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Building a Performing Arts Center


Daniel Stoecker ’80 BA, International Studies Daniel Stoecker graduated from the University of St. Thomas as one of the first international studies majors. He spent more than 20 years working in the corporate world and running his own businesses. He worked in London for Sir Richard Branson at Virgin Records and later started his own film and publishing companies. He survived mergers and acquisitions of the telecommunications and media industries and worked with Fortune 50, INC. 100, small businesses and start-up companies. But in 2004 Stoecker decided he wanted to do something different in pursuit of volunteer work and community leadership. It was Hurricane Katrina that took him on a different path to disaster relief and working with the Vietnamese community. Among the evacuees were 40,000 Asian immigrants, many of whom had come to the United States as refugees. He discovered Boat People SOS (BPSOS), a national Vietnamese American community organization, and requested to be assigned as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer. Stoecker returned to Houston and became a founding member of the Houston Long-term Recovery Committee, an inter-agency group formed to talk about how the city would address long-term recovery efforts. He worked with the United Way, City of Houston, mayor’s office and the local Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). He spent six years with BPSOS in Houston and the Washington, D.C. area, working his way up from VISTA volunteer to becoming the organization’s chief operating officer and then deputy executive

director. Stoecker said it was an honor as someone who is not Vietnamese to hold the position. Stoecker has served for the past three years as chairman for the City of Houston Annual Citizenship Week, a program he founded while serving as chairman for the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. He also served for three years as president of the Houston United Nations Association, a partnership program with the Center for International Studies. Building on his success in community organizing and disaster recovery, Stoecker joined the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster as executive director in January. National VOAD builds collaborations between national faith-based and community-based organizations, regional VOADs, corporate partners and Federal Government agency partners that prepare for and respond to the recovery needs of America’s communities in times of disasters. “I was engaged in all these business activities and making money but not really feeling whole until I came back around and started working in areas of service,” he said. “Now, I find more satisfaction and realize I can make a bigger difference there than I could in other ways.” What St. Thomas has meant to Daniel

Stoecker was drawn to St. Thomas out of a desire to serve others. At first studying at St. Mary’s Seminary, he switched to the main campus to pursue international studies. He served as chair of the student senate and president of the student body. “I stayed because I strongly believed in the philosophy of Catholic education, and its commitment to social values,” Stoecker said. “I was excited about Dr. Ann Tiller starting the International Studies program, and, as a student, I was part of the team that helped develop the program. I loved the ability to have small classes and talk to the professors. It was so intellectually stimulating for me.” – Brenda B. Cooper ’05, MBA ’09




6 Mardi Gras 2012 honors the Most Rev. J. Michael Miller

Chaired by Kelli Kickerillo ’04 and Phyllis Mandola, the 62nd Annual Mardi Gras Gala raises $1 million for scholarships and honors Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB.


UST’s new Performing Arts Center will benefit all students who wish to include the performing arts in their liberal arts education and Houston’s arts community as well. See page 11.

8 Center Pioneers International Studies in Higher Education

An anniversary reception celebrated three decades of excellence in education and service for the University of St. Thomas Center for International Studies. 10 Marissa Sears Finds Her Voice in Music and Theology

Music major Marissa Sears says she chose to study at St. Thomas because the support of faculty and the friendliness of fellow students were qualities not found in other music school settings.

EDITORS Marionette Mitchell Director of Publications Sandra Soliz, MLA ’01 Director of Communications and Marketing CONTRIBUTORS Brenda B. Cooper ’05, MBA ’09 Stephanie Dedeaux ’96 Hank Emery Samantha Knowles ’13 Ronnie Piper Chris Zeglin

11 University of St. Thomas Unveils Plans for a New Performing Arts Center

The University unveils plans for a Performing Arts Center to provide optimal opportunities for students to refine their talents and to have a more effective presence in the community. 15 Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson Leads Anglican Groups to Catholicism

Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson believes his work could provide a homecoming for many clergy, individuals and communities from the Anglican church entering the Roman Catholic Church.


2 On the Mall

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). 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.

Longtime Friend and Benefactor Raye White Pledges Major Gifts to the University • Science Advisory Council Hosts Lunch with Former Secretary of State James Baker III • University’s Off-campus Master of Education Students Celebrate Graduation • Sr. Deirdre Mary Byrne Addresses 62nd Commencement Ceremony • UST/Archdiocese Announce Essay Contest Winners • Link Lee Celebrates 100 years 18 Faculty and Staff

UST highlights scholarly activity, presentations and publications. 20 Classnotes

Share your stories with alumni and friends. 21 Alumni Chronicles

Copyright 2012 by the University of St. Thomas 3800 Montrose Boulevard • Houston, Texas 77006 713-525-3120 •

Family Honors the Memory of Colonel Robert V. Hebinck, USAF, ’62 23 Athletics

Men’s Basketball Finishes First Winning Season 24 Honorary and Memorial Gifts

Special occasions and loved ones are honored and remembered. 25 In Memoriam

UST remembers family and friends.


Longtime Friend and Benefactor Raye White Pledges Major Gifts to the University

Raye White is serving in her fourth term as a member of the UST Board of Directors. She also serves as a vice chair on the Capital Campaign Cabinet.

A generous $2.5 million commitment from University of St. Thomas supporter Raye White will establish the Raye G. White Endowed Scholarship to help deserving students receive a St. Thomas education. Additionally, a $1 million gift from White to the University’s Center for Faith and Culture will support its mission to form community leaders who understand and affect the relationship between our Catholic faith and American culture. When fully funded, the Raye White Scholars program will support an annual cohort of about 11 recipients, who will each benefit from a $2,500 annual scholarship, with 40-45 students holding the scholarship at any one time. The University will begin awarding the scholarships in the 2012-2013 academic year. The Raye White Scholars will be new or returning undergraduate and graduate students who have been accepted for full-time, regular admission.

The recipients will have demonstrated academic excellence, leadership skills and a commitment to their faith. In addition to maintaining academic scholarship requirements, the scholars will perform 15 hours of community service annually, including a community service project designed by the cohort to benefit UST and the Greater Houston community. “Raye White possesses the quiet strength, elegant dignity and warm generosity that inspires all of us,” UST President Dr. Robert Ivany said. “We hope that many generations of Raye White Scholars at the University of St. Thomas will have the opportunity to emulate her faith in God, integrity and professionalism.” The Rev. Donald Nesti, CSSp, director of the Center for Faith and Culture and professor of theology, said White’s gift to the Center is an affirmation of its contribution to the life of the University and its service to the civic community. “Her gift provides us with a wonderful incentive as we move into the next phase of realizing our mission in forming faithful citizens who integrate Catholic faith with our American culture,” he said. “We are grateful to Mrs. White for her support.” The gift from White follows donations from other generous supporters that allowed the Center for Faith and Culture to raise nearly $120,000 at the

Science Council hosts Lunch with Former Secretary of State James Baker III

UST President Dr. Robert Ivany, Capital Campaign Vice Chair David McClanahan, Former Secretary of State James Baker III and Capital Campaign Chair David Harvey.


Members of the University of St. Thomas Science Advisory Council (SAC) hosted a unique opportunity to attend a private lunch on campus with former Secretary of State James Baker III. Baker spoke on economics, politics and world affairs, and engaged in discussions regarding opportunities in Houston and Texas. About 40 CEOs and top level executives from corporations in Houston were in attendance. Regarding the University’s goal of enhancing the workforce, Baker noted the important job that the University is doing in educating Houston’s future workforce.


inaugural Faithful Citizenship Dinner and Lecture held in October 2011. White is the executive vice president and a director at Fayez Sarofim & Co. She is serving in her fourth term as a member of the UST Board of Directors, having served on the board from 1992 to 1998 and since 2007. White also serves as a vice chair of the Capital Campaign Cabinet.

University’s Off-campus Master of Education Students Celebrate Graduation The first group of 139 students in the University’s off-campus Master of Education program celebrated their graduation on Dec. 16. The program began in fall 2009 with cohorts in the Aldine and Cy-Fair independent school districts numbering 188 students. The University’s Master of Education curriculum is taught by the University’s faculty members at 14 different sites in the Greater Houston area, serving about 900 students in the program in a variety of suburban school districts. Students can study concentrations in bilingual/dual education, counseling, curriculum and instruction, educational diagnostician, educational leadership, reading and special education. The courses are taught in a seven-week compressed track program, with two courses offered each semester. Students attend a faceto-face class each week and then complete

Dr. Deborah Masterson, visiting assistant professor of education, with Melanie Leavens, Kayce Warden and Kristen Leins at the Cypress Ridge High School campus.

online assignments as part of a blended program. Dr. Nora Hutto, dean of the School of Education, said the seven-week format is becoming more common at universities. “It really allows the students to focus on the learning concepts in each course,” Hutto said. “In the traditional program, students take two regular classes at the same time over 16 weeks. In the off-campus program, students are completing one course in seven weeks and focusing on the key concepts.” “Rather than having multiple mid-terms, major projects, research papers and finals all happening at the same time, the compressed track courses equally split the course loads,” said Kayce Warden, one of the graduates who took classes at Cypress Ridge High School. “As a teacher and a mom, not having to worry about this has been a huge help and relief.” UST is expanding the off-campus master’s courses with new cohorts in Alvin/Texas City, Galena Park and Pasadena school districts.

