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Newman Circle Celebrates 100th Anniversary


Muzaffer Basbudak MBA Finance/International Trade ’91 Finance Director, Reckitt Benckiser Turkey


nown for its reputation for academic excellence and cultural diversity, the University of St. Thomas has long been a destination for students of international origin. In 2008, St. Thomas was home to 237 international students from 58 countries. Our graduates have found success in locations spanning the globe. Among UST’s global graduates is Muzaffer Basbudak, a native of Istanbul, Turkey. Basbudak earned a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance and international trade from UST’s Cameron School of Business in 1991. Over the last two decades, Basbudak has built a career in finance, serving as the finance director for Reckitt Benckiser Turkey since 1999. Reckitt Benckiser is a multinational corporation known for household products such as Lysol, Woolite, Air Wick, Clearasil, Mucinex and French’s Mustard. Making the Move

In 1989, Basbudak came to Houston upon the recommendation of some fellow Turkish friends who were on an exchange program at M.D. Anderson. With an undergraduate degree in economics, Basbudak searched for MBA programs in Houston and found UST to be the best fit. “An MBA from a reputable American university is the golden key to find a good job,” Basbudak said. “At that time – long before the era of the Internet – the world was not so small, and it was a big decision for me to travel from Istanbul to Houston to work toward an advanced degree. It was worth it.”

While at UST, Basbudak immersed himself in University life – living on campus, taking a parttime job in the maintenance department and developing close relationships with his professors. Most notably, Dr. Hassan Mohajer Shirvani, professor of economics and finance, helped Basbudak secure a scholarship and served as Basbudak’s faculty mentor. What St. Thomas Has Meant To Muzaffer

Basbudak said his UST education gave him a solid finance background and taught him to challenge himself and how to think analytically. “I truly appreciated the quality of education at UST because the MBA curriculum combined theoretical studies with case studies which prepared me for the real business world,” Basbudak said. “I had bright classmates from all over the world – some fresh from college, and some were working at the corporate and executive level. This fueled intellectual discussions about a variety of topics. “When I think of UST and Houston, I have many good memories,” he said. “As an executive today, I am participating in educational days at different universities in Istanbul. I frequently recommend UST to students because to me UST represents an outstanding quality of education where international students will feel at home.” – Elise Marrion

UST President Dr. Robert Ivany and alumnus Muzaffer Basbudak



ON THE COVER Surrounding Fr. T.J. Hennessy are the first members of the Newman Circle in 1909. On March 3, 2009, UST President Dr. Robert Ivany, Newman Circle President Mary Lee Benedict and His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo celebrated with members and friends. See page 10.


The humanitarian efforts of alumna Ximena Murillo, MIB ’08, were internationally recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative University.


CONTRIBUTORS Rachel Castillo ’09 Brenda Benkenstein Cooper ’05 Barbara Karkabi Elise Marrion Ronnie Piper Anthony Pizzitola ’73, MBA ’82 Heather Saucier ’95 Kia Wissmiller ’99 Chris Zeglin

USTrees Works to Offset the University’s Carbon Footprint Students estimated that USTrees will need to plant about 25,000 trees to compensate for the University’s current energy use.

8 EDITORS Marionette Mitchell Director of Publications Sandra Soliz, MLA ’01 Director of Communications

Graduate Receives Outstanding Commitment Award

Vincent D’Amico’s Encounter with American Poet Robert Frost When alumnus Vincent D’Amico ’52 presented the University with a third scholarship for students in the School of Education, he named the endowment after New England poet Robert Frost, who inadvertently changed Vincent’s life’s path.

10 Newman Circle Celebrates 100th Anniversary Houston’s oldest Catholic women’s organization celebrates its 100th anniversary and gifts $15,000 to the annual Newman Circle Scholarship for women attending the University. On the Mall 2 Irish Kudos · New Board Members · Mitchell Environmental Science Scholarship · ExxonMobil Corp. Matching Gift · Pecten Scholarship · Seekers & Sages · Courses at Our Lady of Corpus Christi · Events Calendar and more

The University of St. Thomas Magazine is published four times annually for alumni and friends of the University. UST is a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Remembering UST 12 Alumnus Anthony Pizzitola ’73, MBA ’82 shares memories of UST and Founding President Fr. Vincent Guinan, CSB

The University of St. Thomas is committed to providing equal educational opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, disability or veteran status.

Sports 13 UST welcomes back intercollegiate men’s basketball

Copyright 2009 by the University of St. Thomas H. Ken DeDominicis, publisher VP for Institutional Advancement 3800 Montrose Boulevard Houston, TX 77006-4626 Phone: 713-525-3100

Faculty and Staff 14 Professor Sam Havens retires after 40 years with UST Drama Program Classnotes 16 Become a Class Agent! Alumni Chronicles 18 New group will engage alumni and support student recruitment In Memoriam 20 UST remembers Rev. Frank Bredeweg, CSB, and Rev. Victor Brezik, CSB


Irish Studies Earns Impressive Honors

Lori Gallagher, JD, director of UST’s Center for Irish Studies, is spearheading a $1 million fundraising drive to name the Center after legendary Irish American businessman and peace process architect William J. Flynn.

The University of St. Thomas Center for Irish Studies and its director, Lori Gallagher, JD, earned impressive accolades this year., an Irish Web site, launched by the New York-based Irish Voice newspaper and Irish America magazine, named the Center as one of the top 10 Irish Studies programs in the United States. The Center is listed among University of Notre Dame, Boston College, New York University and Catholic University of America. In March, Irish America magazine named Gallagher as one of its Global Irish 100, a list of the most revered and influential “Sons and Daughters of Erin.” Gallagher was among the recipients of the Irish American Leaders of Texas award given by the Irish Echo, the oldest newspaper serving Irish America, at its Texas Irish American Leaders Celebration in June. The Center was also featured in Irish Echo for its ongoing campaign to name the Center after “legendary Irish American businessman and peace process architect” William J. Flynn. Gallagher is spearheading a $1 million fundraising drive to name the Center after Flynn while simultaneously creating an endowment. Gallagher and the Center were also recognized at the 2009 Houston International Festival at the Mayor’s Gala. Honorary Consul General of Ireland John B. Kane, who serves on the Center’s Advisory Board, was also among the honorees.

board. Chapa served from 2003, and Fr. Gallagher served from 2006.

Benefits for Veterans Cover Up To Full Tuition A new benefits program will enable qualified Post-9/11 veterans to attend the UST for little or no cost. “The Post-9/11 GI bill gives veterans the option of applying their benefits to a private institution like the University of St. Thomas,” UST Director of Veteran Services Shannon Wilson said. “In the past, veterans typically had large out-of-pocket expenses while attending private universities.” The University has experienced an increase in the number of veteran students this fall. “We’re working diligently to make UST a place where veterans can get more than an education,” Wilson said. “We believe it is our responsibility to support those who have served our country.” Wilson was hired in March 2009 to serve the needs of veteran students. The 2007 MBA alumna spent four years in the Air Force and received the Air Force Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor. (more at

UST Launches Performing Arts Society On May 12, 2009, the stars came out on the stage of UST’s Cullen Hall to celebrate the formation of the Performing Arts Society and to showcase the brilliant talent of student performers. The Society’s 40 founding members attended the event that was preceded by a dinner and reception.

(more at

UST Appoints New Board Members Newly appointed University of St. Thomas board members are alumna Cecilia Abbott ’87, MEd ’93, MA ’94, managing director of community relations, Harden Healthcare; Maureen Hackett, community volunteer; Don Wang, chair, Metro Bank; and Fred Zeidman, president, Corporate Strategies, Inc. Their terms began on July 1, 2009.

As of June 30, Gerardo Chapa, managing director, Global Financial Services, and Rev. John Gallagher, CSB, Basilian appointee, retired from the 2

Co-chaired by Marianne Ivany, the University’s First Lady, and Priscilla Plumb, member of the President’s Advisory Board, (pictured above), the mission of the Performing Arts Society is to encourage excellence in the performing arts at St. Thomas and throughout the greater Houston community.


