Excellence in the classroom
I was pleased to read John Heath was awarded the Brutocao Award for excellence in teaching (“Top of the Class,” Summer 2005). His palpable enthusiasm, wit, and engaging style made his courses both enjoyable and challenging. His classes demanded more from students than the memorization of dates or concepts; they provoked contemplation and consideration of the more abstract dilemmas of ethics and politics, with Classics serving only as a primer, an account and measure of the triumphs and failures centering on the same issues.
It is this core motif, abundant in Heath’s work, that is most reflective of the kind of liberal arts education for which Santa Clara strives, and that which I have taken away.
David Mason ’03
Mexico City, Mexico
(submitted through santaclaramagazine.com
Fellow alum’s rise to mayor is impressive
Great article on Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams ’73 (“Wielding the Gavel,” Summer 2005). For years, I had seen him on national television and read about him in the national newspapers, particularly with the recent campaign to bring baseball back to D.C. I never made the connection until I read the summer SCU magazine article. Wow, that’s Tony Williams, as he was known at SCU at the time.
Way to go Tony, you really did something after SCU, Yale, Harvard—even the Air Force. Yes, I remember he took a lot of heat for, as he said in the article, not being “black enough” in the early 1970s.
I remember taking some heat too as a “black” resident assistant in the dorms. Anyway, the folks that gave Tony political heat at SCU were, you guessed it, his own people. Who would have thought that 32 years later, Tony would be the mayor of one of America’s inner cities with the largest concentrations of, you guessed it, his own people and guess what, they voted for him too. Isn’t life is full of ironies?
Philip Duhe ’74
American Canyon, Calif.
Don’t forget Mayor Pinard
Thank you for your feature on the SCU alumni mayors. I was disappointed that you did not include Margaret (Peg) Pinard ’67, who as mayor of San Luis Obispo and later as county supervisor dedicated herself to justice for those oppressed. I think particularly of her long and painful struggle to achieve relief for the residents from the dangerous oil waste pollution in the Avila Beach area.
Tennant Wright, S.J.
SCU Religious Studies Department
Consider a story about SCU’s military tradition
I enjoyed reading your article in the Alumni Heritage Series, “Alumni Mayors Share a Tradition of Service.” The article made me reflect on other SCU alumni who have committed to improving their community. One area where I believe SCU has a rich heritage of dedication is the military service of alumni. As more members of the “Greatest Generation” leave us, this may be an excellent opportunity to recognize their sacrifice and commitment to our country.
Many of the values taught in the military I first learned while attending SCU: honor, courage, commitment, and integrity. An article on the military heritage at SCU would easily demonstrate how the world has been improved by the commitment alumni have made to serve their country, a virtue taught at SCU.
Michael Gurley, ’78
(submitted through santaclaramagazine.com)