Commencement Speaker Shares “Living God’s Plan” with 2012 Graduates Sr. Deirdre Mary Byrne, POSC, will address the 2012 graduating class at the University’s 62nd Commencement Ceremony on May 12 at Reliant Arena. U.S. Army colonel, doctor and sister of the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts, Sr. Byrne is a graduate of Georgetown University Medical School. She trained in Family Practice at the U.S. Army hospital at Fort Belvoir, followed by a general surgery internship and a residence at Georgetown University Hospital. She has served the U.S. Army in Egypt and Korea. Sr. Byrne integrates the roles of colonel, doctor and sister into a life of prayer, service, healing and compassion as she follows her calling from a young age: to serve God and heal the poor. In 2001, after caring for the wounded on Sept. 11,

Graduates celebrate Baccalaureate Mass at 6:30 p.m., on Friday, May 11 at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 1111 Saint Joseph Pkwy.



she discovered the religious community she was searching for, the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts. She established the Medical Missionary branch of the order in 2002 and made her first vows in 2004. During commencement, which celebrates the achievements of 323 undergraduates and 747 graduate students, Sr. Byrne will speak about “Living God’s Plan” and how she came to know her calling while serving as a surgeon in the U.S. Army. Sr. Byrne and the Rev. Robert Crooker, CSB, will receive honorary doctorates at the commencement ceremony. Father Crooker serves on the UST Board of Directors. He joined the theology faculty in 1980 and was Vice President of Finance from 1984 to 1986. He maintains an

office in the Link Lee Mansion, continuing to work for the University. Alumna Frances Escriva will receive the Vincent J. Guinan Distinguished Alumni Award. She earned a bachelor of arts in political science in 1978 and a master of business administration in 2000. Escriva served as president of the University’s Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2008 to 2010. She is a member of the Student Affairs Committee of the UST Board of Directors. Escriva is Chief Financial Officer for Mid-South Telecommunications Company. Student commencement speakers Nicole Hickl and Priyam Shah are both communication majors. They will address the Class of 2012, delivering the topic “Moment for Life.” ■

University of St. Thomas/Archdiocesan Essay Contest Receives Record Entries

This young author shakes hands with Cardinal DiNardo, pictured here with Elsie Biron, UST director of Catholic Outreach. This year’s contest received the highest number of essays, and more Catholic schools participated than ever before.


Students from Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston entered 4,705 essays into the eighth annual University of St. Thomas/Archdiocesan Essay Contest. Schools selected the finalists to submit to the University of St. Thomas, and the essays from each grade level were read and ranked by 22 UST faculty and staff members, who chose 656 winners. Students, parents and teachers attended the awards ceremony on Feb. 3 at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. More than 500 people from 47 schools attended the events, which included a prayer service led by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, the Archbishop of GalvestonHouston, and a reception at the Cathedral Centre. Students from 3rd through 12th grades wrote essays on topics such as their relationship with God in light of how Facebook has changed friendships, the greatest lesson they ever learned, people who exemplify ‘Faith in Practice,’ Christ’s call to serve others, the difference between faith and belief, and the student’s experience of faith, academics and service. The University offered $1,000 scholarships to first place high school winners who enroll at UST after graduation. The scholarship winners were ninth-grader Lauren Badger of Incarnate Word Academy; 10thgraders Eugenia Markantonis of St. Pius X High School and Isabel Sutter of St. Agnes Academy; 11th-grader Julia Voltz of Incarnate Word Academy; and 12thgraders Andiede Tranaltes of St. Agnes Academy and Samantha Holt of St. Pius X High School. “This contest is an opportunity for students to personally reflect on the meaning of their Catholic education,” said Elsie Biron, director of Catholic Outreach. ■


Link Lee Celebrates 100 years

Soon after completion in 1912, the Link Lee Mansion gained recognition as an important architectural and cultural resource for the city of Houston. Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on Sept. 11, 2000, the structure was “nominated at the local level of significance under Criterion C in the area of Architecture, for its design and association with the architectural firm of Sanguinet and Staats, and under Criterion A, in the area of Community Planning and Development, for the role it played in the development of the Montrose Addition.” Built by John W. Link, the approximate cost of the house was $60,000. At more than 10,000 square feet, it was the largest private home in Houston at the time. The financier, lawyer and former mayor of Orange moved to Houston in 1910 and formed the Houston Land Corporation, which led to the development of the Montrose Addition. The Links lived in the house until 1916, when Houston oil man T.P. Lee purchased it for $90,000,

reported to be the most ever paid for a single family dwelling in the Houston area up to that time. After Lee’s death in 1936, his home remained in the possession of his family. In June 1946, the T.P. Lee home at 3812 Montrose was purchased as the site of the University of St. Thomas at a cost of $120,000. On campus the first year, the library, registrar’s office, and student reading room were located on the first floor. The second floor held the Chapel in a very small room, the offices of the President, Father Vincent J. Guinan, CSB, and the Dean of Women, Dr. Grace M. Hennigan, the women’s lounge, and other rooms used for offices and classes. Women’s physical education classes and student dances took place in a former ballroom on the third floor. The carriage house provided space for a cafeteria downstairs and offices upstairs. The cafeteria was a favorite gathering place for the students, as was the covered walkway leading from the main building to the science building. Father Lynch, an avid gardener adorned the campus with beautiful rose gardens. ■

Upon completion, the home stood at 10,500 square feet of living space, with a basement; a living room, formal dining room, breakfast room, conservatory (music room), study, butler’s pantry and kitchen on the first floor; five bedroom suites on the second floor; and a ballroom with its own kitchen, bathroom and a platform for a small band on the third floor.


Mardi Gras 2012 Honors the Most Rev. J. Michael Miller, CSB

A native of Ottawa, the Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, CSB, entered the Congregation of St. Basil in 1966 and was ordained in 1975. After earning undergraduate and master’s degrees, he completed a doctorate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and came to Houston 1979 to join the theology faculty at UST, rising to become theology chair and then vice president for academic affairs. He returned to UST in 1997 and became the University’s seventh president.


The 2012 Mardi Gras Gala honored the Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, CSB. With “paddles up” live auction donations at the gala, the University raised more than $100,000 to fully endow the Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, Endowed Scholarship Fund that will assist deserving UST students to accomplish their educational goals. Many longtime friends and former students of “Father Miller” have already offered generous contributions to show their appreciation for the indelible mark he left on our community. Established on Dec. 4, 2003 by the Harry S. and Isabel C. Cameron Foundation, the fund recognizes Archbishop Miller’s significant contributions while University president, and acts as a living legacy, continuing to benefit the community and students that he faithfully served. The pioneers hoped their initial commitment would encourage additional contributions from alumni and friends, many of whom also share fond memories and wish to honor his commitment to education and Basilian values. Archbishop Miller is now the spiritual leader for hundreds of thousands of Canadian Catholics. In Rome, he made his mark as a senior Vatican official. But in Houston, he is remembered as the priest, professor and president who made the University a beacon for Catholic learning.

Throughout his more than four decades serving the Church, Miller has exemplified the commitment to Christian education that is the hallmark of the Basilian Fathers. In 1997, he became president of UST, and under his leadership the University made enormous strides toward becoming America’s next great Catholic university. His work at UST had not gone unnoticed in Rome. In 2003, Pope John Paul II elevated him to the episcopate and named him secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education. This is the secondhighest post in the Vatican bureau that oversees Catholic schools, universities and seminaries throughout the world. He returned to his native Canada in 2007 to become Vancouver’s coadjutor bishop, and in 2009 he became archbishop of Vancouver. In this post he has continued his commitment to Catholic education, serving as president of the Catholic Independent Schools of Vancouver and establishing an Apostolate of Catholic Education for Teachers. He also started the first permanent diaconate program in Vancouver and chairs the doctrinal commission of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Archbishop Miller’s Houston homecoming made this Fat Tuesday an especially celebratory occasion, and the UST community honored him for his passion for education and for molding the next generation of Christian disciples. ■

z e s s i Lales ps m e T s n Bo ler! Rou 2012 s a r G Mardi

Thanks a Million! The 62nd Annual Mardi Gras Gala raised $1 million for scholarships on Feb. 21 at the InterContinental Hotel. The occasion was marked by a visit from former St. Thomas president, the Most Rev. J. Michael Miller, CSB, Archbishop of Vancouver, who was honored for his passion for education and for molding the next generation of Christian disciples. Kelli Kickerillo ’04 and Phyllis Mandola chaired the “Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler” Gala, that welcomed 550 supporters of the University of St. Thomas. The annual event raises money for the Fr. Francis E. Monaghan Scholarship Fund, the cornerstone of the University’s student aid. John Ruff and Rosemary Tran were honored as this year’s Mardi Gras student king and queen. (more at

Center Pioneers International Studies in Higher Education

At the 30th anniversary reception, 200 guests joined in recognizing the late Dr. Ann Q. Tiller’s founding vision for a pioneering program in interdisciplinary and global studies. The Center announced it will award the new Ann Q. Tiller Scholarship in International Studies this spring. William J. Cunningham, FSO, Ret., associate professor emeritus and a former director of the Center, was also recognized for his years of service.