Plumb is especially excited about the future of performing arts at UST. “Our advisory council has identified many ways for friends of the arts to support UST,” she remarked. “First of all, joining the Society at the $250, $500 or $1,000 level provides operational support that is critical. Secondly, we hope that supporters will attend the outstanding choral, instrumental and drama productions this coming season.” For more information, contact the UST Office of Institutional Advancement at 713-942-3436.

eligible for federal grants and loans as well as financial aid provided by OLCC. Students may be able to transfer credits into UST degree programs such as theology, philosophy, English, history and communication at the University of St. Thomas campus. (more at

George Mitchell Funds Science Scholarship UST benefactor George Mitchell recently met with Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Ghrist and UST President Dr. Robert Ivany to discuss the University’s future. During the meeting Mitchell made a $10,000 gift to the Mitchell Environmental Science Annual Scholarship Award.

ExxonMobil Corp. Presents Matching Gift Alumnus and ExxonMobil employee Dr. John Kelly ’69 stopped by UST to give President Dr. Robert Ivany matching gift funds from ExxonMobil Corp. ExxonMobil matches donations from its employees and retirees. The gift totaled $40,965 and included matching gifts to scholarship, study abroad and the annual fund.

Pecten Scholarship Donors Honored Marilyn and Don Ullrich were among the Pecten Scholarship donors honored at a luncheon in April. The scholarship benefits International Studies majors and was started by employees of Pecten Chemical Company, now closed. Employees of the former company host an annual golf tournament to raise funds for the endowed scholarship.

Above: Liz Ghrist, George Mitchell and Dr. Robert Ivany Left: Dr. John Kelly ’69 and Dr. Robert Ivany Below: Dr. Linda Pett-Conklin, associate professor and acting director of the Center for International Studies, donor Marilyn Ullrich, Pecten Scholars Hiba Haroon and Allison Thomas, and donor Don Ullrich

Courses Offered at Our Lady of Corpus Christi The University of St. Thomas, in cooperation with Our Lady of Corpus Christi (OLCC), is offering Corpus Christi area college students the opportunity to take accredited courses leading to a bachelor’s degree from St. Thomas. Nine courses for three credit hours each are taught by St. Thomas faculty at the OLCC campus. Tuition is the same as for UST undergraduates. Students will be



St. Thomas Earns Nationwide Recognition Donor Sets World Record

The Princeton Review The Princeton Review, an education services company, selected St. Thomas as one of 123 institutions it recommends to college applicants in its “Best in the West” section on its Web site feature, 2010 Best Colleges: Region by Region. In the online profile at, UST is described as a place where students admire the academic rigor and rave about the small-school feel, where diversity is welcomed, embraced WESTERN and celebrated. EST COLLEGE 0B I 01



Seekers & Sages hosts three events each year for alumni and friends 50 and older. Faculty members present topics of interest such as environment, philosophy, theology, music, art and history at two educational luncheons. The third event is a travel day. In June 2009, 52 participants visited four of the Painted Churches in the Schulenburg area. They enjoyed a coach bus tour with a guide who told the story of these Catholic Churches from the early 1900s and the history of the early immigrants who built them. Events for 2009/2010 are scheduled for Oct. 28, Jan. 19 and June 17. The luncheons are free, and there is a nominal charge for the travel event. Contact Director of Planned Giving Diane Thornton, CFP® at 713-942-5080 or


Seekers & Sages Hosts Annual Events

The Cardinal Newman Society The University of St. Thomas was named as a recommend Catholic college in the new Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, published by The Cardinal Newman Society. The colleges profiled are recommended for strong Catholic identity and cover a wide range of institutions in terms of history, size, location and academic focus. Earlier this year, UST was recognized as among the 21 most affordable and faithful Catholic colleges and universities in the U.S. in a report published by The Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education. The study on college affordability shows that on average, the colleges recommended in the guide are more affordable than other Catholic and private colleges.


Charles Burnett III, sponsor of the University of St. Thomas Burnett Family Chair of Leadership, set the British Steam Car Challenge world record of 139.843 mph on Aug. 25, 2009. UST salutes Burnett for his successful 10-year pursuit of this record.

UST Offers Turnaround Course for Business Leaders The economy might be on the way up, but the recession isn’t over, according to business professor John O. Whitney of the UST Cameron School of Business. How to Prosper after a Long Recession and During an Uncertain Recovery is a two-day weekend certificate course for senior managers of businesses and nonprofit organizations to be held on campus Nov. 13-14. Whitney, who holds the UST Burnett Family Chair of Leadership, is a former professor at the Columbia Business School and former associate dean of Harvard Business School. He has written a book considered the bible of the turnaround business, titled Taking Charge: Management Guide for Turnarounds and Trouble Companies. Other distinguished faculty include Dr. Daryl Koehn, Dr. John Story and Dr. Beena George. Contact Monica Clem at 713-525-3115 or (more at 4

U.S. News & World Report For the 16th consecutive year, St. Thomas has been named to the top tier of the U.S.News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” list of universities offering master’s degrees in the Western region of the United States. UST ranks 27th in the 2010 rankings. U.S. News & World Report surveyed more than 1,400 colleges and universities for its annual publication, and based its rankings on 15 widely accepted indicators of excellence. UST’s low studentto-faculty ratio of 12:1, small class sizes and the high percentage of freshmen who were ranked in the top quarter of their high school graduating class were key factors in St. Thomas’ ranking.


University Events View more information on these and other St. Thomas events at October 1 Catholic Intellectual Tradition Lecture Series: His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo

7:30 pm, Jones Hall Office of Academic Affairs 713-525-2163 October 2–4 Opera Workshop

7:30 pm – Fri. & Sat. 3 pm – Sun. Cullen Hall Music Program 713-525-3159

October 21-24, 29-31 & November 5–7

“Working” Book by Stephen 7:30 pm, Chapel of St. Basil Schwartz and Nina Fasso; Based Music Program 713-525-3159 on Working by Studs Terkel

8 pm, Jones Theatre Drama Program 713-525-3520

October 19 University Singers Concert

7:30 pm, Chapel of St. Basil Music Program 713-525-3159 October 20 John Haught: “Evolution and Faith: What is at Stake”

6:30 pm, Houston Museum of Natural Science Center for Faith and Culture 713-942-5066

November 17 UST Jazz Ensemble Concert

7:30 pm, Cullen Hall Music Program Rev. William J. Young Lecture: 713-525-3159 October 22

Rev. James J. Schall, SJ: “Why Temporal Things Need Ultimate Things”

7:30 pm, Crooker Center, Ahern Room Catholic Social Justice Studies Program 713-525-3812

November 18 David & Kieran Munnelly Live in Concert

7:30 pm, Cullen Hall Center for Irish Studies Cultural Outreach Forum; Music Program 713-525-3592

October 23

Annual Irish Gala Honorees: Colleen and October 16 George McCullough. Msgr. William Steele Lecture: Event Chairs: Gayle and Sr. Sara Butler, MSBT, STL, PhD Bob Longmire.

7 pm, Nold Auditorium, St. Mary’s Seminary School of Theology 713-686-4345 ext. 287

November 10 Monaghan Organ Recital

6:30 pm, Houstonian Hotel Institutional Advancement 713-525-3173 October 25 An Afternoon with Fiddler and Tin Whistle Player Kathleen Keane

2:30 pm, Cullen Hall Center for Irish Studies Cultural Outreach Forum; Music Program 713-525-3592 October 27

November 23–24 Pop Show

7:30 pm, Cullen Hall Music Program 713-525-3159 December 1

January 28, 2010

University Singers Concert: “Lessons in Carols”

Aquinas Lecture: Archbishop Michael J. Miller, CSB

8 pm, Chapel of St. Basil Music Program 713-525-3159

7:30 pm, Jones Hall Center for Thomistic Studies 713-525-3591

December 6

February 5-7

A Celtic Christmas with Danny O’Flaherty & Friends


2 pm, Jones Hall Center for Irish Studies Cultural Outreach Forum 713-525-3592

UST Composers Concert

7:30 pm, Cullen Hall Music Program 713-525-3159

February 16 Mardi Gras Gala

December 17 Winter Graduate Mass & Reception

Mass: 6 pm, Jerabeck Center, Scanlan Rm Reception: 7 pm “Puss in Boots and Other Cat Jerabeck Gymnasium Tails” By Stephanie Routman Campus Ministry; Drama Program Alumni Relations 713-525-3520 713-942-3407

