. It also makes SMC less committed to the liberal arts, the Catholic Christian tradition and De La Salle himself. Randy Andrada ’73 Read the full letter and other commentary on this topic at

Thinking About and Rethinking Seminar Thanks for publishing a great magazine and keeping all of us informed about the happenings around the College. I wish to provide feedback on the article on “New Seminar Approach Aims to Help Students Succeed” in the summer issue. It’s always good news to hear that the administration is thinking about (and rethinking) Collegiate Seminar. As a graduate of the Integral Program my guess is that the only way for Seminar to truly succeed with the students is by exciting wonder in them. We can try to sell students on the value of developing critical thinking, debate and reading skills. But if students don’t value those things to begin with, then that sales pitch won’t work — that dog

won’t hunt, so to speak. Only when students seriously wonder about the meaning of those books and ask those great questions to (and of) themselves, can they truly appreciate the value of the Great Books. I can only imagine how difficult it is for professors to explore questions they don’t know the answers to alongside our undergrads, instead of teaching them known answers with authority. But, speaking for myself, I can assure professors across the College that when I witnessed my professors (my tutors) trying to understand, with great difficulty, the challenges those texts presented, and the strangely familiar ideas those books represented, it completely inspired me as a student and gave me the courage to explore with them as a partner in our shared inquiry. As tutors, they helped me see the apparent contradictions in those texts and excited that wonder in me that made me want to understand. That’s why I greatly respect all of my professors from the Integral Program — greater than all of my famous graduate school professors. Obviously what I describe is easier said than done. Getting back to the point of my letter, I hope the changes in Collegiate Seminar will support our professors’ continued inspiration of our students by earnestly struggling alongside them with these insanely difficult, and inspiring, ideas and texts. Aaron Nelson Integral Program ’95



The Art of the Cross Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art The Art of the Cross presents works by Chagall, Rouault, Buffet, Villon, Bernard, Charlot and Dali, among others. Also showing, Nyame Brown’s John Henry’s Adventures in a Post-Black World, fantasystyle paintings of African-American folklore hero John Henry. See more about these and other exhibits through December 9:

24 The Year of the Great(est) Conversation(s): Catholic Higher Education Soda Center  7– 9 p.m. Robert Prescott, The Road of Life, n.d., altered road sign. 2

FALL 2012

Bishop Marcelo Sanchez-Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, will deliver a lecture. At 3 p.m., presidents and leaders from local Catholic

universities will join him in a panel on Catholic Higher Education.

27 Italian Night Soda Center  6 – 9 p.m. A Tuscany buffet and music by Gene Falcone, with part of the proceeds benefiting the Guild Scholarship. RSVP by October 23 to Pat Wiegmann at or (925) 376-6088.

30 The Year of the Great(est) Conversation(s): The Liberal Arts and the Common Good: Educating Citizens in the 21st Century Soda Center  7– 9 p.m. Speakers Catharine Bond Hill, president of Vassar College, and Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, will address the future of the liberal arts’ commitment to educating responsible, democratic citizens. Learn more at






25 The Year of the Great(est) Conversation(s): Michael Sandel on the Liberal Arts and the Common Good — Justice and Citizenship Soda Center  7– 9 p.m. Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University. His recent book “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?” relates major questions of political philosophy to the most vexing issues of our time. His newest book, “What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets,” was published in spring 2012. Learn more at

2 presents the annual car drawing, held prior to the men’s basketball game vs. Portland. It’s your chance to win a new car and support Gael athletics.


NOV E M BE R 3 Sesquicentennial Gala Building One, Treasure Island 6:30 –11:30 p.m.

America?” explores how power and politics operate in the United States. Lecture and SMC faculty panel.

14 Global Economic Forum: Corporate Social Responsibility in a Global Context The Commonwealth Club of California 595 Market Street, San Francisco 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

The “Jewel of the Bay” on Treasure Island is Saint Mary’s sesquicentennial black-tie event. A reception is followed by a tented dinner under the stars, then dancing until 11:30 p.m. to the Dick Bright Orchestra. All proceeds benefit Saint Mary’s student scholarships. Register online at


Harvest Faire Boutique and Luncheon Soda Center  10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The role of business leadership and growth stimulation in the wake of the Great Economic Recession. Learn more at global-economic-forum.html.

28 Creative Writing Reading Series —  Linda Spalding Soda Center  7 p.m.

The Saint Mary’s Guild Harvest Faire features a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings at noon and a sale of holiday and elegant items. $27; proceeds benefit the Guild Scholarship. RSVP: Cyndie Harrison at (925) 820-8002 or



Spring Awakening LeFevre Theatre Nov. 8 –10 and Nov. 15 –17 at 7 p.m. Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. Duncan Sheik and Steven Slater’s 2007 Tony Awardwinning hit is this generation’s Rent, about the treacherous path to adulthood. Performance times and tickets

12 Power, Politics and Social Change: A Conversation with G. William Domhoff Soda Center  4:30 – 6:30 p.m. UC Santa Cruz researcher, professor of psychology and sociology, and author of the classic text, “Who Rules

Spalding, the author of three novels, will read from her most recent work, “Who Named the Knife,” a memoir of crime and punishment.

36th Annual Saint Mary’s College Car Drawing Soda Center


Washington, D.C., Alumni Chapter Reception with the President U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces 450 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20442 6 – 8 p.m. Gather with fellow Gaels in Washington, D.C., for a reception with Brother President Ronald Gallagher. Hors d’oeuvres and hosted bar. $25 per person.

22 Baseball “Meet the Players” Night Soda Center Come support the baseball program at the annual Meet the Players Dinner. RSVP to alumni events at



Creative Writing Reading Series —  Michael Palmer Soda Center  7 p.m. Poet and translator Michael Palmer, recipient of the Arts and Letters Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, will read from his work.


The Voice of Broadway Soda Center  12:45 p.m. (Also Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m.) Student vocalists, under the direction of Donna Olson, sing show-tunes ranging from the romantic and poignant to the sharp and sassy. Free.

For information about the Brothers’ vocation and Lasallian volunteers, please visit: BROTHERSVOCATION.ORG or L ASALLIANVOLUNTEERS.ORG




New Students Get A Sesquicentennial Welcome The annual actionpacked Weekend of Welcome gave a host of new Gaels their first taste of the Saint Mary’s experience. Whether it was organizing their dorm room, meeting their neighbors, painting the new “SMC 150!” sign or participating in Saturday of Service, the new undergraduate students jumped into SMC with gusto. The entering class of 826 students

brings the College’s total enrollment to 2,863 students — an all-time high. The academic profile also strengthened to record levels, with 114 first-year students and 40 transfer students enrolling with honors at entrance. The entering class’s average GPA rose to 3.58. Improvements were also seen in ethnic diversity, as enrollment of African Americans jumped from 4.8 percent to 6.4 percent, and Latinos from 25.8 percent to 27 percent.

Saint Mary’s Sees Big Jump in International Students


FALL 2012



aint Mary’s has a little more international flair this year. In fact, the College begins a new academic year with double the number of international students from a year ago — representing no less than 10 countries. The Class of 2016 boasts 23 international students – up from 11 last year. The number of students from U.S. territories has also grown significantly, quadrupling from three to 12. Susie Miller Reid, the director of the Center for International Programs, which works with


the students once they arrive, says the upward trend is “exciting.” With an increase in outreach, the reputation of Saint Mary’s is drawing new students from all around the globe. Kimberly Huang, an accounting major from Taiwan, chose Saint Mary’s after her counselor’s husband, a graduate of the College, told her time again about his experience. “He has a lot of pride in Saint Mary’s and through his tone, I could tell that it is a great school. He told me to live it up and that Saint Mary’s is full of opportunities.” A native of Warsaw, Poland, Anh Maciag had never heard about Saint Mary’s until his friends in Oakland brought it up in conversation. “They told me that Saint Mary’s is a good school with a lot of tools and opportunities which will help me to accomplish my life goals.” More foreign students mean more responsibilities. Enter Tim Yoon, the new international

student coordinator. Once an international student from Korea himself, Yoon was proud to use his past experience to help influence the newest Gaels by directing the International Student Orientation. “Our orientation is extensive,” says Yoon. “Usually at other schools, orientation lasts about a day or two. Ours is five days.” The session, open to both international students and those born in U.S. territories, gave students the chance to learn how to use local public transportation, discover local restaurants and get comfortable with their new campus and support staff. “I got to know the College, the surrounding environments,” says Maciag, a business administration major. “I got to know the other international students that shared the experience. It was really cool.” Alex Hunt, one of the newest members of the men’s tennis team, says that after the orientation he knows “a lot more about the country and

the places around me, which helped immensely.” Transitioning from New Zealand has gone smoothly, too, he said, adding: “The only thing is that some people can’t understand my beautiful harmony of a Kiwi accent.” As their program grows, Yoon and Miller Reid hope all the international students use their four years here to grow and appreciate the close connections they will have the chance to make. “I want the students to find out what they are passionate about, what they’re interested in,” added Yoon. “I just want them to enjoy a United States college experience – go to a ball game, paint their faces. It’s one of the best times of your life.” Saint Mary’s is already making an impression on the new international students. “This is only the third week and I know a lot of people,” says Huang, “but I feel like in four years we will be a family.” – DAN MURPHY ‘13



Alumni Writers Merge Art and Sport in Poetry Reading BY TERESA CASTLE


Saint Mary’s education is a life-changing experience. We know it, and now the world knows it, too. SMC has been chosen as one of only 40 U.S. institutions in the 2013 edition of “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges.” Saint Mary’s is the only Catholic college — and the only California college — in the history of the 40-school compilation, which was originally created by former New York Times education editor Loren Pope to highlight exemplary liberal arts colleges that break the traditional Ivy League mold. It is widely recognized for identifying colleges that offer life-transforming educational experiences. The book, published by Penguin, gives special recognition to Saint Mary’s for its Lasallian tradition, the rich diversity of its student population, the educational impact of the Collegiate Seminar program and January Term, and the strength of its faculty. It also praises the students’ “love for their community” and “fierce sense of school spirit” and the College’s commitment to the guiding Lasallian principle of “Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve,” which the guidebook describes as an “important principle to twenty-first century students and alumni — and to American culture.” “As we mark our sesquicentennial anniversary, the recognition by “Colleges That Change Lives” is timely high praise,” said SMC President Brother Ronald Gallagher. “It underscores our longstanding commitment to an academic experience that is studentcentered, provides opportunities for a student’s personal growth and creates a firm foundation for success after graduation.” Saint Mary’s has also been invited to join Colleges That Change Lives, Inc. (CTCL), a nonprofit academic initiative dedicated to the advancement and support of a studentcentered college admission process. Vice Provost for Enrollment Michael Beseda said that “membership in the CTCL group will introduce SMC to thousands of highly qualified students across the country and globe and will substantially strengthen our academic reputation among educational leaders.” 6

FALL 2012


Saint Mary’s Recognized as Transformative Institution

he contemplative world of poetry and the frenetic world of basketball seem like an unlikely pairing, but they came together with surprising ease recently at a special sesquicentennial reading at Saint Mary’s College by two renowned alumni — former Poet Laureate Robert Hass ’63 and basketball star turned teacher and writer Tom Meschery ’61. In his introduction to the reading, Chris Sindt, vice provost for graduate and professional studies, said the poetry of Hass “reminds us both of the vital purpose writing and literature play in our culture and also that the work of poetry can be fun, natural, even routine. He has famously said that ‘poetry is a way of living…a human activity like baking bread or playing basketball.’” Poetry and basketball came together quite literally in Meschery’s life. A Russian immigrant, he was a hoops star and scholar at Saint Mary’s and went on to play in the NBA with the Warriors and the Seattle Supersonics. After leaving the world of professional basketball, he devoted himself to teaching and writing. He recently published his third book of poetry, “Some Men.” Sindt aptly described Meschery’s poetry as “deeply engaging and empathetic.” Among the works Meschery read were “Hakeem Olajuwon, AKA Hakeem The Dream,” a poem he wrote while in West Africa, and “Continuation School,” a funny and touching piece about his experience as a teacher. Hass is one of the preeminent poets in the nation. Aside from serving as poet laureate of the United States, he won the 2007 National Book Award and the Tom Meschery (left) 2008 Pulitzer Prize for his poetry col- and Robert Hass lection, “Time and Materials: Poems (right) engaged in a 1997– 2005.” He recently published lively post-reading discussion moderated “What Light Can Do: Essays on by Vice Provost Art, Imagination, and the Natural Chris Sindt.

