TALK ABOUT TOUGH
Until I read “How can you defend those people?” [Fall SCM], I used to think that some of my classmates defended criminals and murderers—which I had trouble understanding—while some of us went into the Army and honorably defended our country for over 20 years. Thanks for your service, Bob Strunck ’76, in a tough environment. It was great to see you, Garth, and Paul, the guys “incompatible” with SCU dorm life, at our recent reunion. When I heard that you guys were buying rounds of drinks for the Marines Thursday night at Fleet Week in SF, I already gave you a pass.
Mike O’Hara ’72
The article prompted one of Bob Strunck’s friends to write, under the nom de plume Gunther Drano: “You didn’t have to room with him!!!” The article has also had more folks forward it via Facebook than any piece in SCM to date.—Ed.
The Fall 2011 edition was terrific. The article by Khaled Hosseini ’88 [“The promise of this day”] was stunning. After reading his commencement address on “never enough” I would say there is never enough of Mr. Hosseini’s writings. Well done.
Ted Broedlow ’64
Corona Del Mar, Calif.
THE CLASS OF ’45: THE BOYS WHO WENT AWAY
Here’s a verbal snapshot from the World War II years on campus.—Ed.
We were freshmen in 1941, eager to begin our college life. Three-story Kenna Hall was our dormitory. Life on campus was, in a word, “restricted.” There was mandatory study, in your room, each evening from 7 to 9 p.m. (in present-day jargon, “a lockdown”); lights out, 10 p.m. Floor monitors were assigned to each floor: James L. Vizzard, S.J., on the third floor, Joseph T. Keane, S.J., on the second. The glass doors to their offices, at the end of the hall, were positioned perfectly to view the many doors to our rooms. This would discourage any student from leaving his room during study period. Break the rules and you would be summoned to the office of John P. O’Connell, S.J., prefect of discipline. He was a no-nonsense Jesuit. He would dole out the appropriate punishment to the wrongdoer. His wrath could pierce the side of an armored tank!
The classroom became our focus; football, our diversion. The football program was under the direction of Buck Shaw, a former Notre Dame star and a highly respected football scholar who would become a legend. The freshman football team was predestined to become one of the most successful in school history. The line was composed of stars like Frank Avilla, Ed Smith, Tom Dowling, and Frank Laney. Stand-out ends were Cy Smith and All-American Tommy Fears. Back fielders were Paul Vinnola and Chris Christianson. They would be the future success for Santa Clara football. In the classroom, studying was paramount. We knew we were there to work. The wild-eyed Austin J. Fagothey, S.J., brought us into the world of philosophy; James M. Corbett, S.J., instructed the fundamentals of logic; in science, Eugene M. Bacigalupi, S.J., taught us the mystery of physics. The three doctors of chemistry—Harold L. Link, Joseph F. Deck, and Robert W. Ward—were serious and competent; there was no time for frivolity. I must remember William C. Gianera, S.J., a gentle man of the cloth, kind and compassionate, the prefect of studies, and the one person to guide us on our academic careers. He was all about understanding, a man of great sensitivity, and a guiding light for many of us at Santa Clara.
The attack on Pearl Harbor would change the life of each student of Santa Clara University. The years that followed became the war years, with students leaving to enter the service. It was a slow process, as students would wait for their orders. By the end of 1943, all eligible candidates had entered the service. A handful of the Class of 1945 would remain. The Tom Dowlings and the Chris Christiansons were lost in some far-away place, fighting for our country. It was ironic that our class started in 1941, the year World War II began and ended in 1945, the same year the war ended.
As the war ended, many of our class would return to Santa Clara—a new class, a new graduating year. The Class of 1945 was lost in the pages of time. It was a new beginning.
Thomas E. Gebhardt ’45
WITH GRATITUDE AND RESPECT
As a recent graduate and recipient of financial aid, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Robin Ferrari ’76 and to every individual who has generously contributed to Santa Clara University. Robin’s letter in the Fall 2011 edition of Santa Clara Magazine elucidates the importance of the continuing support of SCU alumni, even in these challenging times; your generosity has made possible my academic success at this prestigious institution, and in turn I hope I am blessed with the opportunity to support future students.
However, as alumni and as donors, we must also take the time to express our gratitude to the faculty, who, more than anyone or anything else, make Santa Clara a truly great university. These men and women have dedicated their lives to the preservation and dissemination of knowledge, and we must do everything in our power to help promote and maintain SCU’s top-notch teaching staff. As a music student, I was extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to work with several talented and devoted educators, from the professors of theory and history to the indefatigable, selfless staff accompanist. I respect and admire the SCU faculty, both in the music department and in other fields, immensely, and I encourage every alumnus to stand beside and support their former teachers. Please take the time to thank faculty members personally, to donate to specific departments and programs, and to recognize the critical importance of the faculty’s contribution to the students and to the SCU community.
Lucas Ramirez ’11
REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS GRAHAM
Jeff Gire’s feature on Graham Hall (with lots of memories of its denizens over the years) drew more readers online than any other feature in the last issue. And it brought in numerous comments. Here are a few:
When I started at SCU, I was a little disappointed that I ended up on the “upperclassman” side of campus, thinking I would miss the fun associated with Swig. Soon I realized that I had the best arrangements—I mean, a pool right outside my dorm? What a community we built. Thanks for the memories.
Debbie Medeiros Carey ’80
South San Francisco
Students could rent Pipestage out for events. Two that stick out in my mind were the “Come as your favorite biblical character” party (as a business major, I came as a moneychanger ousted from the temple) and a casino night (using real chips and money) that got raided by the police.
Greg Finn ’79, MBA ’88
Graham 400 was my introduction to Santa Clara life. There was the time I tried to wash a friend’s borrowed tuxedo in the washing machine, only to be stopped by my great friend (and savior) Cooper. Plus, my first and only all-nighter to write a paper for English class—I think I still barely passed the class. And I lived next to a German raver named Grasshopper, no joke. Tears, beers, no fears—that was my freshman year in Graham!
Jim Freeburg ’03
We are committed to precision. In 1962, some, if not all, of the ladies of the class of ’66 were housed in Nobili Hall in their freshman year. Nobili became a men’s dorm in 1964, and my roommate Jerry Walsh and I moved into a Nobili room our junior year. We were shocked! Nobili was sweet! Carpeted rooms and hallways! Clothes washers and dryers! A bathtub on each floor!!! The frosh guys had cold, 40-year-old linoleum tile floors at O’Connor and Kenna, no bathtubs!—and they had to brave Laundromats off-campus—at least those of us who bothered to wash our clothes. I had no talent for this. A week into my freshman year, I washed my new University of Santa Clara sweatshirt along with my whites. I spent the next two years trying to explain why all my T-shirts and socks were pink.
Dan McCoy ’66
La Cañada, Calif.