November 5, 10, 12, 17, 19, 24 & December 1, 3

UST Campus Alumni Relations 713-942-3407

Chapel of St. Basil 3802 Yoakum Jerabeck Center 4000 Mt. Vernon Crooker Center 3909 Graustark Cullen Hall 4001 Mt. Vernon Jones Hall 3910 Yoakum Jones Theatre 3910 Yoakum

Honorees: Mikki Hebl and David Harvey, Jr. Chairs: Minnie and Will Baird 6:30 pm, Hilton Americas Institutional Advancement 713-525-3173


Graduate Receives Award from the Clinton Global Initiative University Interweaving elements of her heritage and her University of St. Thomas education, Ximena Murillo developed an international, award-winning humanitarian project. Murillo, a native of Bolivia, grew up traveling with her mother, a teacher, to Bolivian mining villages to teach the miners and their families how to read and write in Spanish. Murillo continues this legacy of service with her project Empowering Women in Mining Communities of Bolivia: Through Education, Information and Training. Murillo’s project commits to create community centers for 1,500 women in 10 different impoverished mining communities. The community centers provide educational and training opportunities which advance the project’s goal of helping women escape poverty by becoming fully literate and independent. Murillo graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a Master of International Business (MIB) in 2008. While at St. Thomas, Murillo continued to work on her program with the help and guidance from her professors. “What I learned in UST’s MIB Program encouraged me to finish the project and submit it to the Clinton Global Initiative University,” Murillo said. “The classes that had the most impact on me were International Political Economy and Regional Study of Latin America with the late Dr. Gustavo Wensjoe,” director of the Center for International Studies. Murillo dedicated her project to Wensjoe, his wife Joanne and his son Julian. In addition, marketing/management professors in the Cameron School of Business Dr. Michele Simms and Dr. Anne Davis became Murillo’s mentors in the classroom and in her professional career. “Ximena Murillo, colleague and friend, is one of those rare persons whose intellectual curiosity and abilities are matched by a compassionate heart,” Simms said. “Her work and her life is the ‘beautiful mind’ in action.” Murillo’s humanitarian efforts were internationally recognized at the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) meeting at the University of Texas in Austin in February 2009. Out of the hundreds of projects submitted, Murillo’s was one of 13 to be featured at the second CGI U meeting; it was also selected to be one of the three commitments to be announced by former President Bill Clinton at the press conference. The program was awarded the CGI U Outstanding 6

Commitment Award, a $2,000 grant for materials and equipment that is supported by the Pat Tillman Foundation. “It is a blessing to have family, mentors and friends who inspire, encourage and ultimately help you to realize your full potential,” Murillo said. “It is this blessing that gives me the drive and determination to help those less fortunate to live in a better world – full of new and different possibilities.” Murillo returns to Bolivia twice a year to work with her sister, Carla, who runs the program in Murillo’s absence. Currently, Murillo works for Texas Inter-Faith in Houston, a non-profit organization that provides affordable housing and supportive services. Like her program in Bolivia, she helps people better themselves through education and training. – Rachel Castillo ’09

USTREES Works to Offset the University’s Carbon Footprint The University of St. Thomas Environmental Science and Studies (ESS) Program has begun USTrees, a student-initiated effort to plant trees to help offset the University’s carbon footprint. Working with Howard Rose, assistant vice president of facilities operations, who supplied the necessary data, the students calculated that USTrees will need to plant about 25,000 trees to compensate for the University’s current energy use. The group took the initial steps to reach their ambitious goal by inviting students, faculty and staff to plant 3,000 trees over the course of the 2008 fall semester. The plantings were scheduled over two weekends, and 3,000 trees found a new home on Goat Island, a 70-acre island in the Port of Houston across from the San Jacinto Monument and Battleship. The trees were generously supplied by a grant from the Apache Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Apache Corporation. This service learning project, under the direction of Sister Damien Marie Savino, FSE, chair of the ESS Program, provided an opportunity for more than 200 UST students, many of them freshmen, to be involved. USTrees also exemplifies the integrated approach of the new ESS program, which not only trains students in the science underlying environmental issues and involves them in hands-on activities, but also educates them as to the moral imperative to care for the earth according to the teachings of the Catholic Church. “This is a time for the students to be outside, participate in a restoration project, and build community as they work together,” Sr. Damien Marie said.“ The students will also be reflecting on our role as humans in creation.” Members of UST’s Environmentally Concerned Organization of Students (ECOS) and introductory environmental science students participated in an estimated 20 tree-plantings throughout the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 school years, an accomplishment that garnered the Arbor Day Award from Trees for Houston in 2008. By May of 2009 they had planted 4,000 trees toward their USTrees goal of 25,000. – Elise Marrion (Pictured: UST students Kenneth Deweese and Elizabeth Rinaldi)


Vincent D’Amico’s encounter with American Poet Robert Frost When University of St. Thomas alumnus Vincent D’Amico ’52 presented two endowed scholarships to the University several years ago, it seemed only natural that he donated them in the names of his parents, Nicholas and Pauline D’Amico. When he presented the University with a third scholarship earlier this year for students in the School of Education, those who do not know Vincent might wonder why he named the endowment after American poet Robert Frost.

It only takes a brief conversation with Vincent, a retired schoolteacher, to learn that the New England poet inadvertently changed Vincent’s life’s path. Beginning with his reading of Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” in 1956 and culminating in a one-time meeting with the poet two years later, the succeeding years of Vincent’s life have been filled with notes, journals, trips and photographs, all dedicated to thoughtfully chronicling and documenting the life of the four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. When Vincent D’Amico visited Robert Frost at his cabin in 1958 (pictured right), the two quickly learned they both shared a passion for education. This year marks the 135th anniversary of Robert Frost’s birth.


“The greatest honor you could bestow on me is the opportunity to endow a scholarship in the School of Education in Robert Frost’s name for the furtherance of secondary training at the University of St. Thomas,” Vincent said. “You can’t give me anything else.” After reading Frost’s poetry for the first time at age 26 and teaching his poetry to his students, Vincent said he was intrigued by its bucolic, rustic ways commonly alluded to in “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” In the poem, Frost metaphorically describes traveling on a secluded country road, yearning to stop and to linger with his horse and admire the falling snow, only to be forced to press on with “promises to keep” and “miles to go before I sleep.”

“I never knew such natural beauty could be translated into such effective language that I will never forget,” Vincent said. Frost’s poetry stirred an insatiable desire in Vincent to visit New England for the first time in 1958, a trip that took him to Ripton, Vermont, the village of Frost’s Homer Noble farm. The village blacksmith, Ira Dow, pointed Vincent toward the poet’s homestead. Driving up an unmarked dirt road, Vincent must have thought he was seeing an illusion when he spotted in the distance a stocky man walking on the side of the road, carrying his coat and a load of books under his arm. Vincent slowed his 1951 Mecca maroon Plymouth, which he occasionally drives today, and offered a ride to none other than Robert Frost himself. Mistaking Vincent – who was dressed in a summer suit – for a local professor, Frost accepted Vincent’s invitation of a ride, and the poet was immediately surprised to find himself with a complete stranger. In the brief ride to his farmhouse, Frost, who was 83 at the time, was intrigued enough by Vincent to visit with him for nearly two hours in his mountain cabin located on a rocky ledge perched on the hillside above the Noble farmhouse. The two sat inside Frost’s cabin and quickly learned they both shared a passion for education. Frost had taught students at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire, in 1906, and Vincent, who was 28 at the time of their meeting in 1958, was teaching at Burbank Junior High in Houston. Frost stressed the need to “tune-up” secondary education and shared a desire to endow “special chair awards” to teachers to boost their morale in the classroom. (Never forgetting Frost’s wish, Vincent has donated a Windsor chair to the School of Education at UST in memory of the poet’s admiration for high school teachers.) Vincent said he will never forget the poet’s parting words that afternoon: “These unplanned visits are so much nicer than the ones we plan, aren’t they?”