An anniversary reception on Jan. 27 celebrated three decades of excellence in education and service for the University of St. Thomas Center for International Studies. In the fall of 1973, Dr. Ann Quiggins Tiller, chair of the History Department, introduced the University’s first international studies course. Two years later she proposed, and the University approved, a major in international studies. At that time no other university in Texas, and few in the nation had such an undergraduate major. The Center is the oldest degree-granting academic program of international studies in Texas and one of the oldest centers for international studies in the American southwest. In 1981, in response to the success of the international studies program and Tiller’s

persevering leadership, the University established its landmark Center for International Studies. Tiller was named director effective June 1 of that year. Sadly, she died suddenly 37 days later. The Tiller Memorial Scholarship Endowment in international studies was established in 1993 that “celebrates the accomplishments and commemorates the dedication” of Tiller. In 1982, William J. Cunningham, a 32-year career member of the U.S. Foreign Service, was named director of the Center. For a period


Dr. Hans Stockton, Director, Center for International Studies We seek to instill in students the principle that professional preparation and a life of service are compatible. 8

Dr. Linda Pett-Conklin, Associate Professor, International Studies The thing that’s similar about students from 30 years ago and today is that they all were wanting to do something positive in the world.

Thomas Mendez Class of 2009

Sarah Clarke Menendez Class of 2007

My experiences gave me the opportunity to get hands-on skills that I was able to use to later found my own nonprofit.

As a corporate attorney, I deal with multimillion dollar companies disputing contractual terms. The classes I took in international studies, really prepared me for it.

of time in the 1980s, the Houston Area Model United Nations, Inc. (HAMUN) and the Houston World Affairs Council were based there. In 1988, the University entered the first of many student delegations in the annual General Assembly of the National Collegiate Model Organization of American States (NMOAS) in Washington, D.C. Professor Cunningham was succeeded in July 1993 by Dr. Ronald L. Hatchett, who came to UST after a distinguished career at Texas A&M University and a stint in the presidential administration of Ronald Reagan. Hatchett believes the success of the Center is derived from its catholic approach, its universality – the Catholic Church being both universal and global. After 10 years at the Center, Dr. Hatchett retired in 2003. In 2005, Dr. Gustavo Wensjoe, who had served on the UST faculty since 1994, became the Center’s director. Leading one of the most popular majors on campus, Wensjoe revised the degree plan to meet the demands of the global market

place and challenges of graduate and professional schools. Wensjoe died tragically in 2009 in a traffic accident, along with his 9-month-old son, in Santa Clara, Peru. He was in his native Peru to oversee operations on a school, Colegio 1270 San Juan Bautista, in the Huyacán district of Lima. It was part of the Peruvian Education Project he created in 2004 with the help of fellow UST faculty, students and friends, to improve education for the poor of Peru. The University named Dr. Hans Stockton as the director of the Center in 2010. A native Houstonian, Stockton joined the UST faculty in 2002. Under his direction, the Study Abroad Program at UST has frequently been ranked in the top 20 programs in the United States. A pioneering program in interdisciplinary and global studies in the 20th century, the Center continues to refine and expand our view of the world. One of the Center’s successes has been building its alumni network, encouraging them to come back to campus and tell their stories. ■

Bradley Basker Class of 2012

Daniel L. Stoecker Class of 1980

Jamie Sepulveda Class of 2012

I would like to produce documentaries and international correspondence to explore how people can get along, instead of what separates us.

The new international studies major represented everything I care about with different cultures, with the focus on what’s going on internationally in the world.

I would like to study public policy and be a political analyst so I can give my perspective on solutions to the world that can benefit the most people and are practical and feasible.

The Center for International Studies houses the International Studies, International Development, Geography and Social Entrepreneurship programs. The Center manages University Study Abroad programs and is the University’s principal vehicle for communication and cooperation with internationally related community organizations. The Center, in cooperation with other academic or public affairs organizations, sponsors conferences, symposia, seminars and programs on scholarly or current issues in the international field. These are open to the public as well as to the entire University community.

VIEW THE CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDIES VIDEO. Get the free app at and view on your smartphone or go to


Marissa Sears Finds Her Voice in Music and Theology

Graduates and guests will get to enjoy Marissa Sears’ voice when she serves as cantor at the Baccalaureate Mass at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on May 11.


Senior Marissa Sears chose to study at UST because of the people in the Music Department. Sears said the support of faculty and the friendliness of fellow students were qualities not found in other music school settings. “It’s very open here, and there are honest friendships,” she said. “You don’t have to worry about it being a cut-throat, competitive environment.” Dr. Brady Knapp, associate professor of music, said Sears is known for her beautiful, clarion lyric and flexible soprano voice. “She has been an excellent soloist and team player in our Opera Workshop and the choral ensembles,” Knapp said. With classes, an internship at Palmer Episcopal Church with the children and adult choirs, UST rehearsals for the University Singers, Pop Singers and the Opera Workshop, and teaching the home school children’s choir, Sears spends a lot of time fine-tuning her vocal skills. She also sings two to three services at Palmer and at the 7:30 p.m. Sunday Mass at the Chapel of St. Basil. “It’s a lot of work and a lot of time,” she said. “Most students are done when they’re done with class. We’re not.” Sears said the core classes have also influenced her study of music, and she is pursuing a theology minor. “Music and the liturgy go so well together. It’s amazing to see how music has developed through the liturgy.” Sears has had the opportunity to sing for a master class with Grammy Award-winning vocal group Chanticleer and for a variety of events and galas. In December, she performed with the University Singers on stage at the Wortham Theater Center with Ana María Martínez at the fundraiser for the University’s proposed Performing Arts Center. “With the size of voice that most of us have, it’s great to know that we can fill a space that big,” she said. “We have to put more emotion and expression in it, because you’re so much further away from the audience.” Sears said she looks forward to the new facility, hopefully with more backstage space and sound proof practice rooms.

After graduation, Sears will continue at UST in the Master in Liberal Arts program, with a concentration in music. She plans to teach music and perform, and lend her talents to singing and directing in the Catholic Church to achieve a higher level of music. “Working with children is the core of that,” she said. “If you get them to enjoy the music when they’re younger, they’ll do it when they’re older, and they’ll enjoy more sophisticated music in the choir.” Knapp said the face of church music can change for the better with future leaders like Marissa leading the way. “As a practicing Roman Catholic and someone who loves singing and sharing sacred music, her faith is very important to her, and she believes her time at UST is leading her to teach and further that work for the Church,” he said. “We are thrilled that Marissa has chosen to continue her studies at UST and will begin the MLA program in music next fall.” ■ – Brenda B. Cooper ’05, MBA ’09

University of St. Thomas Unveils Plans for a New Performing Arts Center The University of St. Thomas Fine Arts and Drama Department and Music Department continue to offer a first class education to students of the arts and noteworthy performances to the Houston community. This new Performing Arts Center will not only benefit UST students, but its central location will be a big boost to other performing arts groups in the city. In keeping with St. Thomas’ philosophy that fine and performing arts are essential to its mission of educating leaders of faith and character, the design will include a proscenium theater, flex theater, conference hall, academic classrooms, rehearsal rooms, spacious lobbies, extensive terraces, offices, and additional meeting and support spaces. The new Center is designed by Studio RED Architects, which specializes in performing arts venues. Pete Ed Garrett, founder of Studio RED Architects, was the designer of the Wortham Theater. The new Performing Arts Center will span the entire block of Graustark and West Alabama streets and sit adjacent to the Menil Collection on Sul Ross Street. The building is designed for LEED certification and will occupy 95,000 square feet. “The performing arts are an essential part of our Catholic, Basilian liberal arts education. They have the power to inspire and enrich the lives of our students forever. We are dedicated to bringing the Performing Arts Center to St. Thomas and to the Houston community,” said, Marianne Ivany, University of St. Thomas first lady, who serves as honorary co-chair of the University’s Performing Arts Society, along with Priscilla Plumb and Jack Doherty. University President Dr. Robert Ivany unveiled plans for a new Performing Arts Center at the benefit concert in December featuring opera soprano Ana María Martínez.

