Adolfo “Al” McGovert ’69, M.A ’71, was born March 19, 1943, in San Jose to Adolfo and Eduarda McGovert. The third oldest of seven siblings, his distinctive calm nature, positive attitude, and big heart defined him at an early age. Picking prunes in the unforgiving heat of the summer months to afford new school clothes in the fall, Adolfo learned at an early age that hard work and a high quality education would be the keys to his success. In 1961, he graduated from San Jose High School, where he excelled academically and earned varsity letters in both wrestling and track. Soon after, Adolfo enrolled at Foothill College and served honorably with the California Army National Guard from 1964 to 1971, attaining the rank of first lieutenant. It was during this time of higher learning and public service that Adolfo recognized the need for change and social justice in his community. However, knowing that “you are only as good as you are on paper,” Adolfo decided first to further his education at SCU, where he earned a B.A. in sociology and M.A. in education, counseling psychology, and guidance. While still a student, he accepted a position with the university as associate dean for Student Affairs. It was in this capacity that he began advocating for educational equity on behalf of Latino and African American students by securing funding for scholarships and grants, pioneering programs that prepared young students of color for the rigors of post-secondary education, and assisting graduates in finding employment opportunities. While at Santa Clara, Adolfo met his future wife, Cecilia, whom he married in 1979. During this time Adolfo worked at Pacific Bell, where he held numerous management positions before retiring in 1991 to spend more time with his wife and children. Family was always Adolfo’s greatest love and joy. He was an attentive husband and involved in every aspect of the lives of his two children. Adolfo was active in their education and supported them in every endeavor, never missing a sporting event or dance recital. They were his life, and he was theirs. Adolfo was the son of immigrants who left Puerto Rico to survive the Great Depression. Although their journey led them thousands of miles from home, their hearts never left the island. It was important to them that Adolfo develop a deep sense of pride for his culture and heritage. They raised him to be a good and responsible citizen, to treat others as they wish to be treated, do favors with no strings attached, place high priority on family values, and be proud of who you are. Like his father, he served as presiding officer in many Puerto Rican social and civic organizations and visited the island numerous times for both leisure and humanitarian causes. Being Puerto Rican was such a major part of his identity that while planning trips to the island he would simply tell others he was returning home. At the age of 75, Adolfo concluded his stay on Nov. 4, 2018, at his home surrounded by family and close friends. He is predeceased by parents, Adolfo and Eduarda McGovert, and brothers Henry and Robert McGovert. He is survived by his cherished wife Cecilia of 39 years and their two children, Adolfo McGovert III and Marisol (Kyle) McGovert MacGregor, brothers, David and Albert (Kathy) McGovert, and sisters Mary Lou (Jim) Nelson and Sandra McGovert. Adolfo was a beloved uncle to many nieces and nephews and a man of the world and truly a jack-of-all-trades. There was nothing he could not do, and do well. Well-read and experienced, Adolfo knew something about everything. During retirement, he had the opportunity to employ his keen business sense and entrepreneurial spirit to a variety of different projects. He did this not for the purpose of increasing wealth, but to improve the lives of those he cared about. Adolfo genuinely enjoyed helping people. It was what he did best. If you needed something, all you had to do was ask and your problem became his. So generous with his time and resources, one would have thought they were limitless. He was, in a word, selfless.

02 Jul 2019