St. Mary's University Gold & Blue | Summer 2000

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ST. MARY’S Gold&Blue


Brotherly Advice New President Embraces the Past to Forge the Future

Message from the President A Chinese philosopher once observed

Cover Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D., the first lay president, has an abiding faith in the Marianist charism that guides St. Mary’s University. His mentors include Brother John Totten, S.M., professor emeritus of philosophy.

that, “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” (Lao-tse). So too, must a presidential term of 1,000 days begin with a single step, ultimately leading to a strategic plan or vision. Since my appointment to the president’s office last April, the executive and academic teams of St. Mary’s University have been focused on developing a vision for the first decade of the new millennium. If all goes according to schedule, a draft strategic plan will be presented to the University community—and ultimately to the Board of Trustees—during the fall semester. The strategic plan will contain the aspirations, goals and strategies that will successfully move St. Mary’s through the early years of the 21st century. What do we want the University to become? What challenges lie ahead? How do we innovate to meet these challenges? Through consultation with the University community, the alumni and the trustees, the vision will be strengthened, assuring a broad base of support among all of the stakeholders of St. Mary’s. The 2000-01 academic year promises to be exciting and eventful. Let us preview some of the high points of the year ahead. This is a very special year for the worldwide Marianist family as the Venerable William Joseph Chaminade will be declared “Blessed” by Pope John Paul II in Rome on Sept. 3. At the ceremonies of beatification, Chaminade will be recognized for a life of heroic virtue with the Church’s acceptance of the miraculous cure of a South American woman’s cancerous growth attributed to his intercession. Chaminade’s beatification is significant for St. Mary’s University in many ways. As the founder of two religious orders whose purpose was education, his vision continues to guide us today. Brother Henry Ringkamp, S.M., former principal of Central Catholic High School, always reminded me to do everything possible to ensure a healthy enrollment each fall. He wouldn’t be disappointed with St. Mary’s projected enrollment this year. We are expecting well over 625 new freshmen, one of the largest freshman classes in St. Mary’s history. The faculty and staff are excited about the prospect of this year’s enrollment and the introduction of the notebook computers that all frosh will receive as part of their tuition. However, large entering classes and the introduction of new information technologies do pose challenges to us. Retaining most of these new students through graduation by challenging them, providing a caring attitude and offering educational quality must be the University community’s main focus. I am confident we will succeed. The Alumni Athletics & Convocation Center will open this fall for basketball, volleyball, academic graduations and special events. I look forward to seeing many of you at the first basketball game scheduled in the Bill Greehey Arena on Nov. 27. I look forward, as well, to seeing many of you during this year’s “Alumni Reconnects” in cities ranging from San Antonio to Washington, from Miami to Denver. These events symbolize the meaning of community for all of us who have been and still are affiliated with the enduring traditions of St. Mary’s University. It continues to be a very special place.

Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D. (B.A. ’62, M.A. ’64)

Gold&Blue One Camino Santa Maria San Antonio, Texas 78228-8575 Gold & Blue is produced for alumni and friends three times a year by the Public Relations staff. Public Relations Executive Director Dianne Pipes Executive Editor Candace J. Kuebker (B.A. ’78) Associate Editor Rob Leibold Publications Director Steve Weed Photography Melanie Rush Davis, Gary Hartman, Tommy Hultgren, Scott Schrader Contributors Pat Abernathey, Public Relations Chris M. Gallegos (B.B.A. ’95), Alumni Relations Sylvia A. Garza (B.A. ’00) Karen Persyn, Advancement Services Contents © 2000 by St. Mary’s University. All rights reserved.


Alum, First Lay-Marianist Appointed President by Sylvia McLaren, Retired Executive Editor of Gold & Blue Leading his alma mater as its first lay president seems a natural progression in Charlie Cotrell’s more than four decades at St. Mary’s.


A Match Made in Heaven by Candace Kuebker (B.A. ’78), Executive Editor of Gold & Blue Sister Gretchen Trautman, F.M.I. (B.A. ’73), seems perfectly matched to her professed religious life, her career and to her role as a St. Mary’s trustee.


Fifty Years of Service, Brotherhood and Cooperation by Walter Duvall (B.A. ’64, M.B.A. ’70 ), St. Mary’s Alumni Association Accountant There was little in the inauspicious start of Sigma Beta Chi to indicate it would be around to celebrate its 50th anniversary as St. Mary’s oldest—and only remaining— local social fraternity.


No Doubt About It—This Thomas Believes in Faith, Hard Work and St. Mary’s by Candace Kuebker Tom Benson holds strong beliefs about how to be successful in life, and they include a good old-fashioned work ethic and giving back to the communities in which you live and work.


