Letters from readers to the staff of Santa Clara Magazine


The feature article “The Makers” in your summer issue was both upbeat and highly informative. I had no idea that the campus was teeming with such a wide variety of artistic expressions, often intertwined with an overarching goal of inculcating, as the article read, “core skills and values to students.”

I was especially happy to see the de Saisset Museum credited with a pivotal role amid these artistic endeavors. It is a gem of a museum ably led by its innovative director, Rebecca Schapp. As a longtime volunteer curatorial assistant at my funky local museum, I can appreciate all the more the true professionalism of the de Saisset. This museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums, and to earn—and retain—this prized accreditation a museum has to jump through many strict curatorial and financial hoops. As an alumnus, I am so proud of it that I even feel impelled to pry loose money for an annual gift to its operations.

Joseph B. Young ’53



Many folks shared memories and appreciation for Dr. Victor Vari as part of Ron Hansen’s “Bella vita” in the summer edition. Here are a few.

Many thanks for the fine article on Dr. Vari, one of my favorite instructors at SCU. Some of my fondest memories of my undergraduate days are of that fine man reciting from memory poetry and passages from the treasures of Italian literature. If anyone truly loved the subject that he was charged to teach, there was no better example than that of Vittorio Vari for Italian literature and culture. I am honored to be among the many that he taught over his 66 years at Santa Clara. Auguri, dottore, e grazie per tutto quello che ci ha insegnato, sopratutto la vostra umanita e l’amore per la “lingua pura”—l’Italiano. [Or, in English:] Best wishes, Doctor, and thank you for everything you taught us, especially for your humanity and love of “the pure language”—Italian.

Mike McDonell ’66 
Hilton Head Island, S.C.


Dr. Vari greatly influenced my years at SCU as an Italian Studies major. He served as mentor, teacher, counselor, and guide. Dr. Vari would personally phone you if you missed class (how could he not notice?) and supported me during the time of my father’s death in my senior year. He had a profound impact on my life and for that I am grateful.

Monica Crosetti Lalanne ’83


Naturalmente, un uomo appassionato della cultura, Dr. Vari, mille grazie! Thank you to Dr. Vari for showing us the passion of the Italian culture. He took us from the sweet sounds and landscapes of Italy—from the streets of Venice to the sights in Tuscany while we studied the Italian language … exposed us to the beautiful places our eyes had not yet seen.

Marisol Escalera ’02 
San Jose


The first time I saw Dr. Vari was my freshman year, 1961, when he drove into the parking area between Nobili and O’Connor Hall. Out stepped this very dapper gentleman in a European suit and Italian shoes, a striking figure of elegance. I thought, as he parked his Jaguar XKE, “There is a man with flair.” He was probably 44 at the time, while I was 20. Little did I think that I would retire from teaching seven years before he did.

Dr. Vari changed my life. He gave me an appreciation for language and the cultures they reflected. His Spanish classes were inspiring and personal. He was instrumental in encouraging my studies with NYU in Madrid my junior year and my master’s program there. My life of Spanish and ESL/bilingual teaching was a direct result of his influence.

R. Terry Handley ’65 
Greenfield, Calif.


Dr. Vari helped me to navigate the complicated waters of academic life, but he also knew when to take a step back in order to allow me to make my own decisions. It was evident that he was born to teach, to encourage and to challenge all who crossed the threshold into his classroom, and because of him, we all went out into the world as better people.

Dr. Vari’s intellect and integrity, along with his dedication and compassion, have inspired generations of students at Santa Clara University. While I am a bit saddened by the thought of his retirement, I am so pleased to hear of the Italian Studies Initiative because it means that his influence will be felt for generations to come.

Loredana Harrison ’83 
North Andover, Mass.


Professor Vari: I wanted you to know how grateful I am for what you did that allowed me to graduate. After I left Santa Clara, I played professional football for eight years, then farmed in Northern California for 20 years—growing almonds, tomatoes, and other crops—and became involved in the food processing industry for another 20 years. I want to wish you the very best. I hope you have a long, healthy, and happy retirement.

Gern Nagler ’53 
Portland, Ore.



I enjoyed Mark Purdy’s article about the storybook season of the 1962 Bronco baseball team, and I was fortunate enough to see them honored at the basketball game in January 2012. As an avid baseball card collector in my youth, I have John Bocabella’s cards from 1970 and 1971 when he was with the Expos. The back of his 1970 card says that in his first pro season, 1963, he was voted Pioneer League Rookie of the Year. His 1971 card says, “John hit .333 his sophomore year at Santa Clara and as a junior hit .357 in 47 games with 10 homers and 58 RBIs in helping lead team to 1961 California Interscholastic Federation and NCAA District Eight championships.”

I also attended St. Francis High School during Ron Calcagno ’64’s tenure there as a teacher and coach. Good to see that SCU team recognized for their accomplishment 50 years ago!

Damien Palermo ’85
Mountain View



Women’s sports [“The sporting life,” Summer SCM] has come a long way in 50 years because of women like Marygrace Colby M.A. ’91. She fought hard and long to give women an opportunity like the men were enjoying. I am very proud of her being such a strong advocate for women. She still is today. As she enjoys retirement, she is helping young girls attend sport camps and sparking their interest in attending college in their future.

Cathy Kitterman


When I arrived on the Santa Clara campus in the fall of 1963, I was a 32-year-old high school P.E. teacher with little coaching experience, hired to “direct and instruct women students in various recreation and athletic pursuits.” No parameters given, nor printed material on how to proceed, except that recreation was the emphasis. With the help of department secretaries Kathy Ivers and Dolores Gisi, I began new programs and activities and hired qualified coaches for women students who wanted to be involved in Intercollegiate Athletics.