In succeeding years, Vincent did revisit the poet’s beloved country and became acquainted with such cultural centers and notable scholars as Professor Reginald “Doc” Cook of Middlebury College, John Lancaster of the Robert Frost Library at Amherst College, Daniel Lombardo of the Jones Library, Philip Cronenwett of Dartmouth College, Miss Olive Abbott, historian of Pinkerton Academy, Theodore (Ted) Morrison and Paul Cubeta of the Bread Loaf English School, Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney of Harvard University, Hilda Billings, post mistress of Ripton, Vermont, Clayton Genealogy Center in Houston, PBS Channel 8 at the University of Houston, and Joseph William Pepperrill Frost and the Frost family of Eliot, Maine. So moved by his experience, Vincent later documented the Frost conversation and began a life-

long journey into New England to study the life, the works and the natural imagery of Frost country. This sojourn has spanned 42 years, filling dozens of journals and gathering more than 10,000 photographs of Frost country. An exhibit of Vincent’s collection, including a stone wedge from the “Mending Wall” – Frost’s well-known poem about how “good fences make good neighbors” – was displayed at the UST library over the summer, and Vincent is currently producing a documentary that features verses and images portraying “the four seasons of Robert Frost Country,” as Vincent describes it. His research has revealed important connections between Frost’s abiding interest in metaphor and UST. “The courses that are offered do exactly what Robert says poetry does,” Vincent said, explaining that “poetry begins in delight and ends in wisdom.” The same holds true for knowledge imparted to the students at the University. As a former teacher at Burbank Junior High School, Fonville Middle School, Robert E. Lee High School and Houston Community College, Vincent has learned the importance of scholarships. When he was a student at UST, he took the bus to school, cleaned faculty offices and ran errands for professors to supplement his tuition. “I have been a working student everywhere I have gone to school,” he said, “even in elementary school.” Dr. Robert LeBlanc, dean of the UST School of Education, first met Vincent at a UST alumni function years ago. “We found that we had much in common as teachers, Houstonians, and fans of Robert Frost,” LeBlanc stated. “This philanthropic act acknowledges his love of teaching English, Robert Frost and the University of St. Thomas. I look forward to selecting the first scholarship recipient and introducing him or her to Vince. That connection of former English teacher to beginning English teacher through the scholarship is a meaningful gift to the student and the profession.” While a career in teaching did not make Vincent wealthy, he chose to save his money and invest wisely, enabling him to endow scholarships at UST for students of education, music and communications. “I realize that education is the salvation of a person’s potential,” Vincent said. “I’ve seen too many deserving students without the resources to develop their potential, and I like to help them if I can.” – Heather Saucier ’95

The Robert Frost Chair Award recognizes excellence in teaching. A Windsor chair, a gift from Vincent D’Amico, is housed in perpetuity in the University of St. Thomas School of Education. Vincent wants future teachers to embrace the chair as a place of honor. A plaque will list the names of scholarship recipients. Pictured left: Dr. Robert LeBlanc, dean of the UST School of Education, and Vincent D’Amico.


Newman Circle continues legacy of support for Christian education The members of the Newman Circle no longer wear large fancy hats and white gloves as they did 100 years ago. But their mission remains the same as it did in 1909, when the group was founded: the spiritual education of its members.

“Our gifts to the community are focused on Christian education and providing for the needy,” said Mary Lee Benedict, a granddaughter of one of the founders and Newman Circle president. At the group’s annual Founders luncheon this past March, celebrating its 100th anniversary, a $15,000 check was presented to UST President Dr. Robert Ivany for the Newman Circle Scholarship. Contributions to the fund are made by all 50 members, and the amount of the scholarship has varied from $12,500 to a high of $20,000. The only requirement is that the award go to a woman. Since the 1930s, the scholarship given by Houston’s oldest Catholic women’s organization has taken a number of forms. But after the founding of the University of St. Thomas, a yearly scholarship for young women attending the University has been a top priority. In 1949, a graduate of Incarnate Word Academy received a scholarship to the University of St. Thomas. The Newman Circle’s support also extended to the University’s Nursing School. In 1973, the Circle divided its scholarship gift between the Nursing School and the general scholarship fund. Some of the organizations benefiting from the Circle’s generous support have included St. Anthony’s Home, St. Joseph Hospital, Sisters of the Good Shepherd, the Catholic Truth Society and the Catholic Women’s Club, a home for young working girls. In the 1940s, the Circle began a yearly contribution to the library at the newly formed University of St. Thomas that continues today. Benedict’s grandmother, Hattie Cottingham, was a co-founder of the Newman Circle, at a time when the number of Catholics in Houston was much smaller. The first meeting of the circle was held March 17, 1909, in the home of Mrs. T. J. Anderson of the Church of the Annunciation. 10

Previously membership was limited to 25 and eventually was changed to 50. In the group’s early days, the members read various Catholic authors and reviewed the books under the spiritual direction of a local priest. They also studied the lives of the saints and more recently have discussed topical issues. This past year, speakers came from the Basilian community and discussed medical ethics, new developments in the Church and living a “prepared life.” Meetings are always held in members’ homes, where a Mass is celebrated by the group’s spiritual director. Afterwards, there is time for coffee and conversation. “We are still together, some granddaughters of founders, some daughters or nieces of former members, woven tightly together with a connection

to the past and a hope for the future.” Benedict said. Benedict joined the Newman Circle in 2003 and believes that she is carrying on the traditions of her grandmother, who died when she was a toddler. When a member dies or there is a vacancy, names are nominated by other members and a vote is held. Many of the women met at local parishes, such as St, Anne’s, St. Cecilia’s, St. Vincent de Paul and St. John Vianney, or Catholic schools. Scholarship chair Bridget Long became a member in 1995. She keeps the bank account and collects money for the annual scholarship in a “genteel” manner. “One of the great joys of the organization is that we get to see each other once a month,” Long said. “There is so much loving and caring for one another. Many of us are widowed, and we take care of each other if someone is in the hospital or sick at home.” Having a Mass celebrated in a member’s home by a priest is an honor Long has always appreciated. Both Benedict and Long believe it is important

to hold on to traditions in what Long calls “this hurry up world.” “Meeting in homes is part of the charm and closeness of the group,” Benedict said. “If we were some huge organization and could no longer meet in a home, it would lose something. The tradition hasn’t changed; that’s part of the mystique of it.” Both women were delighted with the anniversary Mass, held at UST’s Chapel of St. Basil. His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo was the celebrant, and the Rev. Robert Barringer, CSB, who serves as the Circle’s Spiritual Director, was the concelebrant. A luncheon followed at the River Oaks Country Club. “The thing that impressed me is that I can well imagine how busy the Cardinal is,” Long said. “But after Mass, he came right on over to the country club, and then when the luncheon was over and it was time to leave, he came around to the tables and talked to each one of us individually. That was great.” – Barbara Karkabi To commemorate their 100th anniversary, nearly 40 members of the Newman Circle marked the milestone with a Mass at the Chapel of St. Basil on the University of St. Thomas campus and a luncheon at the River Oaks Country Club on March 3. His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo was the celebrant, and the Rev. Robert Barringer, CSB, who serves as the Circle’s Spiritual Director, was the concelebrant.



Is This Necessary? Alumnus Anthony Pizzitola ’73, MBA ’82 remembers UST and offers this reflection on Fr. Vincent Guinan, president emeritus and founder of the University. Here is a photograph that he took of Fr. Guinan and an excerpt from “Is This Necessary?”


n the 1970s, most students were aware of an elderly priest walking at a determined pace to and from the Link-Lee Mansion. Those who greeted him received a brief smile and minimal conversation. Being the editor for the 1972 Summa, I inquired about the fast-paced priest and was advised it was Fr. Vincent Guinan, president emeritus and founder of the University of St. Thomas. Being an editor, I should have known who he was, and when I informed others of his identity, they were equally surprised. After several days, I came to the editorial decision to include his title and photo in the Summa. Without an appointment I marched into his office while he was busy writing. I stated that most students were not aware that he founded the University and decided to include his title and photo in the yearbook. He quickly looked up and bellowed, “Is this necessary?” Without hesitation, I said “yes,” and we went onto the second story veranda. These were probably the last photos taken of Fr. Guinan.