Campus News


St. Mary’s Developments


Class Notes and Notables


President Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D. (B.A. ’62, M.A. ’64) Acting Vice President Academic Affairs David P. Manuel, Ph.D. Vice President Administration and Finance Daniel J. White Vice President Student Development Katherine M. Sisoian (M.A. ’84) Vice President University Advancement Thomas B. Galvin Vice President Enrollment Management Barry E. Abrams, Ed.D. Assistant to the President for Planning and Research Gerard A. Dizinno, Ph.D.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES Rev. Timothy Dwyer, S.M. (B.A. ’57), Chancellor Stephen M. Dufilho (M.A. ’69), Chairman Al J. Notzon III (B.A. ’60), Vice Chairman Pat A. Legan (J.D., LL.B. ’46), Secretary J. Dan Bates Jack Biegler (B.B.A. ’67) Brother Jerome Bommer, S.M. (B.A. ’55) Rodolfo C. Bryce (B.B.A. ’68) Raymond R. Carvajal (Class of ’68) Ramiro A. Cavazos (Class of ’87) Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D. (B.A. ’62, M.A. ’64) Michael A. De La Garza John W. Dewey (B.B.A. ’67) Brother Richard Dix, S.M. (B.S. ’52) Robert L. Elizondo (B.S. ’67) Rev. Virgil P. Elizondo, Ph.D. (B.S. ’57) James D. Goudge Rev. James L. Heft, S.M., Ph.D. D. Michael Hunter (J.D. ’65) Edward B. Kelley (B.B.A. ’64) Patrick N. Klasing (B.B.A. ’71) William R. Klesse Leonard E. Lawrence, M.D. Linda S. Mills (B.A. ’72) Max Navarro (B.A. ’77, M.A. ’80) Philip J. Pfeiffer Rev. Ralph Siefert, S.M., D.Min. (B.A. ’68) Phyllis B. Siegel (J.D. ’79) John G. Stumpf Sister Gretchen Trautman, F.M.I. (B.A. ’73) Maj. Gen. Alfred A. Valenzuela, U.S. Army (B.A. ’70, M.A. ’79) Gilbert Vara Jr. (J.D. ’85) Rev. Rudy Vela, S.M. (B.A. ’76)

About This Issue As of April 17, 2000, it was official—Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D. (B.A. ’62, M.A. ’64), became St. Mary’s 12th president, the first time in the University’s history that a professed Marianist has not held the position. Retired Gold & Blue Executive Editor Sylvia McLaren gives us insight into the man and his accomplishments. New Orleans’ NFL franchise owner and longtime St. Mary’s benefactor (and former trustee) Tom Benson shares his thoughts about working hard, the importance of Catholic education, and why he has admired and supported the Marianists and St. Mary’s for more than 40 years. Sister Gretchen Trautman, F.M.I. (B.A. ’73), who returned to San Antonio to work right next door to St. Mary’s as the principal of Holy Rosary Parish School, sees herself as a caretaker of the Marianist charism in her role as University trustee. Through thick and thin, good years and bad, “the Sigmas” have been a fixture on the St. Mary’s campus for a half century. Walter Duvall, “Sigma ’61,” gives us a history lesson on the fraternity’s inception and philosophy. We hope you enjoy the Homecoming weekend photos liberally dispersed throughout the Developments and Class Notes sections. You may well see a former classmate or professor. And those of you who’ve examined our web page, please take a moment to complete a very brief survey on the “We’d Love to Hear from You” update form (page 19). On occasion we’ll use the form to ask for feedback on different topics. As always, your input is valuable so keep those updates and suggestions coming. Candace Kuebker, editor



Alum, First Lay-Marianist Appointed President by Sylvia McLaren



People who know Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D., St. Mary’s new president, call him Charlie. It comes naturally because, without a doubt, he has that special gift of being a genuine people person—a warm, welcoming smile and a caring, even affectionate personality.


first got to know Charlie (B.A. ’62, M.A. ’64) in the mid-70s when he was then a not-yet full professor in the political science department. Even then the talents that would propel him rung by rung up the St. Mary’s leadership ladder were abundantly evident. I was interviewing him for an article in the St. Mary’s Bulletin, the old black and white predecessor of the Gold & Blue. Believing, as he explained, that relaxed, informal student-faculty sessions encourage high student motivation and initiative, he was conducting a small-group discussion under a tree in the Pecan Grove. It made an indelible impression on me, new to the campus from a northern university, to observe the rapt involvement of his students circled around him. The scene was so evocative and charming that we photographed it for the front cover of that 1975 issue of the magazine.

Alum Appreciation The gifts of a people-person scholar-teacher translate seamlessly into very close and caring relationships with students. “Charlie was one of my teachers in the early 70s. In fact he was

Always a passionate teacher, Cotrell makes his point to a political science class in the mid-70s. Award-winning ABC-TV journalist and St. Mary’s 1995 Distinguished Alumnus John Quiñones (B.A. ’74), in a story he wrote for our 1995 fall/ winter issue of Gold & Blue, detailed his debt to his St. Mary’s education as a San Antonio West Side Hispanic, the first in his family to attend college. Quiñones majored in speech, and only minored in political science, yet singled out just one teacher to praise in his article.

Proven Leadership

Family members congratulate Charles Cotrell at a reception following the announcement of his appointment as the 12th president of St. Mary’s. On hand were his wife, Abbie, and sons Aaron and David. Not pictured are sons Shannon and Jason.

the one who encouraged me to get my Ph.D.,” says political science professor Tom Hoffman (B.A. ’73). “I think it is wonderful that a genuine lay-Marianist and a scholar and one of the finest teachers at the University has become the president.” Note the word “encourage,” for that’s what people persons are so good at.

“Political science Professor Cotrell was very instrumental in my pursuing thoughts of law school,” Quiñones says, adding, “His classes were interesting and challenging, and he put in a lot of time one-on-one with students. And he had a great sense of humor. Being able to sit down with a political science professor meant a lot to a kid not too well prepared.” As important as Cotrell’s peopleperson skills are, it would be remiss not to emphasize his long-proven scholarly and administrative leadership. Merely to document his steadily increased responsibilities at St. Mary’s over 34 years tells the story: chairman of the political science department; director of the political science and public administration graduate programs; dean of the School of Arts and Sciences; first dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; assistant to the president for planning


Cotrell’s love of education was born and nurtured in Waring’s one-room school house where he attended grade school.

and institutional research; the first lay vice president of Academic Affairs; and acting university president, not to mention his selection as a St. Mary’s Distinguished Alumnus in 1992. Each of those titles encompasses huge amounts of work toward St. Mary’s progress, such as: responsibility for all academic programs; reorganizing the curriculum and charting its future; initiating faculty standards and accountability; developing the now well-established semester abroad and student internship programs; involving the University in the Southwest Research Consortium; and leading the team that brought a $2.1 million U.S. Department of Education grant to the campus for information technologies.