World.” He is also the co-founder, with Pamela Michael, of River of Words, a program of SMC’s Center for Environmental Literacy. The New York Times has described Hass as a writer who “is so intelligent that to read his poetry or prose, or to hear him speak, gives one an almost visceral pleasure.” No doubt many in the audience would disagree with the adjective “almost.” He began with an evocative and hilarious reading about his heady days as an undergraduate at Saint Mary’s, and segued into a story about a memorable college soiree where Meschery was seen hanging out of an upper-floor window in Dante Hall reciting verses from 19th-century symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud’s “Le Bateau Ivre” (“The Drunken Boat”). Hass then delivered a captivating reading of three new poems-in-progress: “Nature Notes,” “Sprezzatura” and a tour de force touching on poetry, symbolism, philosophy, armpits and art entitled “An Argument About Poetics.” Like much of his work, the poems ranged from starkly beautiful works “grounded in the beauty and energy of the physical world,” as one reviewer put it, to complex poems that illuminate history, politics, ideology and all things human. Throughout the evening, the respect the two men felt for each other was evident, and it was summed up in a poem Meschery read that had, in fact, been inspired by one of Hass’s poems. It’s called, appropriately, “A Reading with Robert Hass” and begins with a quote from Hass’s poem, “Dragonflies Mating.”

A Reading with Robert Hass BY TOM MESCHERY

    “…and I’d bounce the ball two or three times, study the orange rim as if it were, which it was, the true level of the world, the one sure thing.” – ROBERT HASS FROM SUN UNDER WOOD

The writer of these lines

thing, the rest of me, mind,

should have been me, but

soul, whatever, would follow.

wasn’t. For years I envied

I wondered back then, and

the writer understanding

still do, how a poet came to

something I knew from expe-

this understanding without

rience, but could not put into

the years it took me shooting

words, my love of basketball,

the ball a thousand times a

how it has, from the begin-

day, how a poet got it right

ning into old age, kept me

from a childhood memory

safe. Because I was certain

of standing on the line? NASA

that if my body did the right



Saint Mary’s education can take you a long way – like to Alaska. That’s where SMC senior Julie Cozzetto spent eight weeks during the annual Alumni Summer Fellowship, which is coordinated by CILSA and supported by alumni donations. Cozzetto served at Daybreak, Inc., a nonprofit in Palmer, Alaska, that helps mentally disabled adults by creating treatment plans and advocating for them with public service agencies and the courts. When she wasn’t shadowing case managers and working one-on-one with clients, she took time to experience the wild, natural side of Alaska and write about her experience. In this excerpt from her blog, she shares a little of what she learned. The True Meaning of Hospitality

“In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.” – Blessed Mother Teresa Coming up here was scary — I was alone and lacked the support I am so used to having at home or school. What I have learned about people up here is that everyone treats you like family. They offer a roof over your head, a warm bed to sleep in and food in your stomach. … It is so beyond basic hospitality that these people have welcomed me with. And as I considered these situations and people, I realized Cozzetto that what I was going to bring back is not a concrete lesson or on McHugh package, it’s an idea — an idea of finding love in each other. Peak, near Mother Teresa’s quote above is one that I believe Anchorage, Alaska. embodies this idea. We are not going to cause earth-

shattering change right away, and the point isn’t to look for the biggest and brightest idea; it is to love wholly and completely. It is to welcome the stranger, visit the imprisoned, offer food for the hungry. Doing everyday activities with the utmost recognition of a person’s humanity is the greatest gift we can give each other. We are all human, and transcending that, as a believer, we are all created in the image of the divine. … This is the idea that Mother Teresa hit on; every act we do must be done in love of our neighbor. The selflessness of this act is what is so amazing: There is nothing to gain from caring for the sick or injured — it is done only because we care about our fellow human beings. This element of love and compassion is what I have been witness to here in Alaska. I have seen this in the clients that have opened up to me, trusting me, and sharing their stories and lives with me. The people that have opened their homes and hearts to me, asking questions, offering stories, laughter, joy, and yes, food, have shown me the action of love by treating me like family. The case managers and employees of Daybreak have embodied this idea of love in the truest way. They are true advocates for the voiceless and marginalized. … It is in the small acts — a weekly phone call, driving them to a therapy session, or working with them to maneuver the system — but when done with love, that the clients find in their case managers an ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on, and a voice to offer advice and encouragement. By acting through love, the small act becomes that much greater. This is what I am bringing back from Alaska. I have a greater sense of what it means to open your arms and your heart to someone and welcome them. Mother Teresa said it best: No matter what we are doing in life, the action becomes that much greater when it is done with love.

Thank you, Alaska, you have taught me well! Lessons learned in Alaska:

of grace — something that the

case managers have an excess

Hiking by yourself can be

a therapeutic endeavor, but you

of. They’re able to work with

need to know the trail and have

clients who need the most help

the right precautions (hello,

without being condescending.

bear bell!).

be thankful — for my personal

The views are always worth

Alaska has taught me to

the hike, and the longer and

blessings in life, physically,

harder the hike, the better the

mentally, socially and emotion-

view, usually.

ally — for the world I get to

explore, the trails, oceans, and

All people do not have equal

opportunity and therefore are

valleys — for others and the

unable to “pull themselves up

impact they can play in my life,

by their bootstraps.” Some-

teaching lessons and giving

times they don’t even have

their personal gifts.

boots, and because of this, they

require assistance from their

of humanity and nature and

fellow human beings.

the importance of living a life

that reflects that beauty as

Working with clients

requires patience and a touch

I was reminded of the beauty

best I can.



Alumni Fellowship Introduces Student to a Whole New World in Alaska


Olympics Make a Big Impression on Gael Competitors


or the three Gaels who took part in the Games of the Thirtieth Olympiad in London, the experience is still fresh in their minds. Senior hoops star Matthew Dellavedova and San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills, a former Gaels standout, represented Australia’s Boomers basketball team. SMC women’s volleyball head coach Rob Browning participated as the team manager for the U.S. men’s volleyball team. Dellavedova, who was competing in his first Games, was thrilled with his taste of the Olympics. “It was the best experience I have ever had,” he said. “It’s something that I’ve dreamed about since I was 4 or 5.” It took some time for him to realize that he had accomplished his goal. “It didn’t really fully hit me until we were walking out at the opening ceremony,” he recalled. “It was pretty special. I was filming it on my iPhone and was just trying to soak it all up.” Standing on the court also made the moment real for him. “When you hear the national anthem before the game…it was all I ever wanted to do,” he said.

The Australians reached the quarterfinals before losing 86 –119 to the USA’s Dream Team. “It was tough, but we stuck with them through three quarters,” he said. “When you are out there, they are just another opponent. It probably won’t hit me until I watch the NBA this year.” Since being back, Dellavedova has heard the stories of Gael fans rooting for the Boomers, even against the U.S. “It’s nice to think that even though we’re playing for another country, we still had support,” he said. He learned a lot from playing in the Olympics. “The experience of playing in high-pressure games against men and the physicality of the game will help me play back here,” he said. His teammate, Mills, had an incredible run in his second Olympics. Mills led the tournament in scoring, averaging 21.2 points per game, beating out Kevin Durant. He also recorded the most points in a single game, notching 39 points against Great Britain. Mills had a new role on his team this time. “I think the challenge that I had for London this time around was great in terms of leadership, being able to run a team and be a captain,” he told the Canberra Times. Perhaps his best moment of the tournament was sinking a three-point buzzer-beater against Russia. “It’s a good feeling,” Mills told FoxSports Australia after the game. “It’s one of those shots

I have always dreamt of making in the Olympic Games.” Afterward, he tweeted a special message to Dellavedova about his role in the amazing play: “Can’t forget about my boy Della’s screen though #toughasnails.” The former SMC basketball star made a big impression on the U.S. team. “Mills had one of the outstanding Olympics of any time,” USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski told the press. For Browning, it was his fourth Olympics, and he said each experience has been different. The team went 0-5 in Sydney in 2000 and rebuilt to win gold in 2008 in Beijing. This year, his team lost to Italy in the quarterfinals. After having won gold, it was a letdown. “When you’re competing, there’s all this hope,” he explained. After a loss, “you’re kind of a tourist; you’re just in this purgatory state.” Browning said the view from inside the Games is very different. Although you get an insider’s picture, “you don’t really know what’s being shown, the specials, who’s getting all the press,” he said. “It’s like you’re in the middle of the forest but you can’t see anything because of all the trees. But you wouldn’t trade it, of course.” He stayed in London to walk in the Closing Ceremony. “The closing is much less formal,” he said, “but walking into a stadium like that, full of people, and coming through that tunnel with your country, it is just an incomparable feeling.” – CA ITLIN GR AVESON ‘11