Over the decades, the quick exchange never vacated my memory. I had been face-to face with a silent legend, an individual who established a university that continues to educate leaders of faith and character but shunned any recognition for his greatness. His humility can be attributed to his Catholic upbringing. I recently completed a study on Neil Armstrong, a very private person who shunned the national spotlight. His only desire was to be the first test pilot on the moon, not the first man on the moon with the fanfare that followed. I have been in the presence of many giants whose legacies were created either by themselves or the media, and in both cases humility was never in the equation as standing ovations and photo ops were an expectation. So how could a simple priest who appeared so adverse to publicity build a university with a national reputation? This question began my quest for more information 27 years after our initial meeting. Those interviewed agreed that Fr. Guinan was very humble but a master at situational leadership that involved achieving results through others who shared his vision and dedication to duty. A Canadian of Irish descent, he was raised on a farm in Ontario before entering the Basilian order. In 1946, he was sent to Houston to break ground for a Catholic university. So, if recognition was not necessary to Fr. Guinan, what was necessary to this professor of economics? (full story at

Pizzitola received the Writer of the Year award from the Restaurant Facility Management Association. Autograph Magazine published his article, “My Quest for the Autograph of Neil Armstrong.” The Universal Autograph Collectors Club will soon publish “The Neil Armstrong Signature Study,” and FM Magazine in England will publish “What Corporate Facility Managers Can Learn From Restaurant Facility Managers.” Although he had a successful year, Anthony reports that his biggest joy was seeing his daughter, Ariel, graduate cum laude from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C.



Champions Club Supports UST athletics Houston Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak led the lineup as the keynote speaker at the University of St. Thomas Champions Club Benefit Luncheon on May 15. The event drew a crowd of more than 150 and raised more than $70,000 to support UST’s intercollegiate athletics program. In attendance were Oliver Luck, president of the Houston Dynamo; J.J. Moses, former punt returner for the Houston Texans; Kenny Burrough, former wide receiver for the Houston Oilers; Jay Guerrero, regional director of southeast Texas, representing U.S. Senator John Cornyn; UST Board Chair George DeMontrond; UST President Dr. Robert Ivany and Marianne Ivany; and UST Athletic Director and Men’s Basketball Coach Todd Smith. Presenting sponsors were Maureen and Greg Evans, Universal Weather & Aviation. Champions Club benefactors include Harry and Cora Sue Mach, the Hackett Family Foundation, the William and Marie Wise Family Foundation, Drew Wilson ’02, Thomson Reuters, St. Pius X High School and Randy Velarde. Lunch was provided by UST alumnus Johnny Marion Carrabba ’80, owner of Piatto Ristorante. During the luncheon, UST Alumni Association President Frances Escriva and board members presented a check for $500 toward the purchase of a Celts mascot costume. The Celts cheerleading squad led the crowd in a rousing round of cheers. The Champions Club seeks to strengthen the University’s intercollegiate program by enriching the student athlete experience. Club members provide financial support for the intercollegiate athletics program, encourage student athletes and promote community awareness about the University. (more at

Men’s Basketball Returns to Campus Starting from scratch, UST’s Men’s Basketball Coach Todd Smith spent the spring and summer traversing miles and pounding the pavement to recruit the first men’s basketball team at UST in 25 years. Smith’s hard work has paid off. A team of 17 men – a combination of incoming freshman, transfer students and previously enrolled UST students – is eager to take the court for the first time on Oct. 31.

The players come to UST from predominantly Houston area schools; however, students from as far as Humble, Montgomery and Liberty Hill, Texas, and McDonough, Ga., will now call UST home. With the exception of students Ivan Earls, a UST junior, and Cameron Waggett, a UST sophomore, the 15 remaining players are new on campus. “These student-athletes are students, first and foremost,” Smith said. “More than half of the team received academic scholarships because they performed very well in the classrooms in either high school or at the community college level. They were attracted to UST’s reputation for academic excellence and the opportunity to play basketball.” Basketball is the third sport to join UST intercollegiate athletics, which includes women’s Volleyball and Men’s Soccer. The conditioning program began Aug. 25, and official practices start Sept. 26. The first game, against Wiley College, will be held at 7 p.m., Oct. 31, in Jerabeck Athletic Center. (full sports schedule at

2009-2010 Roster 0 Barrett Lauer Montgomery High School 1 Kosi Nwosu Klein Collins High School 3 Jeremy Lewis Strake Jesuit 5 Evan Flance The Woodlands Christian Academy 12 Travis Lampley John H. Reagan High School 13 Melvin Roberts High School/Kingwood College 22 Bryan Kaase Klein Collins High School 23 Johnathan Denning Klein High School 25 Patrick Graves Liberty Hill High School 32 Tommy Hamilton Creation Christian 33 Caleb Williams George HW Bush High School 34 Anthony Medina The Woodlands High School 40 Cameron Waggett Homeschooled 42 Joshua Struble Cy Falls High School 44 Henoc Jean Elkins High School 50 Triston Grounds Jersey Village High School 55 Ivan Earls Pearland High School Head Coach: Todd Smith Assistant Coaches: Mike Ricks and Jason Troth



Professor Sam Havens delivered his ‘farewell’ speech at a retirement party held in May. Havens has taught drama and directed plays since 1969. Though officially retired, the professor emeritus will continue to teach this semester. Born and raised in Beaumont, Texas, Havens received the BS and MS in Speech from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. As a playwright, Havens has released such productions as Hotel Pickel and The Nick of Time Christmas Show, and has written two new plays, The One With Olives and Curves.

Cameron School of Business Dr. Natalya Delcoure presented “Testing for Periodic Integration and Cointegration of the Stock Prices of the G7 Countries,” SOBIE, in April 2009; and “ETFs: Watching the weight,” “Testing for Periodic Integration and Cointegration of the Stock Prices of the G7 Countries,” and “Periodic Integration and Cointegration of the U.S. Stock Prices, Dividends, and Interest Rates: A New Test of the Present Value Model,” SWFA, in February 2009. Communication In January 2009, Professor Nicole Casarez delivered a presentation on the handling and coverage


of high-profile pro bono litigation at the 23rd Annual Law & the Media Seminar at South Texas College of Law, co-sponsored by the Houston Bar Association, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Houston Press Club; and directed the University of Houston Law Center’s Summer Prelaw Institute in June 2009. Education Dr. Rita Coombs Richardson presented “Classroom Interventions for Students with Behavior Disturbances in Inclusive Science Instruction” at the annual conference of the Association for the Science Teacher Education, Hartford, Conn.; Teaching Social Skills in Early Childhood with G. England, Oxford Round Table, Oxford, UK; and “A University

School Partnership to Prepare Special Educators in Culturally/ Linguistically Diverse Schools” at the Annual Conference of the Council for Exceptional Children, Seattle, Wash. Center for Faith and Culture Alumnus Dr. Adam G. Martinez ’86 returns to UST as associate director of the Center for Faith and Culture. In 2001, he worked in the University’s Office of Institutional Advancement as director of major gifts. History Dr. Irving Kelter presented “Ecclesiastes 1:4: The History of a Biblical Passage and the Struggle over Copernicanism,” SouthCentral Renaissance Conference Annual Meeting, Hot Springs, AR, in March 2009; and chaired session

on “Aspects of Renaissance Science,” Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, Calif., March 2009. Philosophy Rev. Anthony E. Giampietro, CSB, presented “The Catholic Intellectual Tradition and the United States of America,” Houston Chapter of Legatus, April 2009; “The Church and Contraception: Why Not Change?” Saint Dominic’s Center, Houston, March 2009; “Whose Justice, Which Rationality? Whose Faith, Whose Values? Why can’t we all just get along?” Saint Anne’s Parish, Houston, March 2009; and “Happiness,

Freedom and Virtue,” Saint Michael’s Parish, Houston, January 2009. Political Science In March, Dr. Jon R. Taylor presented “Crossing the River by Feeling the Stones: Grassroots Democracy with Chinese Characteristics” with Adjunct Political Science Professor Carolina E. Calvillo at the Shanghai International Conference on Grassroots Democracy and Community Governance, sponsored by Shanghai Normal University, and “Choices for Chinese Political Science: Methodological Positivism or Methodological Pluralism?” at the


Roundtable on Political Science and Chinese Political Studies, sponsored by Fudan University’s National Institute of Advanced Study in Social Sciences. Psychology Dr. Elizabeth Maynard delivered a presentation on Compulsive Sexual Activity to the Houston Association of Marriage and Family Therapists with colleague Dr. Jamie Cohen, University of Houston, in June 2009. Theology Sr. Madeleine Grace, CVI, presented “The Contribution of Ambrose of Milan (339-397) to the Development of the Roman Missal” at the Society for Catholic Liturgy Conference at St. Cecilia’s Church, Omaha, Neb. In March 2009, Rev. C.J. Talar presented a lecture on John Henry Newman at St. Thomas University in Canada and “A Passion for Truth: Joseph Turmel” at the American Academy of Religion Southwest Regional Meeting, Dallas, Texas.