Strong Public Service And then there’s Cotrell’s unceasing service to society, locally and nationally. A pioneer in voting rights issues both personally and in writings, he has been a consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice on election systems and has presented his research before the U.S. Congress. Moreover, he is credited with having taught and inspired some of the most influential figures in the Mexican-American civil rights movement, including Jose Angel Gutierrez (M.A. ’68), founder of La Raza Unida Party; the late Willie Velasquez (B.A. ’66), founder of the Southwest Voter Registration and Education Project; U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (B.A. ’73); and the late Texas and U.S. Rep. Frank Tejeda (B.A. ’70).


“Call me Charlie”

Fifteen-year-old “Charles Lee” with mom, Jennie Rust Grimm, in front of their home in Waring.

One of the first things Charlie Cotrell said to me when I became his work-study assistant in the fall of 1974 at the age of 18 was “Call me Charlie.” That simple statement is a testament to the kind of man he is: unassuming, unpretentious and wholly likable. There is something else about Charlie that speaks to the kind of person he is. Here was a man, not himself a minority, who was a champion for minority rights. He was, in fact, fascinated with Latin American culture and saw in it a richness that I, having grown up in an era that denigrated all things Mexican, had not. He was a breath of fresh air, a validation of humanity. I don’t mean to make Charlie sound like a demigod. He has faults to be sure, though I am hard pressed to remember what they are; but I must say an impressionable young coed could not have had a better mentor. Today, 26 years after our first meeting, I consider Charlie Cotrell to be the epitome of grace and manhood. St. Mary’s University could not have selected a better president, and I feel privileged to call him friend. Cynthia Leal Massey (B.A. ’78, M.A. ’83) Writer and Adjunct English Instructor at San Antonio College

Cotrell’s relentless efforts have won him the Henry B. Gonzalez Hispanic Achievement Award from the St. Mary’s University Law Alumni Association and the American Political Science Association’s Career Achievement Award in recognition of 25 years of outstanding scholarship, teaching, civil rights research and service to the Latino community.

San Antonio Involvement Local community activities of the native San Antonian have included serving on the boards of the Public Library System and the Public Housing Corp.; working on mayoral task forces, including co-authoring a 1997-98 revitalization plan for the inner city; membership on the Alamo Area Council of Governments Health Committee; regular television work as a guest commentator during elections;

and current chairmanship of the Citizens Advisory Panel of the San Antonio Water System. The most significant fact about the 59-year-old’s elevation to his alma mater’s presidency, however, is that he is the first lay person to hold that office in the Marianist-governed University’s 148-year history—the unanimous choice of the St. Mary’s Board of Trustees. The Rev. Timothy Dwyer, S.M. (B.A. ’57), St. Mary’s chancellor and provincial of the St. Louis Province of the Society of Mary, emphasizes that Cotrell was appointed “not only for his long and distinguished career at St. Mary’s, but above all for his deep understanding of and tested commitment to the University’s

Catholic and Marianist heritage. I have every confidence that Dr. Cotrell will continue to advance the University’s proud tradition of Catholic and Marianist education.” Cotrell says he is greatly humbled by his appointment, that he has been “deeply shaped” by St. Mary’s and the Marianists and intends to carry on the tradition of the institution. He says that even before his 1958 freshman year he was profoundly influenced by Marianist values of scholarship, community building and service—qualities wisely recognized by his Uncle Buster, who counseled his nephew to enroll at St. Mary’s. Cotrell’s long devotion to St. Mary’s mission has been

Carrying on the Tradition I came to know Charles Cotrell as a talented student in my ethics class in 1961. Our relationship flourished over the years during which time he graduated, earned a master’s degree in political science and began teaching at his alma mater. During the 70s I worked closely with him on the Purpose Committee, a forerunner to today’s accreditation committees, preparing for a visit from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ evaluation team. Our Mission Statement was then called our Statement of Purpose. The accrediting body required that we show how the “purpose” of St. Mary’s was stated in legal documents from its origin. When the Marianists came to San Antonio from Europe, it was to build on the educational tradition which had made our College Stanislas in Paris one of the best in Europe. Our “purpose” in founding St. Mary’s University was simply to continue the work of the Marianist educators. Although the founding brothers and priests had not expressed that “purpose” in legal documents of the kind expected by accrediting agencies, we did have our “Rule of Life,” a chapter of which addressed the standards and method of education to which we had committed our lives. Because of Cotrell’s long association with the Marianists, both as a student and colleague, he was able to explain convincingly to the evaluation committee that our “Rule of Life” was as good as or, perhaps better than, any legal statement of corporate purpose. As our first lay president, I think Charles is singularly well equipped to carry forward the Catholic Marianist tradition of St. Mary’s University. Brother John Totten, S.M. (B.S. ’39) Professor Emeritus of Philosophy