Myrna Santiago: A Pioneer in Environmental History

switched course after one of her teachers assigned a book called “Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists and the Ecology of New England,” by environmental historian William Cronon. The book described how the transition from Native American to European dominance affected the early American environment. Santiago was hooked. “It was like, ‘Oh my God, this stuff is amazing,’ ” she says. “I hadn’t known environmental n 1985, politically progressive North Ameri- history existed before that. I totally fell in love cans were flocking to Managua, Nicaragua, with that book.” to support the leftist Sandinista governThe love endured, and today Santiago herself ment. Just six years earlier, a revolution had is a pioneering environmental historian. Her 2006 toppled the corrupt, U.S.-backed dictatorship of book, “The Ecology of Oil: Environment, Labor, Anastasio Somoza. and the Mexican Revolution, 1900-1938,” examMyrna Santiago  —  then newly graduated ined the impact of the U.S. and British-dominated from Princeton — joined other foreign volunteers oil industry on the land and people of the Mexitrying to help remake the country. For the next can State of Veracruz. Published by Cambridge four years, she lived in Managua, working for the University Press, it won the Latin American Studcountry’s human rights commission as it inves- ies Association Bryce Wood Book Award. tigated reports of attacks on civilians by rightSantiago’s research helps demonstrate that wing contra rebels. The experience environmentalism isn’t a middle-class deepened Santiago’s commitment to luxury, as it has sometimes been porFACULTY PROFILE social justice while awakening her to trayed in the United States, says her a new set of human rights concerns friend and colleague Angus Wright, related to the environment — a major concern of professor emeritus of environmental studies at the young government. CSU Sacramento. “I was 25 years old then and so were the Her concern for the oppressed comes natuNicaraguans running the country,” she recalls. rally. Growing up in Tijuana, she watched her “It was awesome to witness young people like me mother struggle to find work as a seamstress being so serious about making a difference for all after Santiago’s father abandoned them. Once of Earth’s creatures.” Santiago finished the sixth grade, her mother Nicaragua had more than its share of envi- resettled the family in central Los Angeles, where ronmental blights, legacies of Somoza’s leniency she found jobs in sweatshops. She told Santiago toward businesses. Santiago remembers living and her younger brother that she couldn’t have downwind from the Exxon chemical plant in afforded to keep them in school in Mexico, where Managua. “The plant released who knows what public school is theoretically free, but where famchemicals on a regular basis and when they did, ilies must pay for expensive uniforms and books. the whole neighborhood became saturated with “My mother made it very clear to me and my an acrid smell that used to give me headaches,” brother that the only reason we were moving was she says. “There went another brain cell on the for us to go to school,” says Santiago. “She valued path to early Alzheimer’s!” education because she hardly had any — she only The Sandinistas welcomed their foreign made it through sixth grade herself.” visitors’ new ideas about cleaning up Nicaragua’s Santiago proved to be such a good student water and air, including organic farming and the that two of her teachers encouraged her to get installation of wind turbines for energy. Santiago a scholarship to Phillips Academy in Massachustill keeps a postcard from those years. Beneath setts, one of the nation’s most prestigious boardpictures of volcanoes, jaguars, fish and sea turtles ing schools. She excelled at the school, and from is the motto: “The revolution is also for lakes, riv- there, she went on to Princeton. ers, trees, and animals.” At Saint Mary’s, where she has taught since In 1989, however, the Sandinistas lost power 1998, Santiago has stayed true to the commitin free elections, leaving Santiago without a job. ment to service that first took her to Nicaragua. Returning to the United States, she enrolled in In addition to her position as chair of the hisgraduate school at UC Berkeley, where she earned tory department, she is a board member and a master’s and doctoral degree. Initially, she had former director of the Women and Gender Studies planned to focus on Mexican diplomatic history but Program and an advisor for La Hermandad,



a Latin American students’ group. She delights in sharing her expertise on environmental and social justice with her students, through classes exploring the tumultuous histories of Mexico, Cuba, Central America and Andes nations. Alicia Villanueva, who graduated last year, took six of Santiago’s classes, including one on the Latin American drug trade and another on women’s roles in Latin American history. She said Santiago’s approach was “downto-earth yet challenging. She makes you feel comfortable to express your opinion, challenges you to think outside of conventional thought and to make connections.” Santiago has taught January Term travel courses in Cuba, China and Colombia. In January, she plans to accompany a group of students to Cuba to study the island’s experiments with organic farming and other land-use decisions. Andrew Aguilar, another student who graduated last year, describes the visit to Colombia as the “trip of a lifetime.” Santiago was determined to show her students a different reality from Colombia’s notorious image as the hemisphere’s main source of cocaine. Students spent one night sleeping in hammocks with an indigenous matrilineal community, met the famous Colombian musician Andres “Turco” Gil, who runs a school to teach local children vallenato music, and visited an organic farm. Aguilar, now in his first year as a Teach for America corps member, says Santiago helped him grow as a student and an activist, and also advised him on his career. “Myrna has something to do with everything I do,” he added. Colleagues praise Santiago for her exceptional dedication to her students. At least three times a year, she includes several students on the guest lists for large parties she hosts at her home for friends working in social justice fields. “They get to meet people working in public health, labor and community organizing — rabble-rousers of all kinds who are old and have fun,” she says. She makes sure to stress the fun part. “Students often tell me that my class in environmental history is depressing,” she says. “People fight and fight and lose. But that’s not the lesson I want them to learn. It’s more that people fight and lose and then get up again. The story of Latin America’s poor in many ways is less like Humpty Dumpty than those inflatable dolls that you can’t knock down, because they keep coming back.” – K ATHERINE ELLISON

Writer Katherine Ellison received the Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on the Philippines. STMARYS-CA.EDU 11


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On a brilliant early fall day, with puffy clouds rolling through a clear blue sky, Saint Mary’s showed its stuff at Gaelebration, an academic open house with a large dose of carnival and music festival thrown in. The October 6 event was the first big party of the sesquicentennial year.

It began with a proclamation read by Russell Harrison, chair of the board of trustees, followed by a flyover by a WWII-era biplane. Some 5,000 attendees came to learn more about Saint Mary’s, relive fond memories or just enjoy the friendly SMC vibe. READ MORE AT gaelebration


Why Not Dream Big? Saint Mary’s story is in many ways the story of California — a timeline entwined with the lives of brave, visionary souls, determined to build something worthwhile on the rim of what was still a decidedly rowdy, untamed place. Archbishop Joseph Alemany established a school in San Francscio that has survived for 150 years, against the extreme odds that closed scores of other such colleges. He, like the many others who have believed in the enduring mission of Saint Mary’s, faced the obvious challenges and said,

“Why not?” 1861–65 Civil War 1863 Reverend John Harrington; Reverend Peter Joseph Grey   (A Timeline of our Presidents) 1868 Brother U. Justin McMahon 1853  Joseph Alemany becomes first Archbishop of San Francisco and soon decides to build a more practical and affordable college 1859  Father James Croke raises funds in Gold Country, asking gold miners, like the one pictured right, to donate and help to build Saint Mary’s 14

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1862  Construction begins on 60-acre campus south of San Francisco 1863  Campus dedicated; 210 students begin classes at height of the Civil War 1867  Archbishop Alemany travels to Rome to ask Pope Pius IX to send Christian Brothers to run Saint Mary’s

1879 Brother Bettelin McMahon


1891 Brother Cianan Griffin

1868  Nine Brothers arrive from New York to find a school with low enrollment and high debt

1872  First BA and BS degrees awarded; first athletic team established — Phoenix baseball

Brother Adrian Denys returned to New York soon after arriving.

1887  Campus moves to Oakland “Brickpile”; contributors include former slave Mary Pleasant, mother of California’s civil rights movement

1892 B  rother Yvasian Michael Dorgan 1894 Brother Erminold Walter O’Donnell 1895 Brother Walter O’Melia

1894  First fire at the “Old Brickpile” 1896  The Little Big Game — first against Santa Clara University STMARYS-CA.EDU 15

ASK BIG QUESTIONS In the early 1940s philosophy professor James Hagerty championed a radical change in Saint Mary’s core curriculum — the introduction of “The Great Books of the World.” He and others led a movement on the West Coast to transform higher education from vocational preparation to a focus on liberal arts, the great texts and important ideas. At the same time, Academic Seminar brought the great literature of western civilization to the round table for shared inquiry, where students, with faculty as peers, asked big questions: What is goodness? What is death? Does evil have to exist?

1906 San Francisco earthquake

1900 Brother Erminold Walter O’Donnell

1910 Brother Florinus Peter Doyle

1902 Brother Zenonian Brannan

1911 Brother Fabrician Pellerin

1904 B  rother Vellesian Mallon

1907  The Phoenix baseball team is undefeated; player Harry Hooper goes on to play for the Boston Red Sox and win four World Series championships


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1918  With WW I Oakland campus becomes a U.S. Army camp; Students’ Army Training

Corps (SATC) is added and 200 students join the Army; second fire at Oakland campus


Why Not?

1914 –1918 World War I

Brother Vellesian Mallon

1929 Stock Market Crash

1917 Brother Gregory Mallon

1922 Brother Vantasian Sharkey

1927 Brother U. Lewis Treacy

1923 Brother Gregory Mallon 1927  SMC is offered 100 acres of free land in Moraga and breaks ground for new campus

1921  Brother Gregory Mallon hires Edward Patrick “Slip” Madigan as the College’s new football coach

1926  Local sports writer dubs the largely Irish football team the Galloping Gaels

1927  Slip Madigan moves Galloping Gaels home games to Sundays at the 60,000seat Kezar Stadium in Golden Gate Park

1928  Moraga campus dedicated before a crowd of 10,000

1929  Madigan Gym is built; Chapel is dedicated


Wh No

BUILD AND SERVE Saint Mary’s tradition of service is built upon Catholic social justice and the pioneering work of John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Christian Brothers, who insisted on education for all, regardless of their ability to pay. From its beginnings, educating the sons of early California’s working class, to engaging in the California labor movement, to guiding student groups to serve the needy here and abroad, Saint Mary’s has cultivated a distinctive approach to doing good — engaging critical social issues through intellect, spirituality and action. The College today is a powerhouse of community service, with students logging more than 40,000 hours a year in service to others while integrating their experiences into their academics. (Jack Henning ‘38, center, was a longtime California labor activist.)

1930 Brother Z. Leo Meehan (chancellor)

1939 –1945 World War II 1935 Brother Albert Rahill

1932 Brother Jasper Fitzsimmons 1930  First annual Gaels’ transcontinental train trip to play Fordham University, which they defeated 20 – 12, shocking the nation and winning an invitation to the White House; San Francisco throws a ticker tape parade


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1936  The Cross of Victory, or “La Cruz de la Victoria,” is placed on the hillside 1937  The Golden Gate and Bay Bridges and Caldecott Tunnel make SMC more accessible to Bay Area day students 1941 Introduction of the Great Books program and the first Seminar

1941 Brother Austin Crowley

Why ot? 1950 –1953 Korean War 1950 Brother W. Thomas Levi

1942  SMC becomes one of four U.S. Navy pre-flight training facilities during WW II, bringing vastly improved campus infrastructure. Future President Gerald Ford teaches and coaches football from 1944 – 45 1945  With end of World War II, returning veterans and GI Bill increase enrollment

GET WITH THE TIMES Faithful to the pragmatic, compassionate spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle’s innovative educational philosophy, Saint Mary’s has adapted to the times and necessity to meet the students where they are, serve community and national needs and also assure the school’s survival. During both World wars, when enrollment dwindled, the College became a training facility for American service personnel. In 1970 Saint Mary’s admitted women, with a resulting boost in enrollment and resources; also in the 1970s, the College established the High Potential Program to meet the needs of first generation college students, plus programs in business, education and leadership to meet the needs of working adults. 1956 Brother S. Albert Plotz

1956  Integral Program is established 1959  Students stuff a phone booth and land on the cover of Life Magazine 1959 Men’s basketball advances to Elite Eight, led by Tom Meschery, LaRoy Doss and Joe Barry