Here are a few of the spaces included in the plans for the new Performing Arts Center at the University of St. Thomas.


he primary feature in the Proscenium Theater is a large archway, the proscenium arch, near the front of the stage, which is raised several feet above front row audience level. The auditorium seats 800 and towers upward to the second level. Box seating on the lower level and the balcony offer special sight lines to the stage performance. The acoustical architecture supports a vast range of performances, including plays and musicals, opera and dance, and concerts from a small quartet to a full orchestra.

“e more I learn about the University of St. omas, the more amazed I am. Any exposure to the arts at the university level, I applaud.” World-renowned Opera Singer Ana María Martínez


he Flex Theater brings actors and their audiences closer together, enriching the intimacy of the theater experience. Its design makes possible endless configurations, allowing professors and performers to exercise their creativity, which can be especially valuable where unusual arrangements of seating and stage may be needed. Located on the ground level of the Performing Arts Center, the Flex Theater seats 200.

“Fr. Ted Baenziger once told me the good you have received is not meant for you, but is to be redirected and given to others. I have really adopted that as my personal motto. When I sing, it’s a connection Joseph Mikolaj, Class of 2008 with people. Song is an act of giving.”

“I believe that when students have access to performing arts programs, it creates in them a lifelong appreciation for the arts. This new center truly is going to be a world-class facility providing wonderful opportunities for the students at the University of St. Thomas as well as the entire Houston community.” Margaret Alkek Williams


ehearsal rooms are spacious and adequately furnished to support the needs of performing arts instruction at the University of St. Thomas. As well, they serve as performance preparation space for productions in the Proscenium Theater and the Flex Theater. Superior acoustical qualities will enhance the learning experience. Plans for the Rehearsal Rooms include separate spaces for music, drama and choral rehearsals. As part of the Center’s instructional spaces, the areas are flexible enough to be used for auditions, meetings, workshops and extracurricular activities by students and faculty.


natural extension of the performance spaces, the Theater Lobby areas offer ideal venues to display the works of the University’s fine arts students, as well as the exhibition of renowned artist and artisans. The grand spaces on the main level open onto the campus with massive window walls that frame the University’s Guinan Residence Hall and Student Life Mall. Each lobby provides the perfect setting for a reception or exhibit-style event.

“I try to teach like my professors at St. omas taught me and give my students an introduction to more than just acting. e small size of the Drama Department at St. omas is wonderful because students have the opportunity to participate in everything. Julio Morales, Class 2009

Ana María Martínez Shares Songs of Her Heart at Concert for Performing Arts Center On Dec. 14, 2011, in the Hobby Center’s Zilkha Hall, about 370 friends of the University of St. Thomas gathered for a special performance by Grammy Award-winning opera favorite Ana María Martínez. The concert, Cantos De Mi Corazón: Songs of My Heart, raised approximately $225,000 for the University’s planned Performing Arts Center, allowing the University’s Performing Arts Society to award $30,000 to the drama and music programs and donate more than $155,000 to the building campaign for the Performing Arts Center. Martínez, a Houston Grand Opera performer, delighted the audience with a collection of songs she says have inspired her during critical moments of her life, ranging from Broadway favorites to Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. Kelli Cohen Fein and Martin Fein chaired the event, which honored Margaret Alkek Williams for her generosity to the arts.

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Founded by the Basilian Fathers

Located in the Museum District

Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson Leads Anglican Groups to Catholicism A homecoming brings members of a family or community back to a place that represents common ground – usually the ancestral family home or an alma mater. A homecoming is an opportunity to celebrate a shared past. Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson believes his work could provide a homecoming for many clergy, individuals, and communities from the Anglican church who wish to enter the Roman Catholic Church. On January 1, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI established the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter – a structure similar to a diocese for Anglican or Episcopalians across the United States who wish to become Catholic. A former Episcopal bishop, Steenson will lead the ordinariate from its base in Houston. Pope Benedict created the ordinariate in response to repeated requests from Anglicans seeking to join the Church. The only other ordinariate serving this purpose is Our Lady of Walsingham, established in January 2011 to serve England and Wales. Steenson said he believes that many who inquire about the Roman Catholic faith are attracted to the Church’s solid theological foundation. “Throughout the Anglican Communion, there’s so much disruption caused by disagreements about theology and groups breaking away and starting their own forms of Anglicanism,” Steenson said. “For people

Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson delivered the homily as the Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, Feb. 12, during the Mass of Institution for the first ordinariate in the U.S. The ordinariate was established by the Vatican on Jan. 1 to shepherd communities of former Anglicans wishing to convert to the Catholic faith while retaining elements of their Anglican heritage and traditions.

Photo by Louise Kelly/Texas Catholic Herald


uncomfortable with the direction of modern them to build relationships with their local Anglicanism, this gives them a choice and a path Catholic Church or, if they’re priests, to go visit back to the rock from which they were hewn.” the Catholic bishop,” Steenson said. “They have Steenson and his wife, Debra, were received important questions about a variety of issues like into the Catholic Church in 2007 and spent 2008 the Marian dogma, and questions like ‘why is the in Rome while he prepared for ordination as a papacy strictly necessary,’ or ‘what is it from our Catholic priest. During their time there, Steenson previous (spiritual) life that is missing?’” lived at the Pontifical Irish College, where he and “But I would tell them to hang in there! Debra were embraced and felt fully welcomed And think about what a big happy family you’re into this community. joining,” he quickly added. For Steenson, becoming a Catholic indeed felt Steenson is familiar with the more personal like coming home. He said he could remember issues on the minds of those exploring the Catholic having admiration for faith as well. “I think and a longing to join there is a great fear Steenson is familiar with the more the Church. “All of that if they do become personal issues on the minds of those my adult life, since I Catholic, they will exploring the Catholic faith as well. was a seminary student simply be absorbed by “I think there is a great fear that if back in the 1970s, the Church and lose I thought this their identity or they do become Catholic they will is where it would simply be absorbed by the Church and ‘Anglican accent,’” ultimately end because Steenson said. “I lose their identity or ‘Anglican the things that moved remember that feeling. accent.’” Steenson said. “I remember me were Catholic,” The Book of Common that feeling. The Book of Common Steenson said. “I was Prayer – that wonderful in seminary when Elizabethan prose – Prayer – that wonderful Elizabethan Pope John Paul II gets in your soul. prose – gets in your soul. The Pope was elected, and I just The Pope very much very much wanted the Anglican liturgy sensed that my destiny wanted the Anglican to be continued and protected.” was tied up with his liturgy to be continued in some way.” and protected.” Steenson earned his doctorate in philosophy There is also the potential impact on families at Christ Church at the University of Oxford and when a member of the Episcopal clergy enters his master of divinity from Harvard University. the Catholic priesthood. However, Steenson Prior to his decision to join the Catholic Church, commented that not unlike many Protestant clergy Steenson served as the bishop of the Episcopal wives, his wife, Debra, sometimes longed for a Diocese of the Rio Grande. more private life. Steenson uses his own experience of conversion “Being the wife of a Protestant minister can to encourage others beginning their journey. “It’s a be a very public and demanding role,” he said. long time to pray your way through the process and “I think Debbie has appreciated the relative to understand what you’re up to. But I encourage anonymity that she now has. When she talks about 16

it, she’s perfectly happy with the quieter work she’s involved with now.” Despite recognizing that some might view him as a role model and admire his bravery for taking a leap of faith and leaving his leadership position in the Episcopal church, Steenson said he believes that notion gives him too much credit. “Honestly, I didn’t have the sense that I was being particularly courageous,” he said. “I felt for my soul to live, I needed to become a Catholic. Maybe that’s something people contemplating this decision can identify with. I think for a lot of people to take this step toward the Catholic Church, it’s the same for them: it’s as simple as breathing.” Steenson will continue serving as a professor in the UST School of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston. He indicated that his new role has opened the door to interesting conversations with his Protestant students in graduate-level courses, many of whom currently lead or are preparing to lead ministries as well.