Uncle Buster Rust, pictured with Charlie’s aunt and godmother, Amy Rust, is credited with providing sage advice to his nephew’s queries about which college to attend. honored with a Marianist Heritage Award, the University’s highest recognition of lay men and women who exemplify the ideals of the Society of Mary’s founder, the Venerable William Joseph Chaminade, who will be beatified in September. “I welcome the challenge of finding ways to retain St. Mary’s Marianist heritage and tradition, while seeking new ways to animate learning and scholarship experience,” says our new layman president. And who better equipped to do just that than Charlie Cotrell. For as Cotrell’s wife, Abbie, and mother of their four sons aged 15, 20, 28 and 31 reminds us, St. Mary’s is Charlie’s spiritual home. ■ Sylvia McLaren, award-winning former executive editor of the Gold & Blue, worked in the St. Mary’s Public Relations Department for 24 years before retiring in December 1998. Her tenure included stints as editorial assistant, assistant director then associate director of public relations, as well as managing editor of the University’s frequently honored magazine. McLaren earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Idaho State University. A native New Zealand “kiwi,” she enjoys retirement by spending time with family and friends, and traveling extensively.




St. Mary’s students selected to the Top 100—with hometown—are: Lucia Dura (B.A. ’00), El Paso; Adriana Garcia, Lytle; Jason Garcia, Alpine; Nicole Grado, Weslaco; Jesús Salas (B.S. ’00), Veracruz, Mexico; and Victor Vega, Friendswood.

Cotrell Invited to White House In June, Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D., St. Mary’s president, attended a White House Strategy Conference on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Students at the invitation of President and Mrs. Clinton. Cotrell joined 120 educators, advocates and others from cities with large Hispanic populations at the White House for a daylong seminar and strategy session focused on improving Hispanic student achievement nationally.

Manuel Leads Office of Academic Affairs

Debate Team Wins National Championship The St. Mary’s Forensics Team has won the International Public Debate Association National Championship for the second time in three years. The National Championship Winston Churchill Award—based on a school’s record of achievement over the course of the entire debate season—is the most prestigious of the association’s awards. The St. Mary’s team also won the Martin Luther King Award for having the best novice team and the International E-mail Debate Tournament, conducted over the Internet among students from 15 countries.

St. Mary’s Students in Top 100 SúperOnda, a quarterly magazine published by Hispanic Business Inc., has selected six St. Mary’s students to its “Notable Names on Campus.” The selections by SúperOnda—“the magazine for young adults with purpose”—were based largely on grades, with consideration given for volunteer work, leadership, business enterprise, sports, extracurricular activities and ability to overcome obstacles.


Larry Hufford, Ph.D., director of the graduate international relations program and professor of political science, gets a hug from an orphan girl in rural Haiti.

Students Visit Haiti, Cuba Nine St. Mary’s students on a sojourn to Caribbean neighbors Haiti and Cuba got an up-close view of their cultural, economic and political histories during a two-week comparative travel seminar sponsored by the graduate international relations program this spring. Trip organizer Larry Hufford, Ph.D., and the students witnessed the types of development programs the countries have, what works and what does not.

The St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees has approved the appointment of David P. Manuel, Ph.D., dean of the School of Business and Administration, to serve as acting academic vice president during the 2000-2001 academic year. Suzanne Cory, Ph.D., associate dean of the School of Business and Administration will serve during the same period as acting dean. St. Mary’s business school dean since 1990, Manuel replaces Anthony J. Kaufmann, Ph.D., who served as acting vice president for eight months during the presidential transition period.

Marianist Heritage Awards Bestowed on Six The Marianist Awards, given annually by the Marianist Forum to lay persons who are faithful in supporting and promoting the ideals of Society of Mary founder, the Venerable William Joseph Chaminade, were given to six members of the St. Mary’s community. Marianist Heritage Awards went to Mary Lynne Gasaway Hill (B.A. ’86), Catholic teaching fellow in the Department of English and campus minister for spiritual life formation and retreat programming, and to her husband, Andrew J. Hill (B.A. ’86), associate dean of students.


Marianist Student Leadership Award recipients included Rick Benavidez of Houston and Beatriz Lastra of Brownsville. The Carl Fitzgerald Scholarships, named in honor of a St. Mary’s student who died in 1986, went to Marida I. Carmona and Richard P. Huerta, both of El Paso.

Poyo Goes to Washington

exercises in May, while Texas Attorney General John Cornyn returned to San Antonio to speak at his alma mater’s law school graduation. Cornyn, a 1977 law school graduate and recipient of the 1994 Distinguished Law Alumnus Award, addressed the 246 graduates during

School of Law Hosts Texas Supreme Court The Texas Supreme Court left its Austin courtroom for a second floor conference room at the St. Mary’s University Center this past spring to hear arguments in three cases. The visit was only the fifth time the court has heard cases outside Austin—the first time in San Antonio—since voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1997 giving the court authority to do so. The legal road show allows more people to view the happenings of the state’s highest court.

