Here’s what some of you had to say about our latest issue, the Spring 2016 mag, and the one before it in fall.


I receive alumni magazines from Berkeley, UCLA, Illinois, and U.C. Santa Cruz as well as Santa Clara. I am an alumnus of Berkeley and Illinois, and a donor to UCSC, UCLA, and the Jesuit School of Theology—now JST at Santa Clara. I want to tell you this issue is absolutely the best I have ever seen in these five magazines. I compliment you on the choice of articles, the artistry, and the connection to SCU. This is what an alumni magazine should be. Keep up the good work!

Karl Pister
Chancellor Emeritus, U.C. Santa Cruz;
Dean and Carlson Professor of Engineering Emeritus, U.C. Berkeley

I write to congratulate you on the splendid job you are doing as editor. Everything—the presentation, the content (I loved your “American Story” on Professor Francisco Jiménez ’66), the letters—is interesting, informative, and appealing. I couldn’t let another issue arrive without sharing these thoughts with you.

Mary G.F. Bitterman ’66
President, The Bernard Osher Foundation
San Francisco

The Spring 2016 cover with all those stars grabbed me right away, but the articles inside really hit home. I had to read the Cepollina story first, given my family’s connection with engineering and the stars. My dad, Barney Bannan ’42, and his brother, Tom Bannan ’23, were SCU-educated mechanical engineers like Cepi. They did work with the Apollo program and were founding members of the Vatican Observatory Foundation board, helping the Jesuits build the Pope’s telescope outside Tucson.

Through my work there I’ve met a few astronauts and some amazing people who get them out into space and back home again. I can only imagine what it was like for Cepollina to constantly push the boundaries and produce the incredible innovations he believed in. Great story!

Then, leafing through the rest of the magazine, I ran into Mike Carey ’71 and Dan Pastorini ’71. I met them and Mike Pereira ’72 at the SoCal Alumni golf tournament a few years ago—joining classmates Rusty Weekes ’71 and Bernie Clougherty ’71. We heard some great stories.

Just when I thought this was one of the best issues ever, up pops the Ricard Memorial Observatory! According to the guys I work with, that telescope is old but still an outstanding instrument. Not sure what to do about the light pollution. Maybe we should ask Frank Cepollina … A great edition. Thank you!

Katie Bannan Steinke ’71
Development Director, Vatican Observatory Foundation
Pasadena, California

Photo courtesy Francisco Jiménez

Congratulations on a great new magazine! I’m proud of you!

Larry Fargher MBA ’65
Mayor of the city of Santa Clara, 1964–65

Recently, one of my colleagues, Angela Clay, shared that her son would be attending Santa Clara University this fall! Your school has become a part of our morning coffee conversations when teachers relive personal college experiences and delight in all that your school has to offer. This morning Mrs. Clay shared her copy of the spring edition of Santa Clara Magazine. We were thrilled to see an article about Francisco Jiménez ’66. We would love to supply our students with copies of your magazine.

Kelly Alvarado
Thompson Middle School
Murrieta, California

Thrilled to oblige! —Ed.

The new format, larger pictures, new size, and paper quality are awesome, and the double-page Super Bowl 50 picture at the new Levi’s Stadium, with the six Blue Angels overhead, is worthy to be framed.

I can’t believe how the SCU campus has changed over time. I used to take visitors on tours my senior year, and now I barely know what is where. I lived in the old Orradre Library, it seemed. Since then, the El Camino has been rerouted and a wonderful new library built.

Tom Burke ’67
Sultan, Washington

Speaking of framing pictures: Here’s a sweet story shared with us recently. A fan of our Fall 2015 cover, featuring Pope Francis, had all of his Jesuit friends sign the picture, then framed it to hang on his wall. —Ed.

As I read your editor’s letter in the spring magazine, I was delighted to recognize my home county in your star-gazing tales. So which lake’s edge were you gazing from: Big or Little Glen, Lake Leelanau, Lime, Bright, Little Traverse? Or was it the big one…? Do you still visit the Mitten?

I now live in San Juan Bautista with my husband and sons, one of whom is a thriving Bronco freshman. Thank you for “Seeing Stars” which makes me feel even more connected to Santa Clara than these first eight wonderful months have already done.

Mindy Scherr
Bronco Mom

Bingo! Big Glen. Time for a visit. —Ed.