“The students that I have now are keenly energized and sensitive to these questions because they’re struggling with them, and in their ministries they’re going to be dealing with people who are asking questions like this as well. They understand that lots of people are asking questions about where they want to be.” There are more than 60 currently in the program to become ordained Catholic priests. When the ordinariate was established, the Church had already received inquiries from more than 100 Anglican clergy. In mid-April, the first transitional deacon was ordained in Greenville, South Carolina. Steenson said he and his staff are working “pedal to the metal” to keep pace with the administrative and ministerial duties required to support the current group of candidates. “There is no room to rest! But I’ve been extremely gratified by watching these men come forward. The support that we’ve been given from Catholic bishops all around the country has been phenomenal,” he added. ■ – Stephanie Dedeaux ’96

Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson has served on the University of St. Thomas School of Theology faculty since 2009. Married and the father of three children, the former Episcopal bishop became a Catholic in 2007. He was ordained a Catholic priest two years later and came to Houston to teach patristics (the study of the Church fathers) at St. Mary’s Seminary and the University of St. Thomas, where he is the Carl and Lois Davis Professor of Patristic Studies. Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, and Monsignor Steenson said Houston was selected as the hub for the ordinariate in part because of St. Mary’s Seminary. Monsignor Steenson was a key player in the establishment of a formation program for Anglican priests applying for the Catholic priesthood. St. Mary’s has developed a Vatican-approved nine-month program of priestly formation for Anglican clergy who wish to become Catholic priests. “He is a wise and prudent administrator who will bring a vibrant intellect and humility to his role as head of the ordinariate,” Cardinal DiNardo said. The Personal Ordinariates of the Chair of St. Peter and of Our Lady of Walsingham are the result of repeated appeals from Anglican groups to become Catholic as groups. In November 2009, Pope Benedict XVI issued an apostolic constitution, Anglicanorum coetibus, which authorized the ordinariates. The U.S. ordinariate will include parishes, groups and individuals of Anglican heritage. Parishes will be fully Roman Catholic while retaining elements of the Anglican tradition such as music, liturgy, structure and prayers.



Academic Affairs Dr. Dominic A. Aquila presented “Verdi’s Otello and the Persistence of Evil” at the Seventh Annual Conferenza “Ricercatori Italiani nel Mondo,” Houston, Dec. 2011. Business Dr. Natalya Delcoure presented “The Importance of Database Construction Consistency and Reliability for the Analysis of REITs,” ARES, and “Competitive strategy and industry contagion following traditional Chapter 11 bankruptcy announcement,” with K. Hunsader and G. Pennywell, SWFA, Spring 2012; “Plagiarism detection service in the learning environment – a testing tool or a selfmanagement tool?” with Dr. Beena George, One Voice International Conference for Educators, Houston, Nov. 2011; and “Trend reversion in the velocity of money: some international evidence based on the STAR approach,” with Dr. H. Shirvani and Dr. J. Ueng, ICEME, Fall 2011. Dr. Charlene Dykman, Dr. Charles Davis and Alumnus Andrew Lamb, MBA, authored and presented “A Case of Mergers: The HP Experience” at the International Academy for Case Studies Conference, New Orleans, April. Chemistry Dr. Elmer B. Ledesma presented “Experimental Study of the Gas-Phase Pyrolysis of Eugenol, a Biomass Model-Fuel 18

Compound” with Campos, C.; and “Theoretical Study on the Formation of HNCO from the Thermal Degradation of ModelFuel Compounds” with Vu, H., at the 243rd National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Diego, March 2012. Communication Prof. Nicole Casarez presented “Prosecutorial Ethics and the Anthony Graves Case,” sponsored by King & Spaulding, Houston, Nov. 2011. Panelist: “Guilt, Innocence and the Death Penalty: Why Do Mistakes Happen?” LBJ Future Forum, Austin, January; and “The Death Penalty in Texas,” at the Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, the Luiss University School of Law, and the University of Malta, Rome, Nov./Dec. 2011.

Pragmatic Confucianism and the Red Culture Campaign: Reform, Public Administration, and the Chinese Party-State” at the International Conference on Public Administration, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, People’s Republic of China; and “Houston, Shanghai, and The Chimerican Dream: Suburban Nation Goes Global” at the U-6 Forum on International Cooperation and Education, Houston, Oct. 2011. Service Learning Dr. Rogelio Garcia-Contreras (International Studies), Dr. Jean-Philippe Faletta (Political Science) and Dr. Rick Krustchinsky (Education) wrote “From the Jungles of the Yucatán to the Urban Canyons

Philosophy Rev. Anthony Giampietro presented “Ethical Foundations for Educational Solutions” at the Shepherd University Educational Ethics Conference, W. Virginia, Oct. 2011. Political Science Dr. Jon R. Taylor presented “Curbing Corruption Through

of Houston: Examples of Service Learning in Action” that Faletta and Krustchinsky (above)

Publications Aquila, Dominic A. “Faith, Reason and Communitas in the Modern Academy: Recovering the Dream of Concord,” St. Austin Review, Nov./Dec. 2011.

Garcia-Contreras, Rogelio; Faletta, JeanPhilippe; Krustchinsky, Rick. “The University of St. Thomas’ Service-learning Program: Matching the University’s Catholic Mission to Greater Community Needs” Journal of Catholic Higher Education, 30/2, 2011.

Clarage, Jim. “Correcting the Coriolis Correlation,” Physics Today, Jan. 2012.

Michalos, Constantina. “Father’s Day in Maycomb County: A Rereading of Atticus

presented at the Fourth International Symposium on Service Learning, Zhejiang University, Ningbo, Zhejiang, China. Theology Rev. James B. Anderson presented “Maritain’s Schema of Knowing by Connaturality as Proposed in Ransoming the Time” at the 35th Annual American Maritain Association Meeting, Notre Dame, Oct. 2011. Sr. Paula Jean Miller, FSE, serves on the editorial board of Catholic Southwest, a Journal of Catholic History and Culture. Rev. Charles Talar presented “The Conversions of a Catholic Intellectual: Joseph Malègue’s Augustin ou le Maître est là” at the American Academy of Religion National Meeting, San Francisco, Nov. 2011; and “The Novelist and Social Catholicism: George Fonsegrive’s Le Fils de l’Esprit” at the Southwest AAR Meeting, March 2012. Sister Madeleine M. Grace, CVI, presented “Eucharistic Fasting, A Review of Its Practice, An Evaluation of Its Benefit” at the Society for Catholic Liturgy Conference, St. Louis, January;

Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird” Journal of Intercultural Studies, and NAAAS Monograph Series, 2011. Taj, Shahram; Shirvani, Hassan; Mirshab, Bahman. “New Approach to Data Envelopment Analysis with an Application to Bank Efficiency in Turkey,” Banks and Bank Systems Journal, 6/1, 2011.


and “Augustine’s Search for Wisdom in this Life as a Pathway to the Fullness of Wisdom in the Next” at the Educating for Wisdom Conference, Baylor University, Oct. 2011. Dr. Randall Smith presented “Thomas Aquinas and the Medieval Interpretation of the Decalogue in Terms of the Natural Law”at the The Influence of the Decalogue: Historical, Theological and Cultural Perspectives Conference, Trinity College, Oxford, England, April. Tutoring Services Dr. Constantina Michalos presented “The Help: History Meets Hollywood” at the National Association of African-American Studies; Baton Rouge, Feb. 2012; and “Desdemona and Brabantio: Honor thy Father” at the South Central Renaissance Conference; New Orleans, March 2012. Writing Program Dr. Jerry Kramer spoke on a sustainable, institution-wide academic writing program at UST, citing a number of exemplary writing programs in American colleges and universities, among them several recognized by U.S. News and World Report’s as “Best Colleges: Writing in the disciplines,” for making “the writing process a priority at all levels of instruction and across the curriculum,” at the Center for Faculty Excellence Spring 2012 Workshops series.

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Professor Named to Pontifical Academy Philosophy professor Dr. John Hittinger was appointed to the Vatican-based Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. He will serve as one of the corresponding academicians, who augment the research and teaching work of the core group of scholars at the Academy. VPAA Joins Board of Directors for Crossroads Cultural Center Dr. Dominic Aquila, vice president for Academic Affairs has accepted an invitation to join the National Board of Directors for the Crossroads Cultural Center. The Center’s goal is to offer opportunities for education, making it possible to look with openness, curiosity and critical judgment at every aspect of reality. Education Professor earns CUA Basketball Hall of Fame Berth Dr. Jim LeBuffe, assistant visiting professor of education, was inducted into the Catholic University of America Hall of Fame for his basketball career accomplishments at CUA. He has been professionally published 15 times and has written three books about baseball. Dr. Robert LeBlanc Honored by Klein ISD Dr. Robert LeBlanc, associate professor of education, has been chosen by the Klein ISD Education Foundation as the sixth recipient of the Donald R. Collins Distinguished Klein Educator Award based on his years of service to the district. Lowery Chosen as Featured Poet for Poetry Reading Dr. Janet Lowery, Cullen Chair of English and Creative Writing, was a featured poet at the Houston Public Library’s Spring Public Poetry reading. Her poetry has appeared in Poetry East, Greensboro Review, Concho River Review, and in anthologies such as Improbable Worlds, Texas Poetry 2, and Who Are the Rich and Where Do They Live? Jensen’s Book to Appear on “Private Practice” The Ethics of Organ Transplantation by Dr. Stephen Jensen, associate professor of philosophy, was included in the filming of an upcoming episode of ABC’s Private Practice, a spin-off from the original hit Grey’s Anatomy. Episode 522 of Private Practice is scheduled to air on May 15.



