Professor of Chemistry Michael Anthony Sweeney called teaching at Santa Clara “the best job I’ve ever had.” That job started in 1966 and lasted 46 years. The students in his first chemistry class presented him with a pamphlet, “Sweeney’s Similes,” in which they recorded many of the analogies from his lectures. Before he came to teaching he was a research chemist for Standard Oil, and he rose to the rank of captain while serving in the U.S. Air Force. While conducting research for his doctorate in chemistry at U.C. Berkeley, he co-discovered isotope rhenium-181. His investigation into the radiation levels of the primitive Earth atmosphere added to our understanding of the origin of life. The family that carries on his memory includes three children—Matthew ’93, Anna ’86, and Daniel ’87—their spouses, and two grandchildren. He died on March 26 of pancreatic cancer, and a memorial service was held at the Mission Church. The family asks that donations be made in his memory to the Department of Chemistry, where a scholarship has been established for a chemistry major who demonstrates interest in a teaching career, and who also has a sense of humor.
Leonard Napolitano ’51, Jan. 7, 2013. The father of Janet Napolitano ’79 was born in 1930 in Oakland. He quarterbacked the Broncos to victory in the 1950 Orange Bowl over Bear Bryant’s Kentucky Wildcats. He taught at Cornell Medical School and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He was a founding faculty member at the School of Medicine at the University of New Mexico, becoming dean in 1973 until retirement in 1994. He loved opera, Tony Bennett, good food, and good company.
William Francis Egan ’58, Dec. 16, 2012. The Cupertino resident was a principal engineer at GTE Sylvania and ESL. He was an SCU instructor and author of several technical books. He was married to Mary Ann. Children include John ’90, Michael ’95, Thomas ’88, M.S. ’92, Ph.D. ’05, and William Jr. ’84.
Mary Asuncion served Santa Clara University for 23 years as senior administrative assistant in the Department of Human Resources and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science. She died in December. Survivors include daughters Jennifer and Kimberly Moreno ’96.