George J. Alexander served as a professor of law at SCU for 34 years and dean of the School of Law from 1970 to 1985. As dean, he oversaw pivotal changes to the law school: tripling enrollment, increasing diversity of the student body, expanding key academic programs. Social justice and a global vision were square in his sights. He enabled the launch of a summer abroad law program in 1974, which has grown to be one of the oldest and largest summer abroad programs among law schools in the nation. He added intellectual property to the school’s curriculum, sowing the seeds for the law school’s high tech program. He published 13 books, and in 1996 he was named to the first endowed chair in the law school’s history.
His commitment to creating better access to legal services led him and his wife, Katharine, to make a generous donation to the then East San Jose Community Law Center, which was renamed the Katharine & George Alexander Community Law Center in recognition of their gesture. The center provides pro bono legal advice. In 2008, the Alexanders created the annual Katharine & George Alexander Law Prize to recognize lawyers who have used their legal careers to help alleviate injustice and inequity in the United States and internationally.
He passed away on July 29 after a prolonged illness. A memorial service was held Sept. 20 at the Mission Church. His leadership, friendship, and wisdom will be missed.
|Santa Claran in spirit:
Winnie Hook never attended Santa Clara, at least not in the traditional sense. But she has been part of the University through the Catala Club since the 1930s and, until her passing on June 18, 2013, at the remarkable age of 107, she was the oldest living member of the club. She “has done so much learning at the college that she says a little bit of Santa Clara’s soil belongs to her,” wrote Sam Scott ’96 in this magazine a few years ago. She was also one of three remaining survivors of the 1906 earthquake, as San Francisco Chronicle columnist Carl Nolte noted: “She had a clear memory of life early in the last century, when electricity replaced coal oil lamps, when automobiles replaced the old streetcars.” She and husband John Wilbur Hook raised two daughters, Sharon and Esther. Esther wed Santa Clara engineering grad Joseph “Rick” Rechenmacher ’49. More than 60 descendants—including a dozen great, great-grandchildren—trace their lineage to Winnie Hook. Her longtime friends at the Catala Club have taken inspiration from the liveliness and curiosity she brought to this world. To wit: Following a lecture at Santa Clara in 1935 about the new Boulder Dam, she convinced her husband to drive through the desert to see it. Recalling her first sight of the giant turbines shooting water, she said: “It was awesome.”
Aurelius Boykin Miles
Aurelius “Reo” Boykin Miles J.D. ’52 passed away on May 27 at the age of 99. He was, as the obituary in the Chicago Tribune noted, a hero. A decorated World War II veteran, he attended Stanford University and was the first African American to graduate from Santa Clara Law. During the war he rose to the rank of captain in the 92nd Infantry Division and, fighting on the Italian front, lost a leg in combat. His decorations include the Purple Heart, Silver Star, and Bronze Star. He and wife Ethel Rivers were married 50 years and raised a family. He led a successful career in real estate, and he was warm, witty, generous, and determined. The Prairie Tennis Club counted him as a celebrated member; at Hyde Park High School, he was among the first African Americans to play on the team. He was a founding sponsor of the Martin Luther King Memorial, a member of Disabled American Veterans, and a Boy Scout troop leader. Whether it was coping with racism or his war injuries, his philosophy, his son said, was, “This, too, shall pass.” The White House invited him to the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Shu-Park Chan, professor emeritus of electrical engineering at SCU and founder of International Technological University (ITU), passed away Feb. 22, 2013. For 30 years, Chan was a cherished member of the University faculty. He served as interim dean of the School of Engineering in 1989.
Diane Hiios di Bari was an outstanding educator and started teaching a course on the Exceptional Child in 2003 in the Liberal Studies Program in 2003. She worked as a school psychologist for the Santa Clara Unified School District, providing special education evaluations. She was born in Chowchilla, Calif., in 1951, and she passed away on May 7, 2013.
Dolores laGuardia, founder and director of the HUB Writing Center since its inception in 2008, passed away on July 20. A member of the English Department since 1994, she was active in writing curriculum development, offered workshops for the SCU community and staff, and worked closely with the peer writing partners and undergraduates seeking assistance at the HUB. She leaves behind her husband, David Palmer, a former senior lecturer in management at the Leavey School of Business, and her two sons, Dorian and Justin, and their families. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Dolores laGuardia Writing Prize, care of the SCU Development Office, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053.
Michael Kelly ’14 passed away on May 8, 2013. He was 21. Born in Walnut Creek, he had lived in Modesto and was a junior at Santa Clara. His passing at such a young age is a reminder to us all to appreciate each and every person with whom we spend time, each and every day. May his open and enthusiastic spirit nourish our own care for each other.