1971 Pope Benedict XVI named Monsignor George A. Sheltz, to be an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of GalvestonHouston on Feb. 21. In 1971, he was ordained a priest for the then-Diocese of Galveston-Houston. He spent 36 of his 40-plus years as a parish priest at Catholic churches around the Archdiocese: Assumption, Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral, St. Vincent de Paul, Christ the Redeemer, Prince of Peace and St. Anthony of Padua parishes.

1973 Anthony Pizzitola, MBA, CFM, and Al Berman coauthored “Sustaining Your Business After a Disaster” in the January/February issue of Facility Management Journal. Pizzitola is the only CFM to hold credentials as a Certified Business Continuity Professional through the Disaster Recovery Institute International and as a certified member of the Business Continuity Institute in the U.K. He also presented at World Workplace 2011 Conference & Expo.



Ricci Ivers Casserly writes that after she graduated she went on to obtain her MS in Health Services Administration in 1984 at the University of Houston at Clear Lake. She became a health care consultant for hospitals, nursing homes and especially retirement facilities.

She was a contributing author for a book entitled Retirement Housing, A Step-by-Step Approach. She then left the work force in 1989 to assist her husband to raise a family. She got the “writing bug” again and thought about writing a children’s book about her Madame Alexander doll, which she lost in 1983 and subsequently recovered in 1999. The rest, she says, is history!

1981 The Texas Board of Legal Specialization awarded Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley board

second subject area of board certification for Bradley. The Board had previously certified Bradley as a specialist in general criminal law in 1991. Bradley has been practicing criminal law since 1985. He became Williamson County District Attorney in December 2001. Of the 13 prosecutors in the Williamson County District Attorney’s Office, seven of the attorneys are board certified as experts in criminal law. Very few Texas law firms have as many board certified lawyers on staff. Of the more than 70,000 licensed attorneys in Texas, only 859 are certified in criminal law and only 84 are certified in appellate criminal law.

1994 Maria Fontana Magee, MA 1997, accepted the position of Director of Development for St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in The Woodlands, Texas. certification as a specialist in Texas appellate criminal law. This was the first year that the Board has certified lawyers in that field of law. This is the

1999 Harold Douglas Willis accepted a position at Magnificat Houses, Inc.

as a staff member at the St. Joseph Clubhouse. Learn more about his work environment at

2002 Soledad Tanner, MIB, received a promotion as the Director of Strategy and Metrics for DHL Supply Chain. Soledad is a 14-year veteran of DHL and since 2010 has been the Director of Human Resources Controlling for the Americas Region of DHL Global Forwarding. Since joining DHL, Soledad has held a number of Finance roles with increasing responsibility in both Europe and the U.S. Soledad is First Choice Bronze certified, has undergone DGF Champion training and is fluent in Spanish. She holds a certificate of leadership from Rice University, Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Catholic University in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

WOW, what are the odds! Hank Emery, director of alumni relations & annual giving, shares with us a call from a very happy alumnus: I received a call from a gentleman by the name of Jim Schauer. Jim likes to take his metal detector out to the beach in Corpus and find things. Recently, he came across a class ring from the University of St. Thomas, so he looked on the Web, found my name and called me to let me know. The ring was belonged to someone with the initials BJW who graduated in 1970. Well, I looked through the class list and found Mr. Bernard Walter, Jr., who now lives in Austin and gave him a call. It turns out that Mr. Walter lost his class ring back in 1982 while he was out in Corpus and had all but given up on it. He was so excited when I gave him Jim’s phone number to call him. Jim told me that he is not going to ask for any type of reward for the return of the ring because he is a firm believer in karma and says that he would hope someone would do the same for him. NOTE: We look forward to the reunion story and a photo. –Editor


Family Honors the Memory of Colonel Robert V. Hebinck’62 The Robert Vernon Hebinck Endowed Scholarship was established in memory of UST alumnus Colonel Robert Vernon Hebinck, USAF, ’62 by his brother, Bernard (Burney) Hebinck ’55, and Robert’s widow, Clarice Hebinck. The scholarship will provide tuition support for a student who wishes to take part in an internship that focuses on Race, Ethnic and Religious Cultural Relations for credit in Catholic Social Justice Studies. Burney shares with us his brother’s contributions toward helping to combat racial and ethnic intolerance in the military.

Colonel Robert Vernon Hebinck, USAF, served his country for nearly 30 years and was recognized by many prestigious assignments. He was especially honored for creating a race relations program for the Department of Defense. In the early 1970s, racial relations were a serious social problem in America, with discriminatory, hateful and often violent conduct, racial slurs, and hostile attitudes common throughout the country. This atmosphere existed in civilian communities nationwide and to some extent in the military. Such racial or ethnic intolerance impacted military morale and detracted from the mission of maintaining a cohesive and cooperative fighting force. The Department of Defense determined that action should or must be taken to correct this kind of unacceptable conduct. A pilot program was developed, headed by a “Social Actions Officer” who would be

assigned to deal with, defuse, and recommend corrective action for solving racial and ethnic problems on military bases. The Department of Defense decided to initiate this pilot program at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Texas and tasked Bergstrom’s commander with implementing the program there. A call went out for a volunteer to fill a special assignment who would be responsible for developing and implementing of the program and for manag-

ing the instruction of all military personnel and civilians on the base regarding principles of positive racial and ethnic understanding, and good conduct and speech toward others. Initially, there were no “takers” for the job. When a young captain named Robert Vernon Hebinck heard of the job announcement, and studied the position description and the program’s goals, he volunteered and was assigned the job. He encountered significant criticism from his peers and considerable risk to his career in what some described as this “dead-end job.” There was resistance to the race relations classes by personnel who felt this was not a necessary military objective. But he persisted, compassionately and courageously to do what he believed was both the right and the good thing to do.

Eventually, the pilot program was deemed a success and very beneficial to the Air Force. Indeed, ultimately the Social Actions Program, inaugurated with Captain Hebinck’s guidance and leadership, expanded to include the concepts of combating sexism and other biases and prejudices. Captain Hebinck was later transferred to Udorn Air Force Base in Thailand for a year, where he also served as the officer in charge of “Race Relations” (as it was originally characterized by military personnel). In time, the program was adopted throughout the Air Force, and then the entire military, as the official policy of the Department of Defense. Regulations were promulgated to require the teaching of tolerance and understanding with respect to racial and ethnic policy in the United States military forces. ■

Colonel Robert Vernon Hebinck '62 is pictured here at the retirement ceremony of his brother Burney Hebinck '55 in 1992 at Bergstrom AFB, Texas. Burney has served as an Alumni Association Board Member and former President.



University of St. Thomas Homecoming

CelticWarriorWeekend 2012 Homecoming was a success! The fun-filled weekend, Feb. 17-18, brought more than 300 alumni and students to campus to show their school spirit. On Friday, a Mass in the Chapel of St. Basil was followed by a reception in historic Link Lee Mansion honoring the deans of the University. During the

reception, guests also celebrated the 100th anniversary of Link Lee, and the Heritage Society presented a plaque to the University recognizing its historical value. Rain clouds brought the Saturday tailgate indoors, but the Celtic Warriors did not let the bad weather deter any festivities. Students, alumni, faculty and staff gathered in Jerabeck Gymnasium for barbecue, beer and the traditional Turtle Derby! The races resulted in three winning turtles and three lucky winners from the crowd, who correctly picked the winning reptiles.

Homecoming Sponsors COMPANY Berryhill Baja Grill The Chocolate Bar/Candylicious Integris Roofing Jackson’s Watering Hole Paulie’s Saint Arnold Brewing Company Skewer’s UST Bookstore

INDIVIDUAL Leslie Barrera Betty and Charles Fischer Grace Follis Jack Follis Abigail Konicki Alexandra Konicki Mandy Luna

Gloria Luna and Jesse Bounds Arthur Ortiz Elizabeth Quiroga William A Stender Marty Thompson Julian Anthony Zagars (In Memoriam)

Homecoming Committee


Betty Fischer Bob Anthony Burney Hebinck Cimela Kidonakis Dan Garcia Daniel Elustondo Daniela Cooz Danny Shebaclo Drew Wilson Elizabeth Quiroga

Erin McClarty Estefi Hernandez Frances Escriva Gloria Luna Grace Follis Jack Follis Jennie Orellana Lauren LaGrappe Leslie Barrera Lester Smith

Mandy Luna Michael Branda Michelle Jabbour Natasha Costa Nicole Dobbs Pat Krause Paul Negrete Victoria Smith Vince D’Amico William Rodrigues

Even though the alumni versus the students soccer game was canceled, guests showed up to cheer the men’s and women’s basketball teams, though both teams were defeated by opponents

from Wiley College. Alumni kept the party going at the official after party at Jackson’s Watering Hole, which concluded the weekend filled with friends, fun and karaoke.