St. Mary’s Latino studies scholar Gerald Poyo, Ph.D., was chosen as a Rockefeller Humanities Fellow at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Poyo, an associate professor of history, examined themes Helping Others around which a narrative of During Spring Break Latino history might be Spring Break is traditionally a constructed. The Smithsonian’s time when students hit the vast collections are made beaches or head to the mountains. accessible to researchers under Others, like 26 students, faculty the Smithsonian Center for and staff from St. Mary’s, opt to Latino Initiatives doctoral spend that time helping others. fellowship program. Sponsored through the Service Poyo has written At May commencement an excited graduate gives a quick wave to her Learning Center, participants extensively about community family seated in an audience of more than 8,000 spectators. traveled to four areas to assist life and issues of socioracial people in need. identity in colonial Texas. commencement exercises at Municipal One group, which included Bill Auditorium. He is the 49th Attorney Piatt, law school dean, went to Las More Campus News General of Texas. Vegas, N.M., to help local volunteers Caldera, the 17th Secretary of the build two houses in the Habitat for Chaminade Slated For Army, is responsible for manpower, Humanity Collegiate Challenge. September Beatification personnel, reserve affairs, installations, Other groups traveled to Baltimore, The Ceremony of Beatification for environmental issues, weapons Md., Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and the Venerable William Joseph systems, equipment, communications Antigua, Guatamala. Chaminade, founder of the Society of and financial management. Mary (Marianists) and the Institute of “Trino’s Choice” Captures Book the Daughters of Mary Immaculate, Chief Justice Rehnquist Returns of the Year Honors will be held Sunday, Sept. 3, 2000, in to St. Mary’s Innsbruck Institute Diane Gonzales Bertrand, writer-inSt. Peter’s Square in Rome. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice residence and teacher of fiction writing Beatification is the final phase William H. Rehnquist returned for a in the Department of English at before sainthood. The last essential fourth tour of duty as the distinguished St. Mary’s, won the Book of the Year step—papal approval of a miracle— visiting jurist at the St. Mary’s Award in the children’s/young was attributed to Chaminade University Institute on World Legal adult category for “Trino’s Choice” in December. Problems in Innsbruck, Austria, this from ForeWord Magazine, a leading summer. trade and review journal in the Caldera, Cornyn Keynote Spring Rehnquist, who presented seven independent publishing industry. It Graduation Ceremonies lectures on the history of the Supreme also was chosen as the Best Young The nearly 1,000 graduates of Court, is the federal government’s Adult Novel of 2000 by the Latino St. Mary’s University were treated this highest-ranking judge and one of seven Literary Hall of Fame Awards. spring to insights from the U.S. U.S. Supreme Court justices to In her fictional novel Bertrand tells Army’s top civilian and the state’s top participate in the program since 1990. the story of seventh-grader Trino legal official. Olivares as he contends with peer Louis Caldera, secretary of the U.S. pressure, humble surroundings and Army, delivered the keynote speech to fragile self-esteem in making difficult 760 undergraduate, graduate and life decisions. doctoral students at commencement



Sports Scene

In a season marred by some disappointments, there were a number of significant highlights and milestones in the University’s 1999-2000 athletics schedule. Longtime baseball coach and former Rattler star Charlie Migl (B.A. ’78) collected his 500th win while Laura Groff (M.A. ’96), women’s volleyball coach, garnered her 200th victory. The basketball teams met their final foes in Alumni Gym, and the campus skyline continued to change as completion of the Alumni Athletics & Convocation Center nears. The St. Mary’s golf team excelled this year by placing first in district play and winning the Heartland Conference Golf Championship. There were bright spots in tennis too, as the men placed second and the women fourth in conference play.

26, 2000, in Alumni Gym took on special significance this year because the Rattler men and women basketball squads were playing their final games in the 70-year-old behemoth barn-like structure. Musing about the end of an era, Athletics Director and men’s basketball coach Herman “Buddy” Meyer (B.A. ’65) said, “Alumni Gym has given us a lot of great memories . . . there have been a lot of great wins and some tough losses here, but we’re looking to the future.” The Alumni Athletics & Convocation Center “will enhance recruiting of athletes and non-athletes. It will be an impact facility on the (St. Mary’s) community and we intend to share that with the San Antonio community.” Both teams beat their opponents from Texas Lutheran University, exiting Alumni Gym on a high note.

You don’t need a diagram to figure out that basketball coach Buddy Meyer can’t wait to move into the new Alumni Athletics & Convocation Center this fall.

Tree Topping Building Milestone ▲

Campaign Chairman Bill Greehey (B.B.A. ’60), student Rudy Reyes Jr. (CL ’01) and Campus Ministry Director Rev. William J. Meyer, S.M., D.Min. (B.A. ’71), joined more than 600 jubilant alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends to watch the “Topping Off” and flag raising at the Alumni Athletics & Convocation Center during Homecoming Weekend 2000. Topping a building with a tree signifies the safe and successful completion of the exterior construction.


Baseball coach Charlie Migl (B.A. ’78) is all smiles and so are his players as he accepts a trophy commemorting his 500th win since taking over the reins of the Rattler team.

The records posted by each sport are: volleyball, 22-10; men’s soccer, 10-8; women’s soccer, 12-4 (two ties); women’s basketball, 18-8; men’s basketball, 16-11; softball, 4018; and baseball, 29-22. Closing out the season Feb.


ust one look at the children’s faces and it’s clear they see an angel in their midst. Sister Gretchen Trautman, F.M.I. (B.A. ’73), Holy Rosary Parish School principal and St. Mary’s trustee, smiles back at her students, content doing what she was called to do. Her life as a religious sister and teacher matches her talents and her attraction to the Marianists’ service orientation and emphasis on community. “And the Sisters were very good teachers,” she says. “I thought I’d like to use my life to do that.” She joined the Daughters of Mary at age 19 while a student at the University of Dayton in Ohio. Teaching and children have been at the heart of Sister Gretchen’s life. The principal since 1998 at Holy Rosary, an elementary school whose campus abuts St. Mary’s University, Trautman has been in education for 30 years. She arrived in San Antonio in 1966, to the Daughters of Mary Mother House at Our Lady of the Pillar Convent and to St. Mary’s, to begin classes and “do the religious novice thing,” she says. Models of Marianist spirit and spiritual life influenced her while at St. Mary’s, including the late Brother Andy Cremer, Rev. George Montague, Rev. J. Willis Langlinais and Rev. Louis Reile. Sister Gretchen’s teaching career began at St. James Parish School on San Antonio’s South Side, then at Our Lady of the Pillar as kindergarten teacher. After a few years in the classroom, her youthful exuberance and ministry skills were matched with a new position as “dorm mom” to St. Mary’s women residents. Trautman faced the challenges of a growing women’s resident population, limited funding to