Still by Kerry Hayes / Open Road Films


This evening I watched the Academy Award presentation for 2015 best picture given to Spotlight (p. 54, Fall 2015). Well-deserved congratulations are due to producer Blye Pagon Faust ’97, her cast, and crew for courageously and skillfully bringing this enormous and painful reality further into the light. Eclipsed by the events of 9/11, the efforts of investigative reporting by The Boston Globe to uncover sexual abuse of youth by Catholic priests was somewhat short-circuited by these spectacular acts of terror. This film helps bring this watershed crisis-of-faith event full circle and gives the topic the credit and attention it must have. Spotlight is an essential primer for all Catholics who wish for and deserve far better from those who hold and guide their faith and beliefs.

Brent R. Gilliland ’84
Sherman Oaks, California


Such an amazing experience every time. I can’t wait for Katherine Nicholson ’10 to plan it again next year.

Eric Pelfrey ’09
San Francisco

Illustration by Anna+Elena=Balbusso

Our story in the Spring 2016 edition on the immersion trip to Baja, California, strikes a bittersweet note now. It was the last for Fr. Jim Reites. Read a tribute to him here. —Ed.


I just read David DeCosse’s piece in the Santa Clara Mag and was deeply moved. My mom is a physician and shares many of the same qualities as your dad did. Thank you for sharing.

Rose Madden ’09
via Facebook


When I was an undergraduate, I was required to take three religious studies classes. I took them from Tenny Wright. Through the Internet in the 1990s, I reconnected with Tenny on a regular basis.

Photos by William Eymann, courtesy SCU Archives and Special Collections

I knew that as a young adult, Tenny was moved by reading The Confessions of St. Augustine. I knew as a knobby-kneed high school student with a two-handed set shot, he was coached by the legendary Pete Newell. But what I really learned: his love for movies and the written word. When Tenny passed away last September, I reread his favorite book by Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory. Good and bad exist so close to one another down the path we journey in life. The whiskey priest in the book demonstrates even a coward has a sense of duty. In the 1991 edition, with foreword by John Updike, on page vi, that is Tenny being referred to.

Thank you, Tenny.

Bill Kerler ’74
Grass Valley, California

As an old friend of Tennant Wright, S.J., and as a Zen priest myself, it is clear from his printed obituary in Santa Clara Magazine, Fall 2015, that the editor didn’t understand Tennant or Zen Buddhism. Tenn’s quote “The older I get, the more ordinary I feel” is true clarity of the deepest understanding. Stating that he was extraordinary in the last sentence misses the mark completely.

Daishin Sunseri ’67
San Francisco


As a 1973 law school graduate at Santa Clara, I was so pleased to see a note from Paul Goda, S.J., whom I met my first year in the fall of 1970, as the opening letter. For me, as a Jew at a Catholic institution, Fr. Goda was the first priest I spent any time with—and I found him to be then, as now, a gracious, intelligent, empathetic man of exceptional character. As a Jew at SC, I never felt out of place and was always treated with great respect.

Then, unfortunately, I read the two “I hate Obama” letters that followed Fr. Goda’s and wondered why the editors chose to publish these disrespectful sentiments. The juxtaposition of Fr. Goda’s letter and the one that followed could not be more ironic.

Mitch Lyons J.D. ’73
Auburndale, Massachusetts

Photo courtesy Melvin Marks


The spring issue of the magazine brought back memories. Page 61 has a picture of a few of the Bronco football players of the 1950 Orange Bowland the trophy they won. During the victory parade, when the team arrived back in Santa Clara, I had the honor of transporting that trophy and some of the players in my car.

I graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and went to work for General Electric Co., and I worked for them for 37 years—35 on aircraft engines. I was based in Evendale, Ohio, and for 28 years in Ontario, California. From those bases I traveled the U.S., Canada, and most of Europe.

Melvin D. Marks ’52
Apple Valley, California


In the fever of the current political campaign, I was saddened to see two submissions in your letters column expressing narrow and biased perceptions of our president, Barack Obama, without any balance on the other side. Like his politics or not, the man is intelligent; has personal integrity; treats others with dignity; engages in civil discourse; has maintained an administration remarkably free of personal scandals; and has handled with aplomb many crises. Has he made some mistakes? Sure. While there is editorial license to publish whatever letters you deem appropriate, I, for one, would really appreciate some balance when you publish letters that are political in tone. I suspect your readership is broader in scope than those two particular letters and is deserving of balance as well.

Helen E. Williams J.D. ’86
Santa Cruz

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