Class of 1952 The University’s second graduating class celebrates its 60th anniversary with Mass and a luncheon on campus on May 4. Five of the members of this class have received the Vincent J. Guinan Distinguished Alumni Award: Chris Cole, Vincent D’Amico, Betty (Koenig) Fischer, Charles Fischer and Teana Sechelski.

May 1952

(Row Seated): Mary Theresa Scherer, Patty Winkler, Marie Davila, Clarita deYbarrondo, Anna Lupin, Anna Marie Hanson. (2nd Row): Clarissa Porras, Henry Grover, Robert Grossheim, Vincent D’Amico, Joan Keim, Barbara Lopez, Paul Reed, Teana Sechelski, Anna Quoyeser, Betty Koenig. (3rd Row): Jimmy Poole, Erwin Basinski, Joe Ankenbruck, Byrne Simpson, Frank Rendon, Steve LaRocca, Charles Fischer, Carl Bradley.

Men’s Basketball Finishes First Winning Season

The women’s basketball team finished its inaugural season 5-19 in conference play and 8-22 overall.

Basketball Men’s basketball completed its first winning season in its short three-season history with an 18-13 record. The team has improved every season, going 10-15 and 13-14 in the first two years. Competing its first year in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC), the team finished 16-8 and tied for fourth with Southwestern Assemblies of God University. The team finished eighth in the country in assist/ turnover ratio. The Celts were 14th in assists per game with 15.8 and 17th in 3-point field goals made per game with 7.5. The Celts were 23rd in the nation in points allowed per game at 65.8. This makes the second year in a row that the team has finished in the top 25 in scoring defense.

Soccer The men’s soccer program continued its success in 2011, finishing the season 9-8-1. The team finished 9-4 in conference play and 3rd in the RRAC, just short of a second trip to the NAIA National Tournament. Volleyball Women’s volleyball finished the season with a 1917 record, a 4th place finish in the regular season and a thirdplace finish at the RRAC conference tournament. Golf The women’s golf team competed in its first-ever tournament in February at the Jack Brown Memorial Tournament, hosted by Texas A&M International University at Laredo Country Club, finishing 5th in the NCAA Division II field. The schedule runs through April as

the team sets its sights on the RRAC championship. Men’s golf wrapped up its first fall season at the Northwood University Fall Shootout in October, finishing the third round in 12th place. The Celts resumed play in February at South Padre Island Golf Club. The Senator Eddie Lucio Invitational was hosted by conference rival University of Texas at Brownsville. Competition through May wraps up with the RRAC championship and the NAIA national championship.

Visit for regular game updates, statistics and student athlete highlights.



The University of St. Thomas is deeply appreciative for the gifts of family and friends in honor of special occasions in someone’s life and in memory of loved ones.

Honorary Gifts Ms. Janice Adamson Dr. Poldi Tschirch Dr. Dominic A. Aquila Dr. Poldi Tschirch Ms. Susan E. Bradford Mr. and Mrs. Grier P. Patton The Reverend Terence P. Brinkman, STD Catholic Daughters of America No. 2197 Mrs. Mae Jean Carr The Reverend Michael A. Buentello, CSB Basilian Fathers at St. Anne Church Mr. and Mrs. Thomas C. Ryan Professor Lee H. Carl Ms. Kelly Bosworth Mr. Sheng-Tao Chang Mr. Roger Copello Dr. and Mrs. Thanh N. Doan Mrs. Milagro del-Carmen Estrada Mr. Ronald J. George Mr. and Mrs. Philip E. Gunnels Mr. and Mrs. Steve Kuxhausen Ms. Alesha A. Kugler Ms. Suzanne M. Little Mr. Joe Longoria Mr. and Mrs. Felix Luna, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Frank G. Newman Mr. and Mrs. David D. San Miguel Dr. Ann Coleman Dr. Poldi Tschirch Mrs. Deborah J. Crofoot-Morley Dr. Poldi Tschirch Mr. Ken DeDominicis Dr. Poldi Tschirch Dr. and Mrs. Dominic A. Aquila Sister Mary E. Dennison, RC Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Tade Mr. Tuffly Ellis Estate of John E. Sunder Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein The Friedman Foundation Ann and J. Kent Friedman Mr. and Mrs. Donald P. McCelvey Mr. and Mrs. William J. Rovere Mr. and Mrs. Jesse B. Tutor Mr. and Mrs. David H. Ward Mr. Martin J. Fein Mr. and Mrs. Donald P. McCelvey Mr. and Mrs. William J. Rovere Mr. and Mrs. Jesse B. Tutor Mr. and Mrs. David H. Ward The Most Reverend Joseph A. Fiorenza, D.D. Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Girotto Mr. William J. Flynn The Irish American Partnership, INC. Dr. Robert W. Gilmer Houston West Chamber of Commerce Mrs. Jane E. Hagale Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Girotto Mr. John E. Hagale Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Girotto

Professor Sam M. Havens Ms. Michel R. Hudson Mr. Brian Hegemeyer Mr. Steven W. Kutra Mr. James Hyland Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Dooley, Jr. Mrs. Marianne Ivany Mr. and Mrs. William J. Rovere Dr. Poldi Tschirch Mr. and Mrs. Jesse B. Tutor Dr. Robert R. Ivany Mr. and Mrs. William J. Rovere Dr. Poldi Tschirch Mr. and Mrs. Jesse B. Tutor Ms. Kelli Kickerillo Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Hopson, III Mr. Richard D. Leibman Mr. Joseph B. Lombardo SA and Mrs. Vick A. Lombardo Mrs. Patricia M. Lombardo SA and Mrs. Vick A. Lombardo Ms. Beth Madison Dr. and Mrs. Robert R. Ivany Mrs. Phyllis Mandola Ms. Phyllis E. Childress The Most Reverend John E. McCarthy, D.D. Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Girotto Mr. and Mrs. Arland B. Coleman Mr. George McDowell Dr. and Mrs. Robert R. Ivany The Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, CSB Ms. Margo P. Geddie Mrs. Bernadine Miller Mr. and Mrs. Robert B. Goicoechea Mr. Geny Moreno Dr. Poldi Tschirch The Reverend Donald S. Nesti, CSSP Mrs. Trinidad Mendenhall Sosa Professor Aoife Ní Ghloinn Mr. and Mrs. John E. Hagale Mr. and Mrs. John Havranek Dr. John Anthony Palasota Mr. and Mrs. George A. Rizzo Ms. Lesley Alison Paulsen Dr. Poldi Tschirch The Reverend Joseph E. Pilsner, CSB Mr. and Mrs. Thomas C. Ryan Mr. William Frederick Pohl, Jr. Mrs. Anne B. Heyburn Mrs. Garland Debner Pohl Mrs. Anne B. Heyburn Colonel and Mrs. Brian Preler Mr. Joseph Rees Ms. Eloise Ragsdale Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Dooley, Jr. Mr. Thomas R. Reckling III Mr. Ralph S. O'Connor Mrs. Isla C. Reckling Ms. Maria B. Butler Mr. Ralph S. O'Connor The Most Reverend Vincent M. Rizzotto, D.D. Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Girotto Mr. Howard A. Rose Dr. Poldi Tschirch

Ms. Constance C. Sechelski Mr. and Mrs. Russell Worley Mr. Todd Smith Mr. and Mrs. Harry E. Mach Mr. Thomas Spiriti Dr. Poldi Tschirch Mrs. Diane D. Thornton Ms. Leslie K. Amann Mr. Joseph Tortorice Ms. Regina J. Rogers Ms. Barbara Allen Van Postman Dr. and Mrs. Robert R. Ivany Ms. Phyllis J. Waters Dr. Poldi Tschirch Mrs. Raye G. White Mr. and Mrs. Jim Glover Mrs. Carolyn Whitney Mrs. Leni Burrow Mr. John O. Whitney Mrs. Leni Burrow Dr. Barry J. Wilbratte Ms. Lisa Antwerp-Rangel Dr. and Ms. Larry S. Baggett Mr. and Mrs. Donald Bell Ms. Kelly Bosworth Ms. Kathleen Corbett Dr. and Mrs. Thanh N. Doan Mr. Todd A. Forester Mr. David M. Garcia Ms. Deborah A. Herb Kelli Kickerillo Ms. Lanette M. Kowis Mr. and Mrs. Steve Kuxhausen Mr. Kip E. Patterson Ms. Margie L. Poole Mr. and Mrs. David D. San Miguel Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Schwartz Mr. and Mrs. Glenn K. Smith Dr. and Mrs. Nicholas P. Sollenne Dr. Lee Williames Mr. and Mrs. David Theis Mrs. Margaret Alkek Williams Mr. and Mrs. Philip Bahr Mr. and Mrs. Gregg Falgout Dr. and Mrs. Robert R. Ivany Ms. Joan H. Lyons Ms. Regina J. Rogers Mrs. Tara Wuthrich Dr. and Mrs. Robert R. Ivany

