Letters Spring 2016

A WILD GENEROSITY

I just read Brian Doyle’s Steve Nash piece in Santa Clara Magazine (we get it because my wife, Meagan Tuhy ’92, is a proud Bronco). I ended up reading most of it out loud to the entire family.

One of the best pieces on any athlete I’ve ever read, and I have read plenty.

Some friends and I used to go to the WCC tournament every year when it was in the Bay Area. We saw Nash lead that SCU team to the championship the year they went on to beat Arizona. He had a magical weekend, one of the best stretches of basketball by one person I’ve ever seen, and I wasn’t even surprised when they beat Arizona. But I would never, ever, ever have imagined that he could be the MVP of the NBA. There was a strange alchemy to his game that I tried to understand but never really did. I read once that when he realized he was slowing down he ratcheted his entire game down even slower, so he could still control other players’ reactions to his speed. Remarkable little Canadian dude.

Dennie Wendt
Portland, Oregon

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EDUCATED ADMISSIONS

Sandra Hayes has been an inspiration and mentor in the world of admissions that many institutions wish to imitate. I can say from personal experience that our SCU core values have always been part of her leadership and guidance. Thank you, Sandra, for all you did for SCU and its staff.

Lorenzo Gamboa ’03
Senior Associate Director,
Undergraduate Admission, SCU

BELIEVE IN US

I enjoyed reading the article dealing with the 1993 tournament. However, it should be noted that in 1952 the Broncos made it to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament. The team won the Western Regionals in Corvallis, Oregon, and went on to Seattle for the Final Four. We finished fourth at the tournament with a team that had not received much recognition during that basketball season but had the traditional Bronco grit.

Edward Panelli ’53, J.D. ’55
Saratoga, California

Ed Panelli is a former justice of the California Supreme Court and former chair of the SCU Board of Trustees. As for setting straight basketball history, he was there: He was student-manager of the team. —Eds.

I can say that I have few regrets from my days at SCU. I do regret not dropping everything and taking the Road Trip of All Road Trips to Salt Lake City after SCU upset Arizona. My roommates and friends were there for the game vs. Temple: Emmet Malloy ’94, Zach Fisher ’93, Buck Cobb ’93, John Corrigan ’93, Rod Burns ’93, Scott Kelley ’93, and Dave McKenney ’93. Lots of stories came back from that trip, especially how they didn’t get seats together and never actually spelled Broncos inside the game. Gotta love the Rambis glasses!

Ron Pereira ’93
Oakland, California

Santa Clara University Will Be The Beta Test Site For Autonomous Shuttles The Company Is Called Auro Robotics, A Company Based Out Of Sunnyvale, California.
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IRREPRESSIBLE BUD

Class Notes featured news (and a Sports Illustrated cover) to mark the induction of a basketball star into the West Coast Conference Hall of Honor.

“The Cover” has a life of its own! I would not have been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated were it not for our teammates and coaches, a gritty, like-minded group of competitors. Dick Garibaldi ’55 and Carroll Williams prepared us well and created a culture of togetherness that carried us beyond our wildest dreams.

Although Dennis Awtrey ’70, my brother Ralph ’70, Kevin Eagleson ’70, Terry O’Brien ’69, and I were the primary starters, Joe Diffley ’68, Chris Dempsey ’68, Bob Tobin ’70, Keith Paulson ’69, Tom Scherer ’70, Jim Kohles ’71, Mitch Champi ’71, Gary Graves ’71, and Pat Kelly ’71 made us better every day, and they epitomized the meaning of team.

P.S. Santa Clara Magazine is a thing of beauty and represents the University well.

Bud Ogden ’68
Gilroy, California

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REST IN PEACE, FR. WRIGHT

I had just transferred to Santa Clara my junior year, 1966. A nun from summer school recommended that I take a theology class with Fr. Tennant Wright. Registration was in a huge room where you signed up for classes and bought books. As I approached the theology department’s table, I dropped all my books and papers on the floor. Picking them up, I looked up to see a priest chuckling—kindly but definitely amused—laughing at the absurdity of the situation.
I gathered my things and went to his table. The conversation went like this:

“I want to register for Fr. Tennant Wright’s theology class.”

