In August, my husband, daughter, and I welcomed a new member (John) to our family. He is a strong, happy, healthy boy and will no doubt be a wonderful addition to the Santa Clara community. But while I was away on maternity leave, I received the sad news that Dan Germann, S.J., had passed away. Father Dan put an indelible mark on the SCU Alumni Association by founding the Alumni For Others program, offering a way for alumni to share their knowledge, talents, and time with those in need.
Thinking about Dan brought back the comments shared by many alumni recently when we asked them in a survey to name someone from the University “who had a special impact on your experience as a student.” Broncos who graduated from the 1940s to the present shared many names, though the ones mentioned most were Frs. Louis Bannan, Richard Coz, William Gianera, Dan Germann, and Norman Martin.
Without a doubt, the Jesuits at Santa Clara make a profound impression on the people they meet. Many of us feel we are better people because of the influence these exceptional individuals had in our lives. Fr. Lou Bannan was one of the pillars of the Alumni Association, and during his 45 years on campus served as advisor, chaplain, teacher, mentor, and friend to hundreds, if not thousands of Broncos. Through his engaging personality and genuine concern for others, he is considered the patriarch of our Santa Clara alumni family.
William Gianera, S.J., was both a Santa Clara alumnus (Class of 1907) and University president from 1945 to 1951. The Gianera Society, which recognizes all SCU alumni who graduated from this University 50 or more years ago, is named in his honor.
Fr. Norman Martin ’37 began as a history professor in 1958 before joining the University Relations staff as a full-time “friendraiser” in 1989. He had a gift for forging lifelong relationships and, since his death in 2006, he has been sorely missed by generations of alumni and their families.
Fr. Richard Coz is the only living Jesuit on the list from our alumni survey. He served the SCU community from 1963 to 1995 and, during his tenure, taught economics, supported student extracurricular activities, and greatly strengthened the study abroad program. His sincere interest in his students, his mentorship and his photography have passionately endeared him to so many Santa Clarans over the years. Recently, several alumni established a scholarship in Fr. Coz’s name. In record time, over 250 families have made contributions approaching $200,000 to the “Pause for Coz” effort as a way to celebrate the work of Coz and his fellow Jesuits.
Of course there are numerous others who have made a real difference in our lives. And I hope this letter will inspire you to recall those Jesuits, teachers, coaches, staff members, and other extraordinary individuals who made your time at Santa Clara formative, memorable, and unique.
Kathryn Kale ’86