STAND UP TO GIANTS Beginning with baseball in the late 19th century, Saint Mary’s has beaten the odds and faced up to giants — defeating professional and university sports powerhouses. Members of the 1897 Phoenix baseball team defeated the Cincinnati Red Stockings in Philadelphia, while the 1912 team trounced the Boston Red Sox. More than 60 SMC baseball players, including Hall of Famer Harry Hooper, have gone on to play in the major leagues. Meanwhile, the legendary Edward “Slip” Madigan revived a foundering 1921 football team, and the next year, it defeated Fordham in a win that shocked the nation. Madigan established the flashy bravado that characterized Gael football for years. Today Saint Mary’s fields 16 Division I teams in the West Coast Conference, winning five WCC championships in the past five years, and has 14 club teams, with rugby, ranked second in the nation, beating No. 1 ranked Cal last year. 1962  –1973 Vietnam War 1962 Brother Michael Quinn

1969 Brother Mel Anderson

1970  SMC admits women 1971  First women baccalaureates graduate from Saint Mary’s 1973  High Potential Program begins 1968 SMC letters cemented on hillside


1970 First January Term begins

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1975 School of Extended Education and Executive MBA Programs


1977  Hearst Art Gallery dedicated 1978 McKeon Pavilion dedicated; Joint Nursing Program with Samuel Merritt College established

Why Not? 1997 Brother Craig Franz

1979  Brother Cornelius Art Center dedicated 1989 National Endowment for the Humanities lauds Great Books Program

1999  Women’s basketball advances to NCAA Tournament 2007  Honors Program established

2005 Brother Ronald Gallagher

2010  Saint Mary’s hosts Barbara Boxer-Carly Fiorina U.S. senatorial candidates’ debate;

men’s basketball in NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen

2011  Saint Mary’s College Museum of Art debuts 2012  Saint Mary’s included in prestigious “Colleges That Change Lives” MORE ONLINE

yearofthegael. com


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Saint Mary’s College was created in 1863 by Archbishop Joseph Alemany (left); from its birthplace in San Francisco, the College moved first to Oakland in 1889 and then to Moraga in 1928.





Looking at the campus of Saint Mary’s College today, with its peaceful green vistas and graceful architecture, it’s hard to imagine that this idyllic scene could hide a tumultuous history brimming with near-escapes from financial ruin and natural disaster. But this is the hidden story of Saint Mary’s — a tale conjured up by visionaries, dreamers and risk-takers, often decked out in clerical garb.



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“We’re standing on some pretty broad shoulders when we look at our history,” says current president Brother Ronald Gallagher. The College began as a gleam in the eye of one such visionary, Archbishop Joseph Alemany, who had been dispatched to the wild West by Pope Pius IX with the words: “You must go to California. Others go there to seek gold; you go there to carry the Cross.” When he arrived in San Francisco in 1853, he took over an archdiocese that stretched from the vice-ridden Barbary Coast to the bawdy Gold Rush towns of the Sierra and beyond, to Nevada and Utah. Clearly, there was a need for religious instruction, and Alemany set out to provide it. In the early 1850s, he helped to found Santa Clara College and Saint Ignatius College, which later became the University of San Francisco. But he soon grew disenchanted with the two Jesuit schools, especially with their high tuition and rather elitist “classical curriculum.” “I invited the Fathers here years ago for establishing a college, but they have not come up to expectations,” he wrote. What Alemany wanted was a new kind of college — a college for the masses — where students would pay just $150 a year rather than the exorbitant $400 Santa Clara charged. On July 9, 1863, in the heady afterglow of the California Gold Rush and in the midst of the Civil War, this bold, new experiment opened its doors in San Francisco and was christened Saint Mary’s College. To raise funds for the College, Alemany had sent a young Irish priest named Father James Croke on a two-year barnstorming campaign through California. Miners, ranchers, farmers and merchants alike contributed cash  —  and even gold dust — amounting to $37,166.50, a princely sum at the time. Unfortunately, it cost more than $150,000 to build the College. To complete the project, Alemany was forced to take out huge loans — a move that would soon force the College to the brink of bankruptcy. On top of that, the cut-rate tuition proved far too low, and qualified teachers were nowhere to be found. By 1868, just five years after its founding, “Saint Mary’s College had reached the point of no return,” writes Professor Emeritus of History Ronald Isetti, who is writing a book about Saint Mary’s, adding that “only a religious order of teachers could hope to bring some order out of the chaos and set the institution, at long last, on a solid academic and financial footing.”

 Christian Brothers to the Rescue

To save the fledgling school  —  and his dream of education for the masses — Alemany sought the help of the Christian Brothers. In fact, for more than a decade he had begged their superior in Europe to send some Brothers; he finally succeeded only after a bold and arduous journey to Rome to plead his case to the pope himself. “Alemany’s vision of a Saint Mary’s College open to the less affluent reflected a nineteenthcentury preoccupation, reaching back to the Jacksonian era, with democratizing American higher education, once largely the exclusive preserve of the wealthy upper classes,” says Isetti. “It was also very much in the Lasallian spirit, set out by the founder of the Christian Brothers, Saint John Baptist de La Salle, when he challenged the elitist ideas of the day and began establishing schools for poor children in France in 1679.” So it was that on July 16, 1868, nine Christian Brothers left New York on the Ocean Queen, crossed the Isthmus of Panama, boarded the Pacific Mail sidewheeler, and steamed up the coast of Alta California, arriving in San Francisco on August 10. On the following Sunday, Alemany told his congregation at Saint Mary’s Cathedral, “I made a journey of twenty thousand miles to get the Brothers. I have at last succeeded. Let us give thanks to God!” When the Brothers arrived they found a

The original Saint Mary’s campus, shown in this 1875 photo, was a windswept place with its own livestock pen on the outskirts of San Francisco, far from the temptations of the Barbary Coast.

college with 34 students and two professors. Within four months, under the leadership of another charismatic and energetic visionary, Brother Justin McMahon, they had raised enrollment to 80, and a year later to 225. Soon, Saint Mary’s was the largest institute of higher education in the state. But it was still saddled in debt, a predicament that came to a head in the Crisis of 1879, when Archbishop Alemany, who had been propping up the College financially, delivered an ultimatum: The Brothers would have to pay $75,000 to buy the College outright or $25,000 with interest to lease it. “I am too embarrassed and oppressed by debts,” Alemany wrote plaintively to the Brothers. “Their load is too heavy for me to carry.” He even hinted at eviction if they did not comply. Brother Justin scrambled to come up with a plan to buy the College, but the order’s superiors in Paris refused to go along. Just as the Brothers resigned themselves to the death of Saint Mary’s, Alemany capitulated, reducing his demands to annual rent which was set at $1,000 a year. The school’s second crisis was over, but Saint Mary’s roller-coaster history was just beginning.

“The Brickpile,” shown in this postcard of Saint Mary’s Oakland campus, was plagued by an earthquake and two devastating fires.

“Twice we have been knocked down before, but we have come up smiling and we will meet this blow with renewed determination to go on.” His words were greeted with a “wild cheer” from the students.


The Phoenix Rises

Trouble at “The Brickpile”

Brother Justin’s successor, Brother Bettelin McMahon, decided to move Saint Mary’s from its cold and blustery San Francisco location to sunny Oakland, which was touted as the “Athens of the Pacific.” The new campus opened on Broadway in Oakland on August 11, 1889, and soon became known, somewhat affectionately but also quite appropriately, as “The Brickpile.” The move to Oakland would not be auspicious. In 1894 a fire gutted most of the building, and it was later discovered that the short-sighted Brother Bettelin had taken out only $20,500 in fire insurance on a building worth $350,000. Twelve years later, it suffered $20,000 in damage during the great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. And 12 years after that, in 1918, a more devastating fire caused $250,000 in damage. Incredibly, the college’s fire insurance had been increased to only $50,000. The Oakland Tribune reported that Brother Gregory Mallon gathered the students after the 1918 conflagration and told them:

Luckily, a new decade ushered in the Roaring Twenties and with it, an audacious new era for Saint Mary’s. The successful baseball team, appropriately named the Phoenix, was eclipsed by the football team, which rose to national prominence under Edward “Slip” Madigan, a brilliant coach and consummate showman hired in 1921. Academically, too, the school was flourishing. In 1927, it became the first Catholic men’s college to win accreditation from the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. With all its success, the school was outgrowing “The Brickpile” and a search began for a new site. One plan called for a move to San Leandro, near Lake Chabot. In 1926, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce offered a site, possibly in Beverly Hills, and a million dollars to lure Saint Mary’s there, but Brother Gregory rejected it because he disliked the idea of moving the campus to Southern California. It’s amusing to imagine how different Saint Mary’s might be today if it were nestled in Beverly Hills rather than its present home. Just then, in 1927, real estate developer James Irvine dangled 100 free acres in front of the Brothers for a new campus, which he hoped would become the centerpiece in a grand scheme to build 13,000 homes in the Moraga Valley. The setting seemed perfect to Brother Joseph Fenlon, the district’s provincial and another of the great dreamers in the history of the College, who envisioned “a veritable thing of beauty, even of grandeur” that would inspire students for generations to come. STMARYS-CA.EDU 25

But when he brought the Brothers to the site by train, what they found was “a veritable swamp,” Isetti says. Several of the dismayed Brothers refused to even leave the rail car to inspect the property, and the College president took the first train car back to Oakland. The Move to Moraga


Despite strong opposition, Brother Joseph prevailed, and the campus, with its distinctive Spanish RenaissanceCalifornia Mission style of architecture chosen by Brother Joseph, rose in the Moraga Valley — but at a cost of $2 million. By the time it opened on August 5, 1928, the District had taken on $1.37 million in debt. “Brother Joseph’s plan to build the new school without going into debt proved to be a pipe dream,” Isetti says. “The thread that links the history of Saint Mary’s College in San Francisco, Oakland, and…Moraga is that the school, no matter its location, was always burdened with a heavy mortgage, at least until recent decades.” In its new location, Saint Mary’s flourished. The renowned orator Brother Leo Meehan took over as chancellor and shaped the College, which had moved toward technical and professional education, into a classical liberal arts mold, even naming the buildings on either side of the Chapel for Dante and Galileo. Soon, the College was recognized as one of the most distinguished Catholic liberal arts schools in the West. The noted California historian Kevin Starr wrote, “Brother Leo dreamed of fashioning St. Mary’s College into, as he put it, a white-walled

The college created by Brother Joseph Fenlon (inset) was much like the beautiful campus we know today, with the chapel flanked by Dante and Galileo halls and Augustine, De La Salle and Aquinas Halls in the foreground.

academic city, a cathedral campus of European civilization in the Moraga Valley.” Saint Mary’s Sold for a Pittance