make dorms comfortable for women, as well as persistent pranksters who kept dorm life exciting. “Those years were an experience,” she laughs. “I went from teaching little kids to living with big ones!” From dorm life she moved into provincial administration and continued her formation work. In 1986, after 20 years in San Antonio, Trautman took a sabbatical and returned to Ohio and her first love— children. She got involved in children’s programs and centers. For six years she was a supervisor at the state’s largest Head Start program, which emphasized early childhood development and family-oriented counseling and programs. When she returned to San Antonio, she was asked to be on the St. Mary’s Board of Trustees, another good match. “I was honored to be asked,” she says. “I believe I can help assure the continuance of the Marianist charism. I see myself as caretaker of what is strong at St. Mary’s, with a duty to make those things stronger.”

And she matches her trustee position with the needs of her school’s children. “Holy Rosary is fertile ground for St. Mary’s students to share their gifts,” she explains, adding that she has recruited dozens of tutors, interns and student mentors from St. Mary’s, with plans to add more. These cooperative efforts are the “passing on of faith that is a critical gesture in the spirit of service,” says Trautman. She also brings her children to the St. Mary’s campus to show them the opportunities that exist through education. “It’s great to be back and involved at St. Mary’s—to be part of the past, present and future,” Sister Gretchen says. “My goals as a principal and as a trustee are to build confidence and trust, to work hard together to maintain strengths, to excel, and to be exemplary.” Match point. It is good she’s using her life to do that. ■

“...I’d like to use my life to do that.”

A Match Made in Heaven by Candace Kuebker (B.A. ’78)

Sister Gretchen Trautman, F.M.I., shares hand puppet wisdom with her happy students. Children at Holy Rosary Parish School enthusiastically agree with their principal’s call to teach.


FEATURE and visible members of the student body and the Alumni Association. Credit for Sigma’s successful beginnings lies with a few young men who had the vision and energy to make Sigma Beta Chi a reality. “The initial year had lots of arguing, lots of guess work and lots of wondering if we would be around the next month,” says Ollie Mayo (B.A. ’53, J.D. ’60), one of those “founding fathers.” A variety of factors went into that feeling of uncertainty—none of them had ever started a fraternity before, they were up against some pretty stiff recruiting competition with the Rho Beta Gammas—the most popular fraternity of that time—and they had to spend so much effort getting organized there wasn’t time to plan projects or social events. “At times we all were saying, ‘What are we doing anyway?’ ” recalls Mayo. Their naivete about the complexities of forming a fraternity both hindered and helped them. The first year was difficult because they had nothing to build on—not even the experience of how to begin or run a frat. On the other hand, they had the advantage of never having to go through pledging or initiation, or sweat out a “black ball.” “We spent hours coming up with a Sigma Beta Chi pin. Much more time was needed to decide just what the frat was to stand for; what our objectives would be; what Sigma Beta Chi meant; how we were to nominate and elect officers; and many other day-to-day rules to live by. It may not sound like it should be difficult to agree on

S R A E Y 50

TION A R E P O ND CO A D O O THERH O R B , E SERVIC .A. ’70) ’64, M.B . .A B ( ll er Duva by Walt

S t.

Mary’s experienced another milestone this past spring with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of its oldest and only remaining local social fraternity, Sigma Beta Chi. In its 50 years of involvement in the religious, scholastic and social life at St. Mary’s, “Sigma” as it’s known, has had over 500 brothers live up to its motto: Service, Brotherhood and Cooperation. From the early days in 1950 when a small group of students joined to form Sigma, until the recent anniversary reunion celebrated during Homecoming Weekend by more than 220 people, Sigmas have been active

Brother James Clinch, S.M., moderator of Sigma Beta Chi, inspects the University seal with two members of the fraternity in 1957. The fraternity donated the six-foot vinyl tile seal, located in the vestibule of St. Louis Hall. The Sigmas will present St. Mary’s with a seal for the new Alumni Athletics & Convocation Center.


FEATURE matters like these, but they were fought over, kicked around, tried, discarded, and it finally started coming together,” Mayo recalls. That initial hard work paid off. The following year Sigma took in its first pledge class, and they were off and running. Still they faced recruiting competition from more established fraternities. “The Rho Betas were mostly from San Antonio; the Barons were mostly country boys from the Hill Country who held the best parties; and the Rattler frat was low profile,” Mayo says of Greek life at the time. “Pete Meeham (B.A. ’51), who I think came up with our name, saw a lot of boys coming in from Milwaukee, St. Louis, Belleville, Ill., and other northern high schools where the Society of Mary had schools. They had no school friends to get them into the present frats, and they tended to stay together within their dorm group. So, while I was at St. Mary’s many, if not most of the Sigmas, were from up north,” Mayo adds. The yeoman-like work done by Mayo and his fraternal brothers proved to be quite a solid foundation. The ideas they put in place and the decisions they made have kept Sigma going strong for 50 years. As the 50s were the pioneer years, the 60s proved to be the growing years for the fraternity. Active membership was high and those members have provided a steadfast base