Memorial Gifts Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Abercrombie The George A. Robinson IV Foundation Ms. Helen Ahlschlager Ms. Elizabeth Heyn Ahlschlager Mrs. Mildred Anderson Mr. Thomas L. Kister Mr. Cecil Joe Bendy Mrs. Cecil J. Bendy


Mrs. Betty Joyce Kelly Berry Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Donovan G. E. Lehmann Management Trust Mr. Busty Underwood Ms. Wanda A. Crossland

Mrs. Maria Amalia Guanziroli Dr. Higinia M. Torres-Rimbau and Mr. Robert Rimbau

Mr. Preston M. Bolton Dr. and Mrs. David J. Braden Mrs. Margaret B. Mulvey Mrs. Eliza Lovett Randall

Ms. Ellen Heyn Ms. Elizabeth Heyn Ahlschlager

Mr. W. Jack Bowen Dr. and Mrs. Robert R. Ivany Mrs. Mary Louise Braden Dr. and Mrs. David J. Braden Ms. Christine E. Brady Ms. Livia Bornigia Dr. Elizabeth Coscio Dr. Rose L. Signorello Dr. Robin N. Williamson

Mrs. Mary Kay Hebinck Garland D. and William F. Pohl, Jr

Mr. Robert M. Hirsch Ms. Jill L. Brugger Ms. Frances Escriva and Mr. Joseph McKay Mr. Tom Kvinta Mr. and Mrs. Peter Martinez Ms. Judy Robinson Mr. and Mrs. Robert Sensebe Mr. and Mrs. Matthew E. Soileau Ms. Doris A. Solomon Mr. James Francis Hyland Mr. and Mrs. Daniel McCue

Mrs. Sue G. Brown Mr. and Mrs. Philip J. Closmann

Mrs. Sarah Faulkner Jackson Dr. and Mrs. David J. Braden

Mrs. Vicki Denise Bueno Ms. Laura A. Marsh

Mrs. Loretta D. Kendall Mr. and Mrs. Robert B. Dawson, Jr.

Ms. Vicki Denise Hallmark Bueno Ms. Marilyn Engdahl

Ms. Frances Kutra Mr. Steven W. Kutra

Mr. John Burns RATL, Inc. Mrs. Betty Lou Bayless Carter Dr. and Mrs. David J. Braden

Dr. Lois A. Lawrence Mr. and Mrs. Otto E. Kunz Ms. May Paulissen Drs. Charles D. and Elysee H. Peavy

Mr. Donald L. Connelly Mr. David A. Connelly

Mr. Eugene F. Malloy Mr. Robert E. Goodfellow

Ms. Joan M. DeDitius Mr. and Mrs. John F. DeDitius Mr. and Mrs. Stephen R. Dunson

Mrs. Felice L. Malloy Mr. Robert E. Goodfellow

Mr. Tommy James Domingue Mr. and Mrs. Larry C. Ewing Mrs. Barbara Franzheim Dror Mr. and Mrs. Irving Pozmantier Mrs. Romaine Escriva Ms. Frances Escriva and Mr. Joseph McKay Dr. Charles Escriva Ms. Frances Escriva and Mr. Joseph McKay Ms. Barbara Franzheim Ms. Irene A. D'Attilio Mr. and Mrs. Herbert A. Grossmueller Ms. Elizabeth F. Kitchen Mr. and Mrs. Kevin E. Lindahl Ms. Celeste M. Neuman Mr. Morgan Garwood Garland D. and William F. Pohl, Jr Mr. and Mrs. R.J. St. Germain, Sr. Estate of Beverly St. Germain Fadrique Prof. Wilma M. Goetz Ms. Marilyn E. Goodman Dr. Janice Gordon-Kelter Dr. Virginia P. Bernhard and Mr. James Bernhard Mr. and Mrs. Bryan M. Ellis Dr. Irving A. Kelter Dr. Chris M. Mieth Mr. Shawn T. Miller

Dr. William S. Sargent Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Clinton Ms. Sallie S. Johnston Drs. Robert and Rebecca LeBlanc Dr. Shabnam Shallwani Luafali Dr. and Mrs. Roger D. Morefield Mr. Charles A. Saunders Dr. and Mrs. Robert R. Ivany Mrs. Jean M. Seward Mr. John Seward The Reverend Thomas J. Sheehy, SCJ Ms. Marilyn E. Goodman Mrs. Dorothy Rose (Heintz) Stinson Conroe High School Class of 1959 Mr. Richard Coyle and Mrs. Mary M. Petre Coyle Mr. and Mrs. Frank Denton Mr. and Mrs. James P. Ellsworth Mr. and Mrs. Paul D. Hill Mr. and Mrs. Lester R. Hoke Mr. and Mrs. Jerry W. Holland Ms. Carol F. Kincannon Ms. Sue Luce Ms. Diane Madeley Mr. Daniel Foster Madeley Mantua Manufacturing Company Ms. Melissa K. McCarty Mr. and Mrs. Thomas M. Mock Mr. Roy F. Morse Ms. Ellen Repa Mr. and Mrs. Frank Waggoner

Mr. Duncan McAnelly Anonymous

Mr. Louis C. Swilley Mr. Primo D. Vargas and Mrs. Peggy J. Christensen Ms. Suzan J. Cotellesse Ms. Lynn Murphy Mr. John C. Pack and Ms. Lynn Murphy

The Reverend John E. McManus, CSB Mr. and Mrs. Bryan M. Ellis

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Tschirch Ms. Sally W. Isenberg

Mrs. Mary Murphree Mr. and Mrs. Ken DeDominicis

Mrs. Guadalupe M. Turrin Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Dooley, Jr.

Mrs. Maria Consolata O'Neal Mr. and Mrs. Thomas J. Dooley, Jr.

Professor Elsa Zambosco-Thomas Dr. and Mrs. Kevin M. Moran

Mrs. Marie D. Pattison Mr. and Mrs. John F. O'Riordan

Scott Childress ’91, died on Jan. 20, 2012. Thomas Joseph Cox, MBA ’07, died on Jan. 13, 2012. Dr. Cathy Denise HardnettMcCalope, assistant professor of accounting, died on Feb. 19, 2011. Margaret Belluomini Knopp, the wife of Dr. Paul Knopp, associate professor of mathematics, died on Jan. 25, 2012. James McKinley, husband of Patricia McKinley, vice president of student affairs, died on Nov. 9, 2011. Anna Miller, the mother of Sr. Paula Jean Miller, professor of theology, died on Nov. 13, 2011. Angela Rendon, wife of Frank Rendon ’52, mother of Marie Rendon Henry ’77 and Cathy Rendon Keirnan ’78, and motherin-law of John Patrick Keirnan ’77 died on March 27, 2012. Harry Soffer, the father of Dr. Randy Soffer, visiting assistant professor of education, died on Oct. 22, 2011. David Trevino, the father of David Trevino, systems administrator II, died on Dec. 28, 2011.

Professor Emerita Rolande Leguillon Dies at 88 Dr. Rolande Leguillon, professor emerita of French, died on Saturday, March 17, just two weeks after celebrating her 88th birthday. Leguillon taught at the University from 1968 to 2009. She received her Baccalaureat-Philosophie from the University of Paris, a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas in 1966, a master’s in French Literature from the University of Houston, and a doctorate in French Literature from Rice University. Affectionately referred to in French as “Madame,” Leguillon was passionate about teaching. Former students say she challenged them to learn French and improve with each assignment, and many considered her a mentor.

Renna Williamson, the motherin-law of Dr. Robin Williamson, professor of communication, died on Jan. 22, 2012. Julian Anthony Zagars ’98, died on Dec. 17, 2011.


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Capital Campaign Cabinet

Gloria Kalman Community Volunteer

Kim Ruth Bank of America

Kelli Kickerillo Kickerillo Companies

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

Paul Layne Brookfield Properties

Robert J. Signorelli Retired, Anheuser Busch, Inc.

Raymond A. LeBlanc Retired, Keystone International

Randy E. Velarde The Plaza Group

Dr. Sandi Lemming Village Family Practice

Don Wang MetroBank-NA

Harry Mach

Phyllis Mandola Mandola Restaurants

Dr. Kenneth Wells Alken Health Resources

David McClanahan

Rev. Joseph Pilsner, CSB University of St. Thomas

Raye White Fayez Sarofim & Co.

Raye White

Reynaldo Reza Fayez Sarofim & Co.

A. Martin Wickliff, Jr. Epstein Becker Green Wickliff & Hall, PC

Gary Rosenthal The Sterling Group

Bruce Wilkinson Retired, McDermott International, Inc.

Rev. Thomas Rosica, CSB Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation

Fred Zeidman XRoads Solutions Group

Chair David Harvey Vice Chairs Cora Sue Mach Stan Marek Patrick Moran Fred Zeidman President Dr. Robert Ivany

UST Magazine Spring 2012