But trouble was brewing beneath this glistening surface. The stock market crashed in 1929, and the nation’s economy and social fabric were torn apart by the Great Depression. Colleges all across America were closing their doors. From 1931 to 1937, Saint Mary’s enrollment was cut in half, from 691 to 343 students. Finally, in the summer of 1937, when the College could no longer hold the debt collectors from its door, the unthinkable happened: Saint Mary’s was sold at auction. (See “Black Friday.”) It looked as if the College had finally reached the end of the line. But just before the new school year was to begin, Archbishop John J. Mitty “marched into the bondholders’ office” and bought back the College, along with Saint Mary’s High School, which had been sold with it, for $715,000, Time magazine reported. As luck would have it, the doors swung open again just in time for its 75th anniversary. Time magazine reported that when

Moraga Valley before Saint Mary’s was a lonely stop along the route of the Sacramento Northern Railroad, which would soon carry hundreds of students to the college. 26

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Mitty visited the campus in 1938 to celebrate its diamond jubilee, the “bells of St. Mary’s rang loud and clear” once more. Never again would Saint Mary’s come so close to extinction, but there were still a few more brushes with death in its future. The Navy to the Rescue

When the United States entered World War II after the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, it looked like the final nail in the coffin for the school, as most of the all-male student body went off to battle. But on Feb. 27, 1942, the U.S. Navy took over most of the College as a pre-flight school, paying to train 2,000 cadets a year through May 1946. A now-famous instructor of those cadets during 1945 was former president and honorary Saint Mary’s College alumnus, Gerald R. Ford. Paradoxically, it was at this time, when the campus had turned into a military encampment, that the seeds of Saint Mary’s signature Great Books program were planted. Four years later, the Korean War threatened to drain the student body again, and a succession of lackluster seasons slashed football profits. It was only through the good graces of the new provincial, Brother Alfred Brousseau, that the school survived. Drawing on profits from the Brothers’ flourishing winery business, he gave the College more than a million dollars, and in 1955, he paid

ground. A new recreation center is taking shape and a new vision for the campus of the future is on the drawing boards. Academically, it is attracting accolades for its unique programs, such as January Term and Collegiate Seminar, and its successful model of engaged student learning. A Rare Survivor


off the last of the mortgage from the Black Friday debacle. The Christian Brothers finally owned Saint Mary’s College. In the 1970s, in wake of the Vietnam War and campus protests, enrollment dipped again, but new academic programs for professionals and successful fund-raising efforts managed to erase a $1.3 million deficit. In the years when Brother Mel Anderson was president, from 1969 to 1997, enrollment grew from 950 to more than 4,500. Today, under Brother Ronald Gallagher, the College happily finds itself on firm financial

The survival of Saint Mary’s through all its trials and tribulations is “providential, if not miraculous,” says Isetti. “Indeed, of the hundreds of denominational colleges founded before and after the Civil War, the vast majority have perished.” What is it that kept Saint Mary’s alive when other colleges succumbed to the same financial, social and academic pressures? For Brother Ronald, the crucial factor was the faith of the Brothers. “There was always in each of those crises a very strong group of Brothers as a community at the College. And within our own tradition as Brothers, the sense of faith is very strong,” he said. “We believe God is leading us in this work, and we’re going to do it no matter what challenge we face.” And if it had not survived? American higher education would have lost a unique and powerful voice, Isetti says. “When the Christian Brothers came to America, they melded the democratic ideals of human equality with the educational ideal of the liberal arts,” he notes. “In this new vision, everyone had a right to a broad and humanistic education, from the rich and privileged to the middle class and even to the poor, for whom Saint La Salle had founded the Christian Brothers congregation in Europe. That’s the real legacy of Saint Mary’s.”


Black Friday On July 25, 1937, a sweltering summer day later dubbed “Black Friday,” a crowd of about 40 spectators, composed of “news hawks,” reporters, photographers and the curious, gathered on the steps of the Alameda County Courthouse in downtown Oakland to witness the auction of Saint Mary’s College to the higher bidder. Bespectacled Sylow Berven, trust officer of the Central Bank of Oakland, took almost 50 minutes to read “in a low drone” the long bill of sale. After 15 minutes, the crowd had dwindled to a handful. A street urchin hit up the remnant for nickels but pocketed only one. At last Berven opened up the bidding, offering at auction not only the Moraga campus but also, in turn and separately, three additional properties belonging to the College: the campus of the Saint Mary’s College High School in Berkeley, 247 unimproved acres on Foothill Boulevard in San Leandro, and 47 unimproved acres in the City of San Mateo. “Do I hear any bid for Parcel No. 1?” Berven asked. There was complete silence; it continued as other properties were offered in turn. Heightening the drama, a long funeral procession wound down the adjoining street. “Do I hear any bid for the properties of St. Mary’s College in their entirety?” Berven continued, wiping sweat from his brow. Two mustached “mystery men” in Panama hats put in a bid of $411,150. They were Gerald S. Levin and Leland H. Groezinger, attorneys of the prominent San Francisco law firm of Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro, representing the College’s bondholders. A Time magazine writer later reported: “Cameras clicked as Mr. Levin handed Mr. Berven, as a down payment, a crumpled cashier’s check of $43,000.” Photographs of both men, along with one of the campus, appeared in the August 9 edition of Life magazine. The sale of the College had become a national news story.

From a manuscript by Professor Emeritus Ronald Isetti, “Not in Literature Merely, but What Is Greater, in True Christian Knowledge: A History of Saint Mary’s College of California.”




There are 24 Christian Brothers living and working at Saint Mary’s, while 12 Brothers from Saint Mary’s live in retirement at Mont La Salle in Napa. Devoted to education, service and faith, they are big brothers to their students and brothers to each other, in the tradition established more than 300 years ago by the founder of the Christian Brothers  — John Baptist de La Salle.

It was a bleak Saturday “If you show morning in Moraga. Rain them the firmfell from the dark clouds like ness of a father, tears as a Saint Mary’s stu- you should dent struggled with child- also show the hood memories no young tenderness person should have to face. of a mother Abused by her father and in gathering unprotected by her mother, them together, she came to Brother Ron- and in doing ald Roggenback’s office to them all the tell him she wouldn’t be good in your coming to counseling any- power. By love more. Brother Ronald, who and patience, worked in Campus Min- win over the istry and taught psychol- hearts of those ogy and religious studies whom you in 1983 – 84, wasn’t ready teach.” to give up. “She ran out JOHN BAPTIST and I followed her,” he DE LA SALLE remembers. “Drizzle was coming down — she was running ahead of me and the branches were flying back in my face.” When the young woman finally stopped running, it was because she realized how much Brother Ronald cared. The words of Saint John Baptist de La Salle still ring true: “The need for this institution is very great.” The mission of the Brothers is a sacred one — to nurture faith, friendship, the development of character and the love of learning. “We continue to say ‘Yes’ to that same spirit that called De La Salle to cooperate with God’s salvation of young people,” wrote Brother David Brennan, FSC, on the 100th anniversary of De La Salle’s elevation to sainthood in 2000. A common theme for the Brothers is the respect they have for the dignity of each student in their charge. The mission is more urgent than ever. “I think the students need the kind of messages about Christianity that we offer in our schools,” says Saint Mary’s president, Brother Ronald Gallagher. “I don’t know that our society is doing very well at training them in that. They are subject to all kinds of influences. So I think the ethos of our schools is very important.” But what draws each man to a life in community and a mission to serve the young and especially the poor? For Brother Arnold Stewart, it was the influence of his teachers and administrators, 30

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including former SMC president, Brother Michael Quinn. Quinn was Brother Arnold’s principal at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles during the mid 1940s. “He inspired me. He was such a fun person — still young himself,” he remembers. The nuns were an early influence on Brother Michael Meister, who admits his devilish sense of humor probably drove them crazy in elementary school. But even then, he felt called to serve God as a teacher, and when a Christian Brother came to his classroom, he says he fell in love with the idea of being a Brother. He attended a Christian Brothers high school in Napa, graduated from Saint Mary’s and earned a Ph.D. in theology and literature at UC Berkeley. Brother Michael taught religious studies on campus for the past 11 years. For Brother Camillus Chavez, a childhood interest in altered states of mind led him to the Christian Brothers. When he was 18 he entered the Brothers’ Novitiate at Mont La Salle where he devoted much of his time to meditation and deep prayer. It was there that he found the spiritual benefits of inner peace. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in social and clinical psychology, which has informed his teaching, workshops and meditation sessions for the Saint Mary’s community. For Brother Stanislaus Sobczyk, a mail order ad in a 1962 Guideposts magazine drew him to the Christian Brothers. “It was a booklet with a picture of male religious in their habit for every congregation represented in the United States,” he says. A few days after he sent queries, a Christian Brother came to meet him at his high school and “sold” him on the teaching ministry, knowing that a life of education could help young people experience the holy presence of God. Brother Stan has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology from Christian Brother’s University in Memphis, where he witnessed major events in the Civil Rights Movement: George Wallace’s segregationist speeches and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. “I sat on the front steps of the Christian Brothers University and watched tanks roll down the street to maintain order.” With a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of San Francisco, Brother Stan first came to Saint Mary’s in 1990 to teach in the School of Education, also serving in several leadership posts at the College, most recently as

People know Brother Dominic Berardelli, special assistant to the president (page 29), for his big smile, his friendly ways and an interesting mode of transportation.   Brother Michael F. Meister (top left), is a professor of theology and religious studies, director of the Joseph Alemany Community and a residence hall director.   Brother L. Raphael Patton, (bottom left), is a retired math and computer science teacher with a passion for College history and trains.   Brother Camillus Chavez (right), a professor of psychology and religious studies, teaches meditation to faculty, students and staff, promising that it will change their lives. And it does.