“No, you don’t!”

“Yes, I want to register for Fr. Wright’s class.”

“No, he’s awful!”

By this time, I was confused but adamant: “I want to register for his class!”

“Don’t do it! He’s a bear!”

“I like bears!”

At that, he laughed and gave me the registration papers. Back at the dorm, I told my roommate about this strange encounter. She asked me to describe the priest. Then she laughed. “That’s Father Wright!” It was the beginning of a 50-year friendship.

Joan E. Casey ’68
Vancouver, Washington

In the fall of 1957 I had the good fortune to take freshman English Composition from Fr. Wright. We wrote and wrote and wrote. I wondered how he could find time to correct all those papers—which he did, with detailed critical notes and suggestions. It became something of a joke that the course should not be called “English 1A” but “Write Right with Wright.”

One memorable class discussion and writing assignment was related to the Gerard Manley Hopkins poem “Spring and Fall (to a young child).” I realize, as I write this letter, that I can still recite that poem from memory.

So, Fr. Wright has come up against the blight that man was born for. Mourning is in order. But it doesn’t all end here. Godspeed, Fr. Wright. And thank you.

William F. Cahill ’61
Long Beach, California

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THE GREEN KNIGHT

The poignant remembrance of Theodore Rynes, S.J., by Christine Long Brunkhorst ’83, posted at santaclaramagazine.com, drew these replies:

Your tribute to Fr. Rynes is so beautiful. He was my advisor, and our meetings about classes and schedules often turned into engaging chats and a few good laughs.

Years later, Fr. Rynes baptized my oldest son in the Mission Church. I’m going to forward this piece to my son and tell him that this is a story about the priest who baptized him. Reading your words will make my son feel like he knew our dear Fr. Rynes, too.

Maryann Kelly McGee ’83
Los Gatos, California

I took four classes from Father Rynes—a true friend and mentor. You are spot on about his iambic baritone voice.

Cici Sinohui ’11
San Jose

You moved me deeply with your remembrance of Fr. Rynes and your distillation of the core of Jesuit education: It is enough, and indeed a full flowering, if we can live our lives as “just one word in the middle of a lyrical sentence in the ever-evolving essay entitled ‘Working Toward the Kingdom of God.’” Fr. Rynes really did it.

Greg Galati ’83
Hayward, California

This article demonstrates the greatest reason to attend Santa Clara—to find the professors who love you.

Chris Bruno ’84
Burlingame, California

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THE CRANKY JUBILARIAN

JMcK (my nickname for Fr. Gerald McKevitt) was not only a professor I admired, he was a friend during two periods of personal crisis in my life. His calm and quiet voice reassured me. His razor-sharp focus on the issue steadied me. His wisdom and patience guided me. Most important was the sacrament of listening he provided that allowed me to discern what to learn and how to proceed from the crisis.

My first thought upon learning of his death was an image of Jesus welcoming him with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” He certainly was that for me.

Kathryn Joseph ’92
Seattle, Washington

A wonderful teacher and mentor—he taught from his heart, and his office door was always open for his students.

Mabel Kwan ’83
Mill Creek, Washington

Fr. McKevitt proved useful beyond measure when I wrote the history of St. Ignatius College Preparatory. His knowledge of Jesuits in the West and, more important, his perspective and understanding of that history was unequaled. He could not have been more generous, more loving, and more patient. I will miss him dearly.

Paul Totah ’79
Pacifica, California

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To Trust & Thrive

Join Karla De La Torre ’09, JD ’14 in supporting the Campaign for Santa Clara: Innovating with a Mission.

Letters

Readers opine about living Santa Clara values, and a note about those missing class notes.

Reconciliation

Santa Clara University announces new working group to address and respond to the campus’ historical ties to the indigenous Ohlone people of the Bay Area.