PUBLICATIONS Coombs-Richardson, R., Tolson, H., Tse-Yang, H., & Yi-Hsuan, L. “Connecting with others: Teaching social and emotional competence,” Journal of Children and Schools, v.31:2, 2009. Myran, S., & Tonelson, S. “Teaching social and emotional competence in early childhood,” International Journal of Special Education, 2009. Davis, Charles, and Dykman, Charlene. “Managerial Dilemma in CIO Leadership-Part I: Theory and Discussion” and “Managerial Dilemma in CIO Leadership Part II: Case Studies and Implications,” International Journal of Knowledge, Culture, and Change Management, v.9, 2009. Delcoure, Natalya. “Ebanks, A Real Threat to Traditional Banks” with K. Cyree and R. Dickens, Journal of Economics and Finance, v.33:2, April 2009. “Corporate branding and shareholders’ wealth” JOBIE, v.12, Spring 2009. “Financial intermediation in transitional economies: Case study of Russian banks” Journal of Emerging Markets, v.13:3, 2009. “Testing for Periodic

Integration and Cointegration of the Stock Prices of the G7 Countries” with H. Shirvani and B. Wilbratte, Investment Management and Financial Innovations Journal, v.6:1, 2009. Garcia-Contreras, Rogelio. “On what is normal,” Literal, Latin American Voices, v. 16, Spring 2009. Giampietro, CSB, Rev. Anthony E. “Preparation for the Cure,” on Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy, The Normativity of the Natural, Springer Press, 2009. Book review: Ecstatic Morality and Sexual Politics: A Catholic and Antitotalitarian Theory of the Body, by G.J. McAleer, International Philosophical Quarterly, September 2009. Grace, CVI, Madeleine M. “Facing East: Is It a Liturgical Practice Which Needs to Be Revisited Today?” Antiphon 13:3, 2009. “John Ireland and Michael Corrigan: A Varied Mixing of the Old Sod within American Soil,” The Priest, September 2009. Book Reviews: The Restoration of Christian Culture by John Senior. Homiletic and Pastoral Review, June, 2009. Terri’s Story: The Court Ordered Death of an American Woman by

Dianne Lynne. Homiletic and Pastoral Review, March, 2009. Hittinger, John. “Vatican II, Evangelization and Catholic Higher Education,” The Enduring Nature of the Catholic University: Commemorating the Anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s Address to Catholic Educators on April 17, 2008, Manassas, Virginia: The Cardinal Newman Society, 2009. Knasas, John F. X. “Tracey Rowland’s ‘Augustinian Thomist’ Interpretation of Culture,” Angelicum, v.86, 2009. “Thomistic Reflections on Stasys Šalkauskis’ Philosophy of Culture,” SOTER (Journal of the Faculty of Theology, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania), v.29, 2009. “Tolerance and the Indelibility of Natural Law,” Nova et Vetera, v.7, 2009. Koehn, Daryl. “Dignity in Western vs. in Chinese Cultures: Theoretical Overview and Practical Illustrations,” coauthored with Alicia Leung, Business and Society Review, v.113:4, Winter 2008. “Relationships between Director Profile & Restatements of Suspect

Earnings,” co-authored with Joe Ueng, Journal of Business & Economics Research, v.7, no.5, May 2009. “Is Philanthropy Being Used by Corporate Wrongdoers to Buy Good Will?” co-authored with Joe Ueng, Journal of Management and Governance, Springer online: March 21, 2009, print: Summer 2009. Savino, FSE, Sr. Damien Marie. “Atheistic Science: The Only Option?” Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, v.12:4, 2009. Talar, Charles J. Chapter on Marcel Hébert’s work on Pragmatism in The Reception of Pragmatism in France and the Rise of Roman Catholic Modernism, 1890-1914, ed. David G. Schultenover, Catholic University of America Press, 2009. Turner, Mark. “Tax Consequences for Buying and Selling Property with a Burdensome Lease,” with co-authors Larry Maples and Beth Howard, Journal of Accountancy, April 2009. “Limitations on the Federal Tax Levy are Limited,” with co-author Ramon Fernandez, Taxes, The Tax Magazine, July 2009. 15


Join the Hoopla at Homecoming 2010! With the return of varsity basketball, the University community will celebrate Homecoming on Feb. 5-6, 2010! Join the Hoopla and reconnect with alumni, faculty, staff and friends. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2010 6:00 p.m.

Mass (Chapel of St. Basil)

7:00 p.m.

President’s Reception (Link-Lee Mansion)

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2010 President’s Day of Service Community service opportunities on campus 2:00 p.m.

2:30 p.m.


Homecoming Festival (Campus Life Mall) Food, music, kids games, entertainment, alumni tents for class decades, a spirit tent and more! Women’s Volleyball: Alumni vs. Students (Jerabeck Gym)

3:30 p.m.

Men’s Soccer: Alumni vs. Students (Hackett Field)

6:00 p.m.

Homecoming Game – Men’s Basketball Southwestern Assemblies of God University vs. University of St. Thomas

8:30 p.m.

Alumni After-Party Gather with alumni at The Tavern on Gray, 1340 W. Gray, to celebrate the first homecoming varsity basketball game in 25 years.

1969 Dr. John Rains Kelly retired from ExxonMobil, effective August 1, 2009, after nearly 36 years of service. John will begin teaching a course in public policy at Rice University in the fall of 2009. Kathryn (Goetz) Ridley and Joe Ridley announce the birth of their new granddaughter, Lindsey Katherine. She was born on May 28, 2009, in Huntsville, Ala., and weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces. Lindsey Katherine makes three grandchildren joining her

two cousins, Shaye, 4, and Sean, 2, who live in Golden, Colo. 1994 Trey DeNina and Whitney Shelden were married on March 29, 2008, at The Hotel Valencia in San Antonio, Texas. 1995 John Bloomer, MBA, recently joined Dallas law firm Curran Tomko Tarski, L.L.P. in the Real Estate & Finance Section. Bloomer’s practice focuses on commercial real estate transactions. For more

than 10 years, he has worked with owners nationwide regarding acquisition, development, leasing, financing, operation and management of all kinds of real estate, ranging from raw land to luxury apartments, senior living centers and shopping centers. He has also represented banks and other financial institutions regarding multi-million dollar real estate transactions.




Elizabeth (Grimes) Mask and Jerry Mask announce the birth of their daughter, Julia Christine Mask. She was born on Oct. 3, 2008, in Houston and weighed 8 pounds. She joins her sister, Laura Isabel, born on Sept. 19, 2006.

Michael Wells and Alicia (Macken) Wells were married on August 18, 2007, in St. Charles Borromeo Church, Albuquerque, N.M. They currently reside in Littleton, Colo.

Kia Wissmiller and Curt Wissmiller ’07 celebrated the arrival of their first child on July 27, 2009. Nickson Curt Wissmiller weighed in at 4 pounds, 8 ounces and was 17.3 inches long. 2001 Claire Mulcare recently accepted a position as an Operations Research and Systems Analyst (ORSA) with United States Air Force Occupational Measurement Squadron at Randolph AFB, Texas. This promotion from the ORSA position at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., brings her closer to family and friends.

2006 Anna Salinas received an MBA in Finance/Energy from Rice University on May 9, 2009. 2007 Maria Tuyet Phuong Le and Quyen Nguyen were married on May 2, 2009, at the Vietnamese Martyrs Church and had a reception at Kim Son in downtown Houston. Anna Le ’05, and Jennifer Rodriguez ’06 were bridesmaids. After graduating from UST with a BBA/MBA in accounting, Maria moved to Phoenix, Ariz., to work as a revenue agent with the Internal Revenue Service. She is in the process of becoming a special agent in the Criminal Investigations Division within the IRS.

She is on the board of directors for the National Association of Asian American Professionals in Phoenix, and is the founding Phoenix Chapter President for ASPIRE (Asian Pacific Internal Revenue Employees), an employee organization established to support the missions of the IRS and help to foster opportunities for professional development and growth for Asian American IRS employees. She is the proud mom of two beautiful girls, Mary and Madeleine. Amanda (Burkitt) Mandola and Mike Mandola were married on August 23, 2008, in the Chapel of St. Basil. The reception was held at the Rice Faculty Club. Fatima Hernandez ’07 was a bridesmaid and Jeniffer Lemus ’07 attended. The Mandolas reside in Houston.