for the continuation of the vision of the 50s. “St. Mary’s prepared me for some of the big challenges of life, and Sigma introduced me to some of the greatest people and wonderful times of my life—friendships that are alive and well after all of these years,” says Dick “Spike” Aboia (B.A ’66), who traveled from the New Jersey to the reunion which brought back a flood of memories. The 1960s were bountiful years for the fraternity. By 1964, Sigma had the largest fraternity membership, and in 1965 Ed Hulshof (B.A. ’66, M.S. ’76) became the first Sigma to be Student Council president. One of the most amazing things about being a Sigma, says David Sharman (B.B.A. ’65), is that many brothers have stayed in touch with one another throughout the years, even though so many live out of San Antonio and Texas. The men of Sigma Beta Chi continuously live the Marianist spirit at St. Mary’s as evidenced by their active participation in the many social aspects of the University, their support and involvement in activities assisting others in the community and their leadership and involvement in alumni chapters.

The legacy of the founders and all who followed will continue to grow, as many of their sons and daughters attend or will attend St. Mary’s and because of the fraternity’s commitment of more than $500,000 to the Alumni Athletics & Convocation Center. These accomplishments and recognition have positioned Sigma Beta Chi for many more years of active and loyal participation in the continuing growth of St. Mary’s. ■ Walter Duvall (B.B.A. ’64, M.B.A. ’70), retired after a 28-year career from the Internal Revenue Service in 1999 as regional inspector in the Philadelphia office. He now works part time as the accountant for the St. Mary’s University Alumni Association. Originally from St. Louis, Duvall found a home away from home at St. Mary's with the Sigmas, where he has been a member since 1961. Sigmas can e-mail Duvall at



DEVELOPMENTS The 1999-2000 academic year proved to be busy and successful for St. Mary’s University development efforts. More than $10 million in cash collections, pledges and bequests were raised for various University programs and projects. We value the continued support and generosity of our alumni, private foundations and corporations. Maintaining quality facilities and programs is an expensive venture. St. Mary’s winning tradition is made possible through the support of individuals and organizations whose commitment to St. Mary’s strengthens the University’s mission of scholarship and service and creates opportunities for future

Area Foundation Approves Two Grants


Through the many gifts contributed by senior class members, the Senior Class Gift Campaign was a success. A likeness of the school mascot was commissioned and a replica of what will be a bronze cast Rattler was unveiled during Homecoming Oyster Bake in April by artist Doug Roper. The graduating class of 2000 raised almost $10,000 to make the gift possible.

Recent Gifts Longtime Trustee Adds to Enduring Legacy Students who work their way through college and maintain a 3.0 grade-point average may qualify for the scholarship instituted by St. Mary’s alum and former trustee Robert S. Rosow (B.S.C. ’45) and his wife, Freida, who died June 26, 2000. Rosow, a San Antonio certified public accountant, presented St. Mary’s with a $1 million gift in early May. The scholarship requirements are based on his belief that a strong work ethic is necessary for academic and career preparation and success. The first award will be made for the 20002001 academic year.


Over 500 organizations submitted grant proposals to the San Antonio Area Foundation, a local clearinghouse for disbursement of charitable gifts. Proposed projects are subject to

outreach to San Antonio’s underserved women and children, will use its $2,500 grant to cover expenses associated with the program.

San Antonio Business Community Funds Awards A gift of $40,000 in scholarships, donated anonymously by a San Antonio corporation, will be available in the fall for need-based and service learning scholarships. Students actively involved in community service projects sponsored by the University’s Service Learning Center, who have demonstrated high academic achievement, will be eligible.

Melaas Family Remembers Daughter

several criteria including vision, perceived need, potential benefit to the community, volunteer participation and citizen involvement in the program. St. Mary’s University had two projects included in the 150 proposals funded for 2000. The music department will use a $20,000 grant to replace instruments originally acquired from St. Mary’s ROTC band more than two decades ago. The Service Learning Center’s Starfish Program, dedicated to

Don and Betty Melaas have made a $300,000 provision in their will to establish the Debra K. Melaas Scholarship in memory of their daughter, Debra, who attended St. Mary’s School of Law in the early 90s. She passed away in 1995. Once established, the scholarship will be awarded at the law dean’s discretion to a second-year, female law student with financial need.

Law Gifts Benefit Students A $50,000 donation from the Elizabeth Huth Coates Charitable Foundation, will provide students with access to an enhanced collection of oil and gas holdings in the Sarita Kenedy East Law Library. In addition, part of a $1.7 million anonymous gift made to the law school last fall will provide financial assistance to South Texas students taking courses to prepare them for the Texas Bar Exam.


St. Mary’s Forever— Another Planned Giving Opportunity

St. Mary’s Fund Breaks Records The 2000 St. Mary’s Annual Fund had its most successful year in the University’s history. Alumni, staff, faculty and students gave more than $430,000 in cash collections and pledges. Money raised through the annual fund are put into an unrestricted account, which are later applied to various areas of the University, including financial assistance, faculty development and new technology acquisitions. The success of this year’s campaign can be attributed to several factors including: ■ a phonathon calling schedule that was extended by two weeks to a total of 11 weeks during fall and spring; ■ enhanced student caller training; ■ an increase in direct mail associated with the St. Mary’s Fund; ■ the new Marianist Memorial Trust appeal which attracted many new donors. The phonathon alone netted more than $200,000 this year, and one of every four alumni contacted made a gift to the fund.

