In April these remarkable Bronco alumni were honored for channeling their success into philanthropic endeavors at The President’s Dinner.
Call the Specchierla house Santa Clara: East. From Atlanta to New York, London to Palm Springs, Larry Specchierla ’63 and Maureen Specchierla ’65 have waved the Bronco flag for a half century: President’s Club, Ambassadors Program, and the New Student Calling Program.
They even helped establish the first tri-state alumni chapter for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Larry worked in financial management at Texaco for 36 years—but he met Maureen through campus politics. The two volunteered making campaign signs for Richard Bell ’63, a mutual friend. Bell won the student body presidency and Larry found love.
In Dunne Hall, Andy Kryder ’74, J.D./MBA ’77 was known for his food. Using a rogue rice cooker, he prepared ramen, hot dogs, and other dorm room delicacies for his hall. When he graduated, Kryder put his rice cooker aside: tax partner at Arthur Young; executive at Quantum and NetApp. Whenever he could, he looked to serve: Rebuilding Together, Kaiser Permanente, Villa Montalvo Arts Center, and the American Heart Association. But for Andy, the best way to give has always been food. In 2008, he founded Giving Gourmet, which donates gourmet meals—no hot dogs—for nonprofit fundraising. In all, charities have raised more than $100,000 through the help of Giving Gourmet.
Winners Issac Vaughn ’84 and Maria Nash Vaughn ’86 met because of football. And they found a life together thanks in no small part to President Paul Locatelli, S.J. ’60. Recognizing the challenges Issac faced as a black student athlete at Santa Clara, Fr. Locatelli invited him to dinner. It was an enlightening evening; Issac found a greater sense of belonging. And the dinners didn’t end. When Issac met Maria while coaching her powder puff football team, she joined the meals. When Maria’s father worried about their interracial relationship, Fr. Locatelli offered counsel. In 1991, Issac and Maria wed at the Mission in a ceremony blessed by both families—with Fr. Locatelli presiding. The Vaughns have kept SCU in their lives. Maria sits on both the Board of Regents and Athletics Advisory Board. Issac, CEO of Ooyala, assists the Markkula Center and SCU athletics, and he stewards the Black Alumni Group. The Vaughns want everyone at SCU to feel valued, just like they did.
Act I for Ignatian Award winner Jeff Miller ’73, MBA ’76 was a career in Silicon Valley as a senior executive at tech companies and as a venture capitalist. Act II: Even bigger. Retired from Documentum in 2001, Jeff and wife Karen turned their good fortune outward: supporting arts and culture, the Wounded Warriors Project, and more. At SCU he took a leadership role in shaping the University’s strategic plan and bolstering the work of what was then known as SCU’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society.
Miller believed in the center’s programs, so he and Karen made a gift in 2015 to help take those to unprecedented scale: $25 million. Now known as the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, it assists the world’s brightest social entrepreneurs in improving the lives of the global poor. By 2020, the Miller Center wants to positively impact the lives of a billion people. Jeff and Karen make an effort to see the impact of the work firsthand. And they’ve said that it’s great working with CEOs, but you have to look in the eyes of those they serve to truly change your soul.