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interim vice president for advancement in 2008, “Someone’s in charge of the kitchen, someone’s in and is now retired. charge of maintenance, someone leads the prayers Today’s Christian Brothers have the same and the singing, someone gets snacks, someone strength of commitment to schools around the does the bookkeeping and someone gets beer, world as the hardy men who came to San Francisco wine and soda — all the stuff you’d do in a housein 1868 to lead an upstart young college that had hold,” he says. With a smile, fallen on hard times. As it did then, the Brothers’ “Your zeal for Brother Michael readily the pupils mission today may sometimes demand high risk. admits the Brothers have When Brother Dominic Berardelli found under your social hour, tucked between himself at the end of a machine gun barrel in guidance late-afternoon liturgy and war-torn Sri Lanka in the late 1980s, he thought would be very dinner. “It’s nice to be able he would die at the hands of the Tamil Tigers. imperfect if to relax at the end of the day He was there for the Mission Office at the Gen- you expressed because college life is highit only in eralate in Rome checking on energy. People are teaching words. It the Brothers laboring under “If my work in different disciplines, they will become the duress of civil war. “The does not come have different responsibiliperfect only if lessons I learned strength- from God, I ties, committees, departyou practice ened me as a Brother. They would consent ment work, advising, and yourself what suffered so,” he says. And to its ruin. I several of us also live in the you are teachyet, 24 hours a day, the would join our student residence halls.” ing them.” Brothers kept their doors enemies in Brother William Beatie, JOHN BAPTIST open to offer food and destroying it if one of nine brothers who DE LA SALLE comfort to the people. And I thought that live in the dorms, has a it did not have they protected the children wood-paneled haven in from being kidnapped and God for its Claeys North, with a window looking out at trained to fight. “The Broth- author, or that green grass, framed by trees, and hummingbirds ers would say ‘we are not he did not will flitting around a feeder near Bonsai and flowertaking sides. But you’d bet- its progress.” ing plants. His 96 neighbors keep him young. “It’s JOHN BAPTIST ter not touch our kids.”’ noisy when the students move in,” he says, “but it Similarly, the Broth- DE LA SALLE all calms down after two or three days.” Besides, ers showed courage in the Brother William admits he’s a night owl, rarely face of the ongoing conflict in Israel. In 2002, asleep before 11 p.m. Israeli soldiers stormed the campus of BethleBrother William mentors students, referees hem University, looking for Palestinian snipers. occasional spats among suite mates and cooks dinBrothers Kenneth Cardwell and Myron Collins ners for groups of six students throughout the year. were visiting professors from Saint Mary’s Col- Like a big brother. Then, after dinner, the students lege. “They (the Israeli soldiers) pointed guns go on their way and Brother William turns on his at us. They almost shot us,” says Brother Ken- white noise machine and settles in for the night. neth. Yet, Brothers Kenneth and Myron stood The community of Brothers at Saint Mary’s in solidarity with their brothers, and refused to has its own rhythms, intense, happy and lively. leave, knowing the mission of the school was too “We have wonderful discussions,” says Brother important to abandon. Michael. “Gosh, if you stood outside in the patio There is profound peace in living a pur- some night during dinner and listened to our poseful life. Christian Brothers take care of one conversation upstairs, besides the lively talking, another in what Brother Ronald Gallagher calls a you’d hear all this yelling and laughing and car“vibrant community of prayer and work.” rying on and wonder what’s going on up there.” “It’s an amazing group of men,” Brother Michael Meister says of his community of BrothWEB EXTRA: READ PROFILES OF ers at Saint Mary’s. Like a loving and functional SAINT MARY’S CHRISTIAN BROTHERS. family, each person has his daily “chores.”

Brother William Beatie (left) teaches philosophy, Collegiate Seminar and is a resident director.   Brother Kenneth Cardwell (left) has taught the sharp minds of Integral Program students, ridden in a cattle drive, and stared down the muzzle of a gun — all in the interest of education and service.   Brother Martin Yribarren (right) is the College organist and a tutor in the Integral Program. He is passionate about music, sports and teaching.


A Learned and Good Man: Herman Lujan ‘58


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erman Damien Leilehua Lujan ’58 was in the first seminar of his master’s program at UC Berkeley, waiting for Professor Peter Odegaard to arrive. Odegaard was a nationally recognized political science scholar whose book “Religion and Politics” was a pioneering study of the role of special interest groups in American politics. Lujan’s thesis would focus on the composition of political parties in Hawai’ian politics. So, there I sat, another of Brother Albert Rahill’s recruits, in a sea of Harvard’s and Yale’s best and brightest faces, their anticipation tingling and mine buried in fear. We were all waiting to face Dr. Peter Odegaard, arguably one of the world’s best political scientists. It was the voice of wisdom facing the siblings of privilege — and the hesitant and unsure son of a small village on the north coast of the Big Island of Hawai’i ready to challenge the elite. Odegaard began the seminar by asking if anyone knew what the square of opposition was. There was a long hiatus punctuated by silence. But I knew this stuff. I had it in philosophy class at Saint Mary’s! It was a way of structuring logic and argument. Emerging from the facade of timidity, I raised my hand and defined the structure as Aristotle would. Odegaard approved and I emerged from the face of anonymity to an invitation to meet with him after seminars for an occasional dinner and regular chats about the theories of politics and the models of learning. In class, I dueled my way past his criticisms and discussions about the paraphernalia and witticisms of learning in political science. My growth and self-confidence emerging, I decided to pursue my Ph.D. degree. But the graduate adviser at Berkeley discouraged me, arguing that my 3.5 grade point average at Saint Mary’s was not comparable to grades at Berkeley. Beaten down but not out, I went to Odegaard. He encouraged me to go ahead, as I had established my competence with him. I also talked with Victor Ferkiss, a Saint Mary’s political science professor, who chuckled and told me to apply to several schools and he would send recommendations. With Odegaard and Ferkiss behind me, I received a National Defense Education Act award from The University of Idaho that would cover all of my costs. Married and with three children, I accepted. Two years later on a sunny day in early June of 1964 I graduated with my Ph.D. from the University of Idaho. My dissertation was an empirical study of the demographic basis of the Idaho electorate, using statistics to analyze political parties and methods for predicting election outcomes. My parents and sister were able to join us on the day I received my degree. The ’ohana from north Hilo watched their son become a learned and good man, the attributes expected of a scholar in kanaka (Hawai’ian) culture. These attributes also helped me to become a university faculty member, department chair, institute director in environmental studies, vice president, vice provost, provost and president. On May 23, 1992, Saint Mary’s awarded me the degree Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa. I had made the ‘ohana proud beyond their dreams — and mine — thanks to Saint Mary’s.


Left, Scott Parris ‘78; top-center, Ken Vincent ‘52 and Don DeLong ‘51; bottom-center, Dennis Haskins ‘81 and Paul Garvey ‘81.

Football Alumni Chapter 5th Quarter Picnic On July 28 more than 150 alumni, family and friends were on hand for the annual 5th Quarter Family Picnic, presented by the Saint Mary’s Football Alumni Chapter. In addition to live music and games, this year the Chapter named Sean Laird ‘98 as the first recipient of the “Coach Mac Award” in honor


of longtime coach Jim McDonald, who passed away this year. The 5th Quarter Family Picnic is an annual tradition held on the last Saturday of July.

Reunion Bridges the Gap Between Generations of Gaels



Summer Wine Festival More than 450 people attended the 8th annual Summer Wine Festival in August. The event raised more than $20,000 for student scholarships.


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s Saint Mary’s celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, the College can look back on a great deal of change, but the spirit of the school has remained constant throughout its long history. As a testament to this fact, a record number of alumni — from as far away as London and Japan — flooded the campus on July 20 – 22 for Reunion Weekend 2012 to celebrate their years as Gaels. “What is it that brings us back?” John Parziale ’62 asked. “It is the values of the institution, the memories and the love.” Among the nearly 1,000 attendees, alumni from the Class of 1962 turned out in force to celebrate their 50th reunion. In fact, more than half the class returned for the occasion. Parziale still remembers their freshman initiation. “We had to find a nut the size of our brain and a rock the size of our head,” he said. The weekend kicked off with a keg party in the lower townhouses on Friday evening. Saturday’s events were highlighted by a historical tour of the campus led by Brother Raphael Patton ’63, an academic open house and a huge barbecue. In the afternoon, there was a walk to the Legacy Garden and an historical storytelling session with Brother Mel Anderson ’51, longtime coach Bob Hagler ’50 and recently retired professor Lawrence Cory ’39. Many Gaels then headed to the Redwood Grove for a party with live music from the band Amoebas of Doom, led by Cora Manuel, SMC assistant director of financial aid. The afternoon ended with a special reunion Mass. An evening cocktail hour hosted by Brother President Ronald Gallagher allowed alumni to mingle before the class dinners and Reunion Dance. “I was happy to see so many alumni return to see the great friends they made while students here, and to renew their acquaintance with the campus and the great programs we offer to today’s students,” said Brother Ronald. Rita Richcreek ’77, along with friends and classmates Megan Riley


Top row, L to R: Jacob Wolfe ‘03, Ian Douglas ’01, Paul Reynaud ’03, Torin Simpson ’03, Scott McMahon ‘03, Nick Wisely ‘03, Zack Rockwell ’07; front row, L to R: Chris Tucker ’01, Andrew Espino ’02, Tony Mendoza ’04, Andre Coleman ’04, Joe Lucia ’07.

McGilchrist and Pam Chisholm Scholtz, reminisced about being in the first decade of women who attended SMC. “There were still urinals in our dorm in Mitty,” Richcreek recalled. David Johnson ’84, president of the Alumni Association, noted that the reunion allows alumni of different decades to bond over similar experiences. Gerald Morales ’97agreed. “Seeing the generations,” he said, “it makes you feel like you are part of a larger community.”Alumni celebrating their 40th reunion joked with alumni from the ’80s about a math professor they all had. “That kind of spark never would have happened on Facebook,” Johnson pointed out. “It’s not just about the people you know but about the people you meet as well.” Even generational differences can lead to a communal experience. Ryan Thompson ’97 stayed in the dorms on campus for the weekend,

and his neighbors were alumni from earlier classes. “They were like, ‘This is how we used to party,’ ” he laughed. “You understand what was different for them … what was cool or hip at that time.” Megan Manely ’07 noted that a graduate from the class of ’57 wished her a happy reunion and they took a picture together. “Saint Mary’s builds such a character and a family,” Manely said, “Even if you don’t know someone, they are going to come up to you. … It’s a Gael thing.” – CA ITLIN GR AVESON ’11




New Alumni Board Members

legislative and regulatory affairs in California and the

Jahmese Myres ’06 develops policy to improve work-

for the Marine Spill Response Corporation, American

state of Washington. Prior to joining PMSA, he worked

ing conditions for low-wage workers in Oakland.

President Lines and the American Petroleum Institute. Richard H. Meyer

McLaurin has a bachelor’s degree in political science

Brent Austin MBA ‘09 has worked for Chevron for

from UC Davis and a law degree from Southwestern

21 years in a wide range of positions researcher to

University School of Law. He is active in a variety of

financial analyst, cost engineer, operations manager,

efforts and programs dealing with special education

trading analyst, trader, marketing specialist, project

for children and adults with autism.

manager and product engineer. Paul Stich ‘79 is the former president and CEO of Liane Cismowski ME ’05 has had a teaching career that

Dasient, an Internet security company that protects

spans 25 years and classrooms ranging from kinder-

John McLaurin

garten through graduate school. She currently serves as a teacher and vice principal at Mount Diablo

websites from web-based malware attacks. Dasient was acquired by social media giant Twitter in January 2012. He has also served as vice president of global

Jahmese Myres

High School.

telecommunications solutions at McAfee, as president and CEO of Counterpane Internet Security,

Jodelle (Jodie) Prola Russi ’83, ME ‘84 is a teacher

and as co-founder, president and CEO of Groundswell,

and vice principal at Saint Mary of the Immaculate

an internet consulting firm. He received a bachelor’s

Conception School in Walnut Creek.

degree in economics at Saint Mary’s and an MBA at University of Notre Dame School of Business in 1984.

Harry York EE ’89 is the chief executive officer of

Paul Stich

the Pittsburg, Calif., Chamber of Commerce. He served in a similar position for the Reno-Sparks chamber

Jason Shellen ‘96 worked with a number of Silicon Brent Austin

Valley companies in hardware sales and marketing

and as executive vice president for the Concord

after he graduated from Saint Mary’s. He is on the

Chamber of Commerce.