Center Taking Shape The Alumni Athletics & Convocation Center is taking shape, and by the time this issue of the Gold & Blue reaches your mailboxes it should be completely enclosed. While it still looks like a building under construction, “the overall project is going pretty well,” says Bill Tam, physical plant facilities administrator. “We’re still looking at a mid-November move in.”

Are you interested in making an impact that will extend well beyond your lifetime? You may want to consider putting St. Mary’s in your will. It’s simple. You need to add only one sentence, or codicil, to your existing will to include St. Mary’s University as a beneficiary. The three examples that follow provide the language necessary to make sure your intentions are honored. I give to St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas, a not-for-profit corporation, the sum of $______ to be used for its general endowment fund.

Betty Toudouze, wife of Charles (B.S.C. ‘47), top photo, checks out a story in The Rattler during this year’s Heritage Club reunion. Proud daughter Kelly congratulates dad Gene Cross (B.B.A. ’50), bottom photo, who traveled from Louisville, Ky., to attend the Heritage Club reunion during Homecoming Weekend.

When the semester ended in May, the building was basically just a shell—walls, floors and roof. Now, windows are installed, electrical fixtures in place, bricking in progress and drywall going up. All that work however, hasn’t turned it into a beautiful building—yet. In another couple of months, it will be the campus showcase we all envision.

I give to St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas, a not-for-profit corporation,_______percent of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real and personal property of whatever kind and wheresoever situated, which I may own or have the right to dispose of at anytime of my decease, in cash or kind, to be used for its general endowment fund. I give to St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas, a not-for-profit corporation the following property (specific property herein described), if owned by me at the time of my death to be used for its general endowment fund. Of course, you should consult with an attorney when altering your will. Your bequest will enrich the lives of those who attend the University in future years by ensuring the continued growth of academic and scholarship opportunities. When your bequest is recorded, you will be invited to join the 1852 Society, a group open to those who have made provisions in their estates for St. Mary’s University. If you are interested in establishing a bequest or obtaining more information, please call Pete Hansen (B.B.A. ’88), director of planned giving, at (210) 431-2242 or e-mail him at



No Doubt About It This Thomas Believes in Faith, Hard Work and St. Mary’s by Candace Kuebker (B.A. ’78)


hen auto magnate Tom Benson arrived in San Antonio to manage a Chevrolet dealership nearly half a century ago, he began an enduring association with St. Mary’s. “When you’ve been attached to something for 40 years, it’s hard to get detached,” he says, adding that his respect for the institution and the Marianists remains steadfast. His association with the University—forged in the late 1950s— includes active leadership positions and the role of benevolent benefactor. The Benson name has long been associated with automobile and banking empires in San Antonio and

The Rev. James Young, S.M., Ph.D. (B.A. ’36), left, and Tom Benson put a bumper sticker promoting the University’s Symposia on Free Enterprise on a car at Benson’s auto dealership. The symposia brought nationally recognized speakers to campus and advanced the cause of free enterprise. New Orleans. He has turned over those operations to family members, and, as sole owner of the New Orleans Saints, spends most of his time operating that National Football League franchise.


Benson attributes his success in business and life to his Catholic upbringing and strong faith. Born in New Orleans’ sprawling 9th Ward, the eldest of four sons of Tom Sr. and Carmen, Benson attended St. Aloysius High School and Loyola University. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Navy he returned home to study business and received an accounting degree. Benson, who firmly believes that “life holds no guarantees, only the opportunity is there and it’s up to the individual to make something of it,” took a job in the automobile business as a bookkeeper. Soon after arriving in San Antonio in 1956, Benson recalls, he met people associated with St. Mary’s— colleagues and employees who were alumni—and he got interested. “The more I got involved with St. Mary’s, the more I thought it was a good situation,” he says. Developing relationships with St. Mary’s leaders—especially thenpresident the Rev. James Young, S.M., Ph.D. (B.A. ’36), and School of Business and Administration Dean Brother Paul Goelz, S.M., Ph.D., led him to help found the St. Mary’s University Symposia on Free Enterprise. That program put the St. Mary’s business school on the national map, bringing such luminaries as Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, U.S. Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, political commentator William F. Buckley Jr., and others to campus. “In those days free enterprise wasn’t talked about a lot. The symposia promoted the free enterprise system in our country,” says Benson. “In my life,” he says paraphrasing

Thomas Jefferson, “the harder I worked, the luckier I got.” His efforts with the School of Business and Administration led to invitations to chair the school’s advisory council, cochair a campaign for the Myra Stafford Pryor Chair in Free Enterprise, and join the board of trustees where he served for 10 years. “The principles I believed in I also found present in people like Brother Paul and Father Jim. I’m real proud of many of the things we accomplished during those years,” says Benson. Over the years, he built Tom Benson Motor World—a huge automobile empire throughout Texas and parts of Louisiana—then expanded into the banking business, eventually taking it public as Benson Financial World. A lot of success for a man who’s been dubbed “Patron of the Saints.” But Benson remains centered. Winning in life is more important than winning on the field, he says. His Saints were recognized in 1998 and 1999 as one of the top five most charitable professional organizations by the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame. And Benson is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished American Award from the Nokia Sugar Bowl Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. What’s been most influential in this special man’s life? “It’s important to live a good life,” he says. “I’m very fortunate. I’ve had a lot of true friends . . . and I’ve worked hard and been lucky in business.” And that includes his more than four-decade relationship with San Antonio’s Marianist university. “It’s been a great part of my life to be associated with St. Mary’s,” he says. ■

St. Louis Hall, the St. Mary’s landmark since being built in 1893, beckoned alumni back to campus during Homecoming Weekend 2000.




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