Become a Class Agent The Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Office of Alumni Relations invite you to become a University of St. Thomas Class Agent. Each class agent will work as a liaison between alumni and the University and serve as a UST ambassador to the greater community. Agents will help promote Homecoming 2010 and help increase alumni engagement with UST through communication, involvement, fundraising and recruitment. To learn about the class agents program and view the complete list of agent responsibilities, visit, or contact Hank Emery, director of alumni relations and annual giving, at 713-525-3111 or Drew Wilson ’02 is the class agents chair, and the co-chair is David Durham ’99. Mandy Luna ’04 is the decade chair for the classes of the 2000s. Chairs Drew Wilson ’02 David Durham ’99 Decade Chair Mandy Luna ’04 Class Agents Betty Fischer ’52 Burney Hebinck ’55 Garland Pohl ’60 Nancy Allen ’64 Mary Ann Slaughter ’67 Ed Winkler ’67 Elsie Biron ’69 Kathy Ridley ’69 Rebecca LeBlanc ’70 Cindy Garcia ’76 Laura Smith ’85 Angelito Llamas ’88 Eva Riojas ’88 Tri Nguyen ‘90 Michelle Ramirez ’90 Freddy Sanches ’93

Lee Holm ’95 Grace Follis ’97 Marty Thompson ’99 James Clooney ’99 Miriam Elizabeth Garcia ’00 Cody Patel ’00 Daniel Elustondo ’00 Natasha Sadeghian de la Garza ’00 Jared LeBlanc ’01 Daniel Garcia ’01 Aaron Stryk ’01 Leslie Barrera ’02 Judy Chang ’03 Sybil Monciváis-Sánchez ’03 Angelica Coronado ’04 Erica Trivette ’05 Kristen Aaron ’05 Douglas M. Mutavi ’06 Norma Lee Coronado ’07 Katherine Goodman ’07 Erin McClarity ’07 Irene Vasquez ’08 Cristina Zea La Rochelle ’08 Kat Hulbert ’09



UST travels to San Antonio and Austin The offices of Alumni Relations and Admissions, along with President Dr. Robert Ivany and Director of Athletics Todd Smith, traveled to San Antonio and Austin in March to connect with alumni and share recruiting opportunities. UST alumni, prospective students and area Catholic school principals attended dinner at the Menger Hotel and enjoyed a private tour of the Alamo. Special thanks to Adele and Steve Dufilho ’66/’66 for sponsoring the alumni reception and David Stewart ’61 for arranging the private tour of the Alamo. The next day in Austin, UST alumni and Diocese of Austin Catholic school principals attended a reception at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, Story of Texas Café. The University thanks Don Carlton ’58 for underwriting the event. “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” More than 200 alumni and friends gathered to root for the home team during one of the three Alumni Nights at the Astros games in Minute Maid Park. This year, alumni could choose 18

their seats online, and tickets were nearly half-price for the games on June 26, July 11, and Aug. 8. Guests attended a free pre-game hot dog reception at FiveSeven Patio at the last two games. Alumni Social Hours Scheduled for Fall The monthly Alumni Social Hour will be held on Wednesdays from 6 to 8 pm: •Sept. 30 – So Vino Bistro & Wine Bar, 507 Westheimer (sponsored by the Alumni Association) • Oct. 28 – Czech Center Museum Houston, 4920 San Jacinto (sponsored by Rev. Paul Chovanec/ Czech Center Museum) • Nov. 25 – LaStrada Restaurant, 322 Westheimer (sponsored by LaStrada)

Alumni Form St. Martin de Porres Society The University of St. Thomas St. Martin de Porres Society is a group of alumni who are dedicated to maximizing African-American alumni participation in the affairs of the University and supporting recruitment, retention, development and graduation of current and prospective AfricanAmerican students. The new alumni group aims to help students feel a sense of connection to the campus and pride in their alma mater. Thirty-five alumni attended an organizational meeting in June. A mixer will be held on Oct. 9 from 5 to 7 pm at Maria Selma Restaurant, 1617 Richmond, and a feast day celebration is

planned for Nov. 7 on campus, honoring the life of St. Martin de Porres, with a Caribbean theme. Both events are open to all alumni. Contact Ryane Jackson, assistant director of annual giving, at 713-525-2147 or Register at Celtic Connection Online Search for friends and make new connections with the Celtic

Connection Online Community. Membership is free and exclusive to UST alumni only. The Celtic Connection is a great way to update your contact information, post a classnote about your recent personal news and search for other alumni. (“Register Now” at


OPPOSITE PAGE: • UST alumni and friends connected in San Antonio in March. • At St. Martin de Porres Society meeting in June, UST President Dr. Robert Ivany visited with members: UST Board Member A. Martin Wickliff, Jr. ’70 and Larry Payne ’72, president. THIS PAGE: • Alumna Theresa Heard ’08 and family enjoyed Alumni Night at the Astros at Minute Maid Park in July. • USTinsights mentors and students celebrated mentor relationships during their meeting in April.

Mentoring Program Completes Fifth Year During the fifth year of the USTinsights Alumni Mentoring Students program this spring, the offices of Alumni Relations and Career Services paired 25 undergraduate and graduate students in their final year of class with 24 alumni mentors, who provided resume assistance, career advice

and job search tips. Students and alumni met during three on-campus meetings and two networking socials to share their experiences as the students worked toward their career goals. Alumni Association President Frances Escriva addressed the final meeting on April 27, 2009, where everyone celebrated the mentor relationships, and

participants shared stories and successes from their experiences during dinner. Applications for the next cohort of mentors will be accepted beginning in November. Contact Brenda Cooper, assistant director of alumni relations, at 713-942-3407.

Fashion Show Moves to Spring The fifth annual Alumni Association Fashion Event and Luncheon will be held on April 29, 2010, at the River Oaks Country Club, with fashions provided by Neiman Marcus-Galleria. Katie Earthman Cullen, UST alumna, will chair the event, and alumnae honorees include Saba Abashawl ’90, Greggory

Fields Burk ’02, Robin T. Klaes ’84 and Sandra Pezzetta ’84. UST parent and friend Betsy Earthman will be honored in memoriam. Table sponsorships and raffle tickets will benefit the Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship Fund. Contact Abigail Showalter, assistant director of advancement projects, at 713-525-3173 or 19


Deacon Richard Glor died on July 13, 2009. Glor first came to St.

Kimber Lea Harrell, sister of Desiree Posey, admissions records coordinator, died on February 19, 2009. Dolores Lamb ’53, died in Houston on August 6, 2009. Massimo Albert Massoud, age 6, son of Heather Massoud ’93 died on February 13, 2009.

Thomas in 1986 and served in Institutional Advancement. He returned in 1990 as assistant registrar, then academic programs auditor. Eventually becoming registrar, he later simultaneously served as international student advisor. In 2000, the University bestowed the honorary title of registrar emeritus on Glor, who continued to serve as international student advisor and as chair of the graduation committee until his retirement on 2002. Grace Carter, the mother of Deborah Carter Churm ’81, died Feb. 1, 2009. Dr. Loren E. Davis, father of Dr. Charles Davis, professor of management, died on July 26, 2009.


Thuan B. Nguyen, mother of Ly U. Phan, psychology instructor, died on April 5, 2009. Peter Anthony “Tony” Odem, brother of Dudley “Boo” Odem ’54, died May 9, 2009. Gilma O’Rourke died on July 23, 2009. She is survived by her husband, Ed O’Rourke, who was a Basilian seminarian at UST in the late 1960s, and her brother-in-law, Terence O’Rourke, an adjunct professor of international law and human rights in the Center for International Studies.

May 8, 2009. Sosa taught at UST from 2000 through 2003. Charles Morgan Stamey, husband of Mary “Liz” Fenn Stamey ’55, died on March 19, 2009. Dale Stewart, library assistant, died in April 2009. Karen Stockton, mother of Dr. Hans Stockton, associate professor, Center for International Studies, died on April 27, 2009.

from 1968 to 2008, Zambosco-Thomas taught Spanish, Spanish and Latin American Literature, creative writing, Hispanic theater and Hispanic cinema, and served as the director of the Women, Culture and Society Program.