I have always admired those first female student-athlete pioneers at Santa Clara, who were provided with little in terms of finances, equipment, and qualified coaches. Fifty years later, Santa Clara’s women’s athletics and female participation at institutions all over the country have come a long way.

In 1988, at the suggestion of Lee Mahon and Jo Ann Vasquez, the administrators of the counseling psychology and education administration graduate programs, I started attending classes at SCU. In 1991, I received my M.A. in educational administration. At the graduation ceremony, I was inducted into Alpha Sigma Nu, the National Honor Society of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Awarded for distinguished achievements in scholarship, loyalty, and service, this honor made me a real believer in Santa Clara and all it stands for. Lee and Jo Ann became my mentors, not only while I was in their program, but also because of their special interest in equality for all of our female student-athletes.

For 32 years I gave a lot of my life to Santa Clara University and it has continued to give me a lot in return. Once a Bronco, always a Bronco!

Marygrace Colby M.A. ’91
Former Director of Women’s Athletics at SCU



It’s been a pleasure to work with Mark Alsterlind ’76 for the last eight years and develop a friendship enriched by art, food, and wine. We look forward to many, many years to come.

Jacky and Michael Recchiuti
San Francisco


Living by Mark’s side is a constant wonder. So sometimes, I ask: What drives Mark’s endless energy to create? I have yet to come up with an answer to that question. If any of you knows what soft and secret madness drives artists’ lives and choices, please let me know!

Severine Gaspari
Manosque, France



Two areas that perhaps could be explored in future SCM articles: first, how the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, under Mick McCarthy, S.J., will expand its activities in response to Fr. Adolfo Nicolas’ “Challenges to Jesuit Higher Education Today” (SCM, Winter 2010), an address reflected in the Center’s vision statement. Second: how the resources of the Jesuit School of Theology may be blended with University resources to “establish Santa Clara as a national and international leader in theological study and scholarship,” in accord with the No. 1 priority in the 2011 Strategic Plan (SCM, Spring 2011).

As a longtime reader, it has been with delight that I have seen SCM evolve into one of the most consistently engaging publications I receive.

Wiley C. Wilson M.A. ’68 
Holland, Mich.



We are very proud of alumna Tara Macken ’08. And we were pleased that she joined us on Oct. 5 as a participant in our department’s annual workshop “The Business of this Business.”

Barbara Murray
Chair, SCU Dept. of Theatre and Dance



The mission [Sara Soledad Garcia has undertaken in Mexico] is so important in getting all the key players involved in what’s happening to the environment and being able to teach how we can make it better. I love her work and am very supportive of it.

David Luna 
Ventura, Calif.



A local group is in the midst of a feasibility study to determine if Silicon Valley can sustain a co-ed Cristo Rey High School [like the one profiled in your spring magazine] in East San Jose. SCU Chancellor William Rewak, S.J., is participating in this project. See cristoreysanjose.org for details and to help with jobs for these underserved children of the working poor.

Davide Vieira ’81
San Jose



My little sister, Jacqueline Taylor ’12, just graduated from SCU, along with my sister-in-law Gina Guglielmi ’12 and my first cousin Stephanie Carmassi ’12. This was a special graduation because we are the fifth generation to attend this fine university, yes, fifth. It dates back to Adolph Gericke 1889, followed by Emile Maloney ’26 and his brother Harold Maloney ’24. Emile’s son and my uncle, Richard Maloney ’52, is our grandmother’s (Sheila Carmassi’s) brother. Sheila married Herm Carmassi, from the dynamic class of ’56, and their son Steve Carmassi ’84 is Stephanie’s father. I even attended his graduation in the Mission Garden back in the day. To go a step further, my husband, Tony Guglielmi ’06, and I were married by Father Tony Sauer ’56, good friend and classmate of Herm Carmassi. Fr. Sauer also baptized a future Bronco: Giuliana. We took a photo at the picnic, which I hope to find, of three of the five generations who recently attended this warm ceremony last Saturday. They included my grandfather Herm, his son Steve, his daughter Stephanie, my brother Ryan Taylor ’10, my sister Jacqueline, my husband Tony, and his sister Gina. We are so proud to be a part of this fine institution. Let the tradition continue.

Bently Guglielmi ’06 
San Carlos



The lost decade: The print edition of “Why women professors?” in the Spring 2012 SCM said that Professor Emerita Karen Fox, the first woman to become tenured at the Leavey School of Business, began teaching at SCU in 1990. Wrong. She came to the Mission Campus in 1980. Fox writes that she was glad to see the photo of colleague Nicole Sault and students in Chiapas, Mexico, as part of the article—and she noted that she was the other faculty member along for that journey: “I ended up deciding to stay as a volunteer for over a month.” She translated reports from indigenous people terrorized by the military so that their stories could be disseminated in English over the internet.

While we’re reeling in the years: The print edition of the Summer 2012 SCM misstated the grad year for our second Rhodes Scholar, runner and student of philosophy extraordinaire, Noelle Lopez ’09, now working on her doctorate at Oxford.

This Summer Girls Ran the World

Swift Clara, the Bey Hive, honorary mayorships, and more: This summer, fanbases of mainly women helped rebound the U.S. economy.

A Billion for Tomorrow

A billion in support of scholarships, research, and facilities. Find out what it all means

Super Bloom!

What happens after the rains fall can be glorious.


Play—whether via imagination or with perspective—never stops being important to a person’s development.