RSS Advisory Board and the advisory boards of Feedly and Currently the CEO & co-founder of

New Board of Regents Members

Tapedeck, Shellen has worked at Google, at Thing Labs, a company that made Brizzly, a social media

Richard H. Meyer ’69 retired as director of anesthesia

reader and Twitter web tool, as founder and CEO, and Jason Shellen

business development and marketing for the international division of Abbott Laboratories in 2002. He was born and raised in Southern California. A gradu-

at AOL. As an employee of Pyra Labs, he was part of Google’s acquisition of Blogger in 2003. During his

Liane Cismowski

tenure at Google, Jason started the Google Reader

ate of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, he

project and became the founding product manager. He

received his bachelor’s degree in history from Saint

holds patents on feed and social media technologies.

Mary’s in 1969, and earned an MBA from Pepperdine University in 1977. Meyer joined Abbott Laboratories in

Diana T. Wu, Ph.D., professor emeritus from the School

Los Angeles in 1969 as a domestic sales representative

of Economics and Business Administration, started

for the hospital products division. He was promoted

Diana T. Wu

to increasingly responsible positions in Oklahoma City, Philadelphia and, in 1981, to Abbott’s headquar-

Jodelle Prola Russi

teaching at Saint Mary’s in 1981 and was the first woman and first minority to lead the Business Administration Department, which she chaired from 1986 to

ters in Chicago. In 1984 he joined Abbott’s interna-

1989. She earned an MBA from New York University in

tional division.

1961 and worked as an accountant in Berkeley before earning a doctorate in organizational psychology from

John McLaurin has been the president of the Pacific

the Wright Institute in 1980. Her field of specialization

Shipping Association (PMSA), a nonprofit trade

involves all aspects of business management — with

association that focuses on global trade, since 1995.

special interests in organizational psychology and

PMSA represents ocean carriers and operators of

international business and China. She is the author

marine terminals and has offices in San Francisco, Long Beach and Seattle. PMSA engages in community, 38

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of the textbook “Asian Pacific Americans in the Harry York




Hey Gael Alumni! Be sure to let us know what’s up and how you’re doing! Send Glimpses to



2011 Chris Cooper EMBA has announced that his electronic/pop band, Loquat, has signed with a major label that is distributed by Sony. He and the four other band members plan on doing more benefit shows. Their album came out on iTunes, and they have a video on YouTube. [1] Mark Curtis EdD ’11, a news correspondent for WLNE in Providence, Rhode Island, reported on both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions this summer. Curtis is a 30-year radio and TV professional, who worked at the Bay Area’s KTVU from 1993 to January 2008. Curtis has covered presidential campaigns and traveled

the country with candidates as a blogger and freelance political analyst. His book “Age of Obama: A Reporter’s Journey with Clinton, McCain and Obama in the Making of the President 2008” was released during inaugural week 2009 by Nimble Books, Inc. [2] Mikey Lawler made the fateful decision at age 19 to try out for a beach soccer team in Santa Cruz, which led to tournament play around the U.S., the chance to play for the U.S. Beach Soccer Team in Rio Quente, Brazil, and an offer to play in Switzerland for three months in the summer. His success led to an offer from another Swiss team for the 2012 season; he now lives in Switzerland for three months out of the year. At home in the Bay Area, Mikey works as a personal trainer at Living Lean in Orinda and coaches soccer at De La Salle High School. He says his time in Switzerland has taught him about sports, life, culture, communications, relationships, himself and what he really wants and needs. He hopes beach soccer will take off like beach volleyball has and be included in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Check out Mikey’s game-winning bicycle kick goal in the last minute of a game: ecZbiLhGI

2010 [3] Patrick Young ’09 and Alexis Standfield are happy to announce that they are engaged to be married. Patrick is employed as an IT administrator in Pleasanton, and Alexis is a Ph.D. student in physical therapy at Oakland’s Samuel Merritt University. STMARYS-CA.EDU 39




2008 [4] Maritza (Flores) EMBA and Paul Haller were married on May 7, 2011, in Pleasanton. Hilary Calhoun EE ’06, EMBA was a bridesmaid, and fellow Gael Kathleen Cook EMBA also joined the couple on their special day.

2007 [5] Stephanie (Fierro) Eastwood EE is working as a litigation paralegal for a large firm in Sacramento. Stephanie and her husband have two boys (pictured), ages 3 and 1. [6] Molliee Martin and Martin Marechal ’06 are engaged and plan to marry on April 27, 2013, in San Francisco. They currently live in Los Angeles with their Pomeranian, Gaston. [7] JP Musgrove and his wife, Rebecca, welcomed a daughter, Julia Grace, on April 23. 5

2006 Stefani Carver and fiancé Levi Finch (an Oregon alum) were engaged on July 2011 and married September 22, 2012, in Pebble Beach. Anthony Spivey EE is working for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area as an enrollment and match specialist pairing Bay Area youth with positive adult role models in one-to-one mentoring relationships. His colleague, fellow Gael Nicole Olson EE ’08 (Human and Community Services), is employed as a match support specialist supporting and guiding mentors during their match relationships.

2005 [8] Angelina (Elliott) Burke graduated from UC Davis School of Medicine on May 19. She was a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society and received the Crystie Halsted Award for Excellence in Pediatrics and is currently a pediatric resident at Kaiser Oakland. [9] Andrew ’05, MBA ’09 and Victoria (Hernandez) Hansen met in marketing class their junior year and have been inseparable ever since. They were married in the SMC Chapel last year and celebrated their first anniversary on July 30. Andrew, who runs the finance team at a venture capital firm, and Victoria, an apparel buyer for Sears, are enjoying the city life in their San Francisco home along with their dog Goose. [10] Kehli Louise Kankelborg, of Butte, Mont., is engaged to Randy William Hazlett of Ramsay, Mont. Kehli is pursuing a master’s degree in technical communication at Montana Tech in Butte, where she works as an outreach program coordinator. Randy is a civil engineering graduate of Montana Tech and is employed at Pioneer Technical. A September wedding is planned. [11] Sean O’Brien was named one of Sacramento’s 40 Under 40 by the Sacramento Business Journal for his work in the community. [12] Stephanie Sandbergen MS received word this month from the California Board of Behavioral Sciences that she has completed all the requirements to finally sit for the first of two marriage and family therapist exams. She vacationed in Alaska in July 2011 40

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12 10


15 13

a graduate of the FBI Academy and the University of the Redlands, received a master’s degree in leadership from Saint Mary’s. [13] Stephanie Ceminsky ME ’03, ECR ’04, who served as an assistant principal at Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton this past school year, was selected as the new principal at Donlon Elementary School in the same community.



with her family, and they went to Maui this summer. She helped her Grandma Olga celebrate her 90th birthday in November.

2004 Patrick Williams ML ’04 was appointed police chief for the city of Petaluma. Williams,

[14] Hai Ho has been with the Capuchin Franciscan Order since 2005 and recently was ordained to the priesthood in June by Bishop Richard Garcia. The ordination (see photo) took place at his home parish in San Jose, Calif. He now serves as associate pastor at St. Lawrence of Brindisi Catholic Church in Los Angeles. [15] Marisa (Baldoz) Matz ’03, ML ’11 married Michael Matz on Oct. 1, 2011, in San Clemente, Calif. Gaels in attendance were matron of honor Angela (Schnellbacher) Dixon ’04, ECR ’07, Gina Amato ’04 and Veronica (Garcia) Hernandez ’03. The couple resides in Dana Point, Calif. [16] Scott Smigielski and his wife, Kim, welcomed their first child, Graham Scott, on May 23. STMARYS-CA.EDU 41






23 25 26






2001 Beth (Carrillo) Burnell is a social worker for the Orange County Social Services Agency. She was married in 2007 to Eric Burnell and has three children, Tyler, 4, Drew, 2, and Leigha, who was born on Jan. 23. [17] Kristen (Fry) Wallace ECR ’03, ME ’08 and her husband, Charles, are proud to announce the arrival of Benjamin’s little brother, Jackson Wayne, on Aug. 23.

1999 Cathy Blyther, Joe Manifesto and Brandon Nelson attended the SMC Wine Festival in August. [18] Joe R. Manifesto married Rachel Nethercott on Feb. 4 at Saint Mary’s College Chapel. Both attended Our Lady of Grace (K–8) and Bishop O’Dowd High School. Rachel graduated from San Diego State University in 2005 with a B.A. in communications and currently works as a hairstylist, while Joe is employed as a deputy sheriff for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. Gael members of the wedding party were groomsmen Brandon Nelson and Jon 42


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Hacker, as well as Joe’s father, Joe M. Manifesto ’68. Joe and Rachel currently reside in Dublin, Calif.

1998 Kelly McMillin EE, a 23-year veteran of the Salinas Police Department, was appointed chief of police of that city. He rose through the ranks from officer to detective, corporal, sergeant, commander, and then deputy chief. McMillin helped create and directed the Community Alliance for Safety and Peace, providing leadership for Salinas Police Department’s Ceasefire strategy, work for which he was honored by the White House with 11 other leaders at the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention. [19] Michael Spencer and his wife Elizabeth are thrilled to announce the arrival of their third son, Matthew Collins Spencer, who was born on May 23. The family lives in Fresno.

1997 Dave Perry MBA ’01, ECR ’04, ME ’04 is excited to begin his new adventure as principal at St. Andrew Catholic School in Cape

Coral, Fla. Dave recognizes that there are many blessings associated with working at a Catholic school, but the best is having his three kids (Drew, 7, Kaylin, 6, and Charlie, 4) with him at school each day. Dave and Sue (Susan Perry ’03) are hoping to find a few Gaels in South Florida with whom to share their Gael Pride!

1996 [20] Michael Keefe EE ’96, former deputy fire chief of the San Mateo-Foster City Fire Department, was appointed fire chief for those communities. Keefe also served as president of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation in addition to serving as a member of the statewide executive board. The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation is a Californiabased nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting burn prevention education and burn survivor assistance.

1993 [21] Damien Fairbairn and his wife, Angelina, welcomed their first child, Lucas Shane Tan Fairbairn, on March 29. They reside in San Carlos, Calif., and are enjoying every minute of parenthood.

1989 [22] Geoff Calla recently worked as an actor opposite Nicole Kidman in the made-for-TV movie “Hemingway & Gellhorn.” The film premiered in May on HBO. [23] Dr. Lauren Speeth EMBA ’89, the founder of the Elfenworks Foundation, SMC Regent, and frequent campus lecturer, has authored a new book, “Intelligence & Compassion in Action, The 7 Pillars for Social Entrepreneurship.” The purpose of the book is to be used as “a tool to empower the aspiring social entrepreneur, with real guidance as to how, and why, social entrepreneurship

1955 29 31


[31] Lou Lotorto and wife, Karen, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 25 with a formal dinner for family and friends at Seattle’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel’s Georgian Room. Son Louis Jr. ’83 served as master of ceremonies.

1954 – 1956


[32] Four founders of Les Amies des Frere, a group of former De La Salle Christian Brothers who support the Leo Center, were honored at the Leo Center Celestial Gala on March 31. They are Pat O’Brien ’55, Chuck Meuel ’56, John Savage ’54 and Gerry Forrest ’56. The Leo Center provides after-school supervision and ESL classes to students in Oakland.