University benefactor Theodore Tusa, Jr., MD., died on July 31, 2009. Iris Paine Webre, a longtime friend and donor of the University, died on April 26, 2009. She was

the spouse of Mr. Lloyd Webre, Sr., who served on the University’s board of directors from 1974 through 1984 and as chair from 1982 until 1984. The

Elsa Zambosco-Thomas died on April 1, 2009. A member of the University of St. Thomas faculty

Dr. Gustavo Wensjoe, director of the UST Center for International Studies, along with his nine-month-old son, Julian, died on March 19,

Nicoletta Terracina, mother of Joe Terracina’54, died on May 20, 2009.

Maria I. Perez, mother of Cruz Perez, Facilities Operations, died on July 13, 2009. Dr. Manuel Sosa, a former adjunct professor in the Modern and Classical Languages Department, died on

Webre family established the Lloyd P. Webre Chair in Education in honor of Mr. Webre, among many gifts to the University. Mrs. Webre received an honorary degree in 2004.

in Santa Clara, Peru. Wensjoe was on sabbatical and had traveled with his family to his native Peru to oversee operations on a school, Colegio 1270 San Juan Bautista, in the Huyacán district of Lima. In 2004, Wensjoe created the Peruvian Education Project (PEP) with the help of fellow UST faculty, students and friends. PEP seeks to provide better educational opportunities in Lima. Wensjoe served on the UST faculty since 1994 and as the director of the Center for International Studies since 2005.


Rev. Frank Bredeweg, CSB, former president of the University of St. Thomas, died peacefully on April 10, 2009, at age 81. Fr. Bredeweg became acting president on August 1, 1985, was named the fifth University president on January 15, 1986, and served until June 1988. Fr. Bredeweg was born January 13, 1928. He had a career as a certified public accountant before discerning his priestly vocation and exchanged the business world for the Basilian seminary in 1959 at the age of 31. Ordained in December of 1964, he arrived the following year from the University of Toronto to serve the University of St. Thomas in Houston for four years as treasurer and controller. During the 1970s and early 1980s, he consulted with Catholic universities throughout the United States and Canada as a financial planner and manager. He served as the director of the Basilian

Center for Financial Management and the director of special projects for the National Catholic Education Association. During the economic downturn of the 1980s, Fr. Bredeweg’s presidency was dominated by financial pressures. He was charged with making difficult decisions and employed his business acumen to help improve the financial condition and refocus the University’s operations. On a lighter note, George Sweeny, UST Board of Directors chairman of the 1985 presidential search committee, remarked at the time, “He sure plays a mean piano.” Fr. Ted Baenziger, CSB, met Fr. Bredeweg during his post in Washington D.C. with the National Education Association. Fr. Baenziger recalled Fr. Bredeweg, a fellow Detroit native, for his hospitality. “Fr. Bredeweg was well liked, always gracious and had an incredible memory for names. If he met you, he knew you. He was an excellent musician, and he could play every show tune by heart.”

Rev. Victor Brezik, CSB, died on June 16, 2009, at the age of 96. Fr. Brezik, joined the UST faculty in 1954. In addition to his many contributions to the University, Fr. Brezik cofounded the University’s Center for Thomistic Studies. In 1975 Fr. Brezik teamed up with Houston Philanthropist Hugh Roy Marshall, ’74, to renew interest in the teachings of the medieval philosopher Thomas Aquinas. Born in Hallettsville, Texas, on May 2, 1913, Fr. Brezik attended St. Thomas High School in Houston and graduated in the class of 1931. He went on to join the Basilian order in 1932 and was ordained a priest in 1940. He studied in Toronto and received his Licentiate in Mediaeval Studies in 1943 at the Pontifical Institute, center of the North American Renaissance in Thomistic philosophy, and his doctorate in 1944.

He was named Basilian Superior in 1955. He served as a professor of philosophy from 1954 to 1986, and his service to the University continued until his resignation from the board of directors in 2005. He served on the board for 24 years, from 1969-1979, and from 1992 to 2005. UST bestowed on Fr. Brezik an honorary doctorate in 1989. Fr. Brezik and Marshall were honored with the Order of St. Thomas Award at the 2008 St. Thomas Aquinas Lecture, held on Jan. 31. The award is presented to persons who have testified to the value of the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas in their writings, teachings, philanthropy and way of life. The Reverend Victor Brezik, CSB, Endowed Scholarship for graduate students in philosophy at the Center for Thomistic Studies was established on March 26, 1999, by the Basilian Fathers of Toronto. The

scholarship/fellowship is awarded to students at University of St. Thomas who are accepted for regular admission into the graduate program of the Center for Thomistic Studies and who meet all scholarship academic requirements. Fr. Patrick Braden, CSB, and Fr. Brezik both joined the UST faculty in 1954. “Serving on the board of directors for many years, Fr. Brezik provided the University with wise counsel in a variety of areas,” Fr. Braden said. “His writings in philosophy and his sermons have been an inspiration to many of us.”


Educating Leaders of Faith and Character 3800 Montrose Boulevard • Houston, Texas 77006-4626

Board of Directors

Vision 2010 Executive Cabinet

George A. DeMontrond III, Chair DeMontrond Automotive Group

Bruce Earthman Earthman Capital, LTD

Rev. Joseph Pilsner, CSB University of St. Thomas

Michele Malloy, Vice Chair Marathon Oil Company

Dr. Herbert P. Edmundson, Jr. Memorial Neurological Association

Kim Ruth Bank of America

Dr. Robert Ivany, President University of St. Thomas

Frances Escriva Mid-South Telecommunications Co.

Rev. Ronald G. Schwenzer, CSB St. Thomas High School

Cecilia Abbott Harden Healthcare

George Farris Private Investor

Robert J. Signorelli Retired, Anheuser Busch, Inc.

Minnie Baird Community Volunteer

Michael P. Fleming Michael P. Fleming, PC

Dr. Guillermo Torre-Amione Methodist DeBakey Cardiology Associates

Rev. Robert J. Barringer, CSB University of St. Thomas

Rev. Anthony Giampietro, CSB University of St. Thomas

Rev. Patrick Braden, CSB University of St. Thomas

Maureen Hackett Community Volunteer

J. Downey Bridgwater Sterling Bank

John E. Hagale The Methodist Hospital System

Rev. Brendan J. Cahill St. Mary’s Seminary

David Harvey, Jr. D.E. Harvey Builders

Dr. Dorothy E.F. Caram Retired, Administrator/Educator

Paul Layne Brookfield Properties

Sr. Mary Roberta Connors, FSE University of St. Thomas

Raymond A. LeBlanc Retired, Keystone International

Michael Cordúa Cordúa Restaurants, LP

Dr. Sandi Lemming Village Family Practice

Rev. Robert W. Crooker, CSB University of St. Thomas

Cora Sue Mach Mach Industrial Group

His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Phyllis Mandola Tony Mandola Enterprises

Randy E. Velarde The Plaza Group Don Wang Metro Bank Dr. Kenneth Wells Allied Health Resources Raye White Fayez Sarofim & Co. A. Martin Wickliff, Jr. Epstein Becker Green Wickliff & Hall, PC Bruce Wilkinson Retired, McDermott International, Inc. Fred Zeidman Corporate Strategies, Inc.

Elizabeth Lyons Ghrist, Chair Dr. Robert Ivany, President Gerardo Chapa Michael Cordúa George DeMontrond III Marjorie E. Evans Madelyn Farris Joseph A. Hafner, Jr. Raymond A. LeBlanc Patrick Moran Gloria M. Portela Bill Slick Trini Mendenhall Sosa Tom Standish Charlie Thomas Raye White Honorary Committee

Joan and Stanford Alexander The Honorable Bill and Mrs. Sharon Archer Ginger and Jack Blanton His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo Most Reverend Joseph Fiorenza Maureen and Jim Hackett Barbara and Charles Hurwitz Bette and Leo Linbeck, Jr. Meredith and Cornelia Long Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, CSB Cynthia and George Mitchell Annette and George W. Strake, Jr. Ellie and Jack Sweeney Bishop James Tamayo Lynda and David Underwood In Memoriam Mrs. Lloyd P. Webre

UST MagFall2009  

University of St. Thomas Magazine Houston, Texas