1950 really works.” The book has already received enthusiastic reviews. This is Speeth’s second book, her first being “Tracks of Hope.” The Elfenworks Foundation ( has funded the Saint Mary’s College Center for the Study of Fiduciary Capitalism, the Stanford University Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality, and many other worthwhile organizations and activities. The Elfenwork’s motto is “In Harmony with Hope.”

1988 Diana Helfrich EMBA, most recently vice president of marketing for SolarCity has been named vice president of marketing at Blu Homes, a California and Massachusettsbased green precision homebuilder. Helrich has 25 years of executive and marketing experience in clean-tech and high-tech sectors promoting renewable, environmentally friendly technologies. [24] Robert Sher EMBA and lecturer, 1995 – 2000, has been asked by to be a permanent columnist in its Leadership section with a column entitled “Game Raising Insights: CEO-to-CEO.” Sher is founding principal of CEO to CEO, a consulting firm that helps executives running mid-market companies raise their game. From 1984 to 2006 he was the chief executive of Bentley Publishing Group, and steered the company to become a leading player in its niche of decorative art publishing. “The Connected Company” by Dave Gray with Thomas Vander Wal was published in 2012 by O’Reilly Media. It launched at #58 on the Amazon Top 100 Business titles and #8 on top Business Communication titles.

1986 [25]  Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Troy L. Nunley was nominated by President Barack Obama in June to serve as U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of California. A White House press release announcing the nominations included a congratulatory statement from the Oval Office, “I am pleased to nominate these distinguished individuals to serve on the United States District Court bench,” said President Obama. “I am

confident they will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice.” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who recommended Judge Nunley for the position, expressed her admiration for the SMC alumnus. “In addition to a decade as Superior Court judge in Sacramento, Judge Nunley brings with him a range of experience as a criminal prosecutor in two district attorney’s offices, as a deputy attorney general in the California Department of Justice and in private practice. I believe Judge Nunley will serve with distinction on the District Court,” she said. Nunley grew up in San Francisco and attended Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory High School.

1985 [26] Brent Eastman and Maureen Butler Eastman ’86 own Brent Eastman Insurance Services Inc. in Salinas, Calif. Brent is also vice president of the California Rodeo, held every year in Salinas during the third week in July, and president of Partners for Peace, also in Salinas. Amanda, the first of five children, just graduated from CSU Channel Islands and is working at Chateau Julien in Carmel Valley. Son Sam attends Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Ariz. Cammie, age 15, is a sophomore at Notre Dame High School, and twins Ben and Brent Jr., age 10, are in 5th grade. [27] Jo Singleton MBA is currently national IT program manager, Kaiser Permanente in Pleasanton, Calif., previously senior vice president at Bank of America and vice president at Wells Fargo Bank. In May, her son Andrew graduated from Chico State University with a BS in Business MIS and stepson Burton Ritz obtained his MBA from Saint Mary’s.

1983 Louis A. Lotorto, Jr. appeared in the Colony Theatre of Burbank, Calif.’s, production of “Blame It on Beckett,” which ran from Aug. 8 through Sept. 2. He also appeared in the farce “Noises Off” at the Norris Center for the Performing Arts in Palos Verdes, Calif., from Sept. 21 through Oct. 7.

1976 Candy (Finnegan) Timoney graduated in May from California State University Sacramento with an M.S. in nursing degree. Candy and her husband, Dennis, live in Granite Bay, Calif., and just returned from a two-week vacation in Italy.

1973 [28] Michael A. Kelly has been elected the 2012 –13 president of the International Society of Barristers. A partner in the San Francisco litigation firm of Walkup, Melodia, Kelly and Schoenberger, he was a 1976 graduate of UC Hastings College of the Law. Kelly was recently chosen by rating-service Super Lawyers as one of Northern California’s Top 10 attorneys and in 2011 received the Oliphant Award from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy for his pro bono contributions to advocacy teaching. In addition to his legal practice, he spent 20 years as an adjunct assistant professor of law at Hastings.

1970 [29] Steve Aloia has had a child enrolled at SMC for each of the past 16 years, from 1996 until his final child, Molly, graduated in May. The Aloia family includes Molly Aloia ’12, Caitlin Aloia ’08, Shannon Aloia ’05, Matthew Aloia ’02 and Stephen Aloia ’00. Steve’s brothers, Roland Aloia ’65 and Roland Aloia ’65, also attended Saint Mary’s. There has been an Aloia enrolled at SMC for 25 of the past 51 years, making it a true family affair. [30] Michael Tucevich is a federal administrative law judge in the Phoenix, Ariz., Hearing Office and resides in Scottsdale, Ariz. He and his 16-year-old daughter took a trip to Paris in the summer of 2011.

1969 Dan Whitehurst has been elected chairman of the board of AAA Club Partners, a holding company with 10 AAA auto clubs serving 12 million members in 20 states. ACP is based in Walnut Creek and Wilmington, Del. Dan says AAA reminds him of Saint Mary’s. “It has positive people who want to be of service.”

[33] Neil Sweeney and Beverly T. Sweeney celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in August with their eight children and their spouses, 20 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, who initiated the Neil and Beverly T. Sweeney Family Endowed Scholarship for Saint Mary’s students as a gift to mark the occasion. Neil, six of his and Beverly’s children, and seven of their grandchildren attended Saint Mary’s.

Coming soon to a computer near you: Gael Nation, the new online alumni community and directory exclusively for Saint Mary’s graduates. Find friends, network, sign up for events and more! Keep your eyes open for an email from the Alumni Office inviting you to register in October.

DEGREE KEY ECR Education Credential EdD Doctor of Education EE Extended Education EMBA Executive MBA HON Honorary MBA Graduate Business MC Counseling ME Graduate Education MFA Fine Arts ML Leadership MLS Liberal Studies MS Science N Nursing P Paralegal Certificate

Saint Mary’s magazine will publish two Glimpses per year for any graduate of the College. Please post more frequent updates at STMARYS-CA.EDU 43



T. J. Ash, FSC ’59, brother to Brother Martin Ash, FSC ’62 Robert Blengino ’50 B. J. Bugatto ’57, parent of Robert Bugatto ’90, Barry Bugatto ’85, Annette Romano ’87 Patrick F. Cannon, Jr. ’58 Michael S. Cimino ’51 C. J. Crane ’53, parent of Sandra Crane ’84, Victoria Verber-Salazar’ 87, and Steven Crane ’83 Charles D. Evans ’50 Charles J. Freeman ’53, parent of Daniel Freeman ’90 Astra Gabriel MBA ’79 Justin S. Garcia ’51 James B. Kohnen ’86 MS ’88 MA ’03, parent of William Kohnen ’95 Lorraine Lecount ’78 Tony Martin ’35


ALUMNI FAMILY AND FRIENDS Mary K. Alice June I. Allen Tom Bennett Benjamin W. Buzzo Ima Christner Joseph J. Coffey Taihee Dewes, parent of John Dewes ’96 Ernest M. Dickson Geraldine Donnelly , wife of late husband Joseph Donnelly ’39 William A. Driscoll Virginia T. England Nita N. Esposito Austin E. Givens


Richard Heggie

Debonair crooner Tony Martin, whose singing career spanned

Richard D. Herring

80 years, was an SMC alumnus before making a name for himself

Helen Kramer

on July 27, at the age of 98.

in Hollywood musicals and TV in the 1940s – 50s. He passed away

Margaret M. Kreider

Stanley A. Pimentel ’63

Eunice A. Kritscher

his first band at Oakland Technical High School in California. He

Jessica R. Robinson ’13

Robert Lacher, parent of Marie Lacher ’98 and Thomas Lacher ’95

Sandra K. McKillip ’80 MA ’85

Edward A. Schumann ’53 George E. Slevin ’50, parent of Cynthia Gallagher ’83 Erma G. Spencer ’97 Christine J. Spring ’86 MA ’96 Aaron K. Stull ’53, grandfather to Annette Stull ’14 Robert G. Trestler ’51

Edward Lucas Richard J. Mitchell, parent of Carol MacPhail ’92 Carol A. Riordan

Born Alvin Morris in 1913 to poor Jewish immigrants, Martin’s

long life in show business began in the late 1920s when he formed enrolled at Saint Mary’s College in 1931, following his parents’ advice to pursue a career as a lawyer. But his first love was music, and he left the College after a year and a half to answer the call of show business.

Martin, who was known as the “Butterscotch Baritone” for his

smooth vocal style, was one of the most glamorous singers of his generation. He appeared in 25 Hollywood musicals with stars like Rita Hayworth, Hedy Lamarr and Lana Turner, hosted his own TV variety show and recorded 17 gold records. Among his hit records

Warren E. Rupf

were “To Each His Own,” “There’s No Tomorrow” and “Begin the

Lorenzo Spinardi, parent of Robert Spinardi ’72

well into the 21st century.

Gayle Uilkema

Beguine.” He was still performing in nightclubs around the country

Martin also married two movie musical superstars, first Alice Faye

and then Cyd Charisse, his wife of 60 years until her death in 2008.

Pat Vincent Walter Wegner Nan Williams, wife of late husband Thomas K. Williams ’47 Stuart W. Willis


FALL 2012

Saint Mary’s magazine prints the names of recently deceased alumni, Christian Brothers and friends who have given to Saint Mary’s. Names of other friends of the College, as well as family members of alumni, faculty and staff, appear in the online version of the magazine.




In 1862 James Clerk Maxwell published a paper that explained his unification of electric and magnetic physical laws and demonstrated that light is an electromagnetic phenomenon. Using modern notation, his scheme can be summarized in two mathematical lines:

as we usually do, we decided to share instead the

Contained in these lines are equations that explain how radio waves, microwaves and x-rays behave. Technologies such as microwave ovens, satellite communications and cellphones rely on this knowledge. Albert Einstein used the revelation contained in these equations to develop his theory of special relativity. Two simple lines, resulting from hundreds of years of scientific inquiry, which are the starting point of our modern electronic age.

compact elegance of an important mathematical equation.

– Roy Wensley, Dean of the School of Science

Editor’s note: Rather than publish a poem on this page,



P.O. Box 4300 Moraga, CA 94575-4300 Address Service Requested

GAELTRUISTIC “Through my Jan Term trip and college experiences, I have deepened my sense of faith and learned about the charity and service of the Catholic Church, which I have seen reflected in the generosity that has been extended to me. I will be forever grateful to my scholarship donors for making these opportunities possible.”

Celina Al-Asfour ’13 entered Saint Mary’s as a President’s Scholar with an honors scholarship. This psychology major now lives in the Santiago community on campus with other students devoted to faith, service and community living. Support from the Class of 1965 Endowment, the Frank and Olivia Filippi Endowed Scholarship for Scholastic Excellence and the Sabatte Family Endowment have made Celina’s education possible.

To learn more about creating a scholarship, contact Daniel G. Lewis ‘00, Director of Development for Individual Giving (925) 631-4616

Make a Gael’s Year.  Change a Gael’s Life.  Create a Scholarship.

Saint Mary's Magazine: Fall 2012  

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Saint Mary's College. We celebrate this sesquicentennial by focusing on the many visionary, determi...

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