I just received my issue of the magazine and I want to comment about the article that you did about John J. Montgomery on p. 30. Fantastic! I’ve always been a fan—I’m a retired teacher [and parent of Ron Freeman ’84], and I live up in the Villages, which of course is where Mr. Montgomery tested some of his gliders. The last one he did was called The Evergreen. No one around here seems to know who he is. I think you did a wonderful job of writing that article.

Joan Freeman
San Jose


I was present when the time capsule was placed at the John J. Montgomery monument at Evergreen Valley College in 1978, and I hold an invitation for its opening in October 2011. However, as far as I know that opening never happened. Does the author, or anyone else, know of plans to retrieve the time capsule?

Matt Weingart ’86
Livermore, Calif.


Orville and Wilbur sure had a great PR agency. The misinformation is still embedded in our history books today. Quest for Flight [by Craig Harwood and Gary Fogel] is a great book that hopefully will open the eyes of many and help set the record straight. Well done!

Al Luckow
Ben Lomond


Great article! This is an amazing story that touches much of our modern technology and lifestyle here in Silicon Valley. Thanks for spreading the story, Craig!

John Giddings M.S. ’91, MBA ’97
Los Gatos


Paul Totah did a fine job with the Montgomery article. There could have been more if he would have cited the Santa Clara Spectrum magazine of 1958 for the article on Montgomery. The first real textbook report of John J. Montgomery’s work was cited as Vehicles of the Air (now out of print) by Victor Lougheed.

Michael J. Cosgrove ’58
Brookings, Ore.

The aviator goes steampunk: At least that’s the plan for a feature film about the life and aviation exploits of John J. Montgomery. Raising money for the project are John Giddings M.S. ’91, MBA ’97, a clean-tech consultant and Silicon Valley investor who also teaches technology entrepreneurship on an adjunct basis in the School of Engineering and serves on the engineering advisory board. He’s teamed up with producer Veronica Craven for a film that, if it gets off the ground, will have a retro-tech feel that makes it very different indeed from the Glenn Ford biopic on Montgomery from 1945, Gallant JourneyPhoto courtesy SCU Archives



I enjoyed the article “Building biomedical tests” in the Fall 2012 SCM, but I was a bit surprised on p. 25 to see the statement: “A preliminary list of chemicals that affect brain development from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency includes lead, nicotine in tobacco, and the artificial sweetener aspartame.” Did the reporter get the inclusion of aspartame correct?

In the ’90s, when aspartame was approved by the FDA and became popular in products like Equal, I read a lot about possible negative effects, as both my twin sister and I use it regularly. There was a lot of nonsense, e.g., that aspartame is a chemical while sugar is not, and aside from a minor side effect of slight headaches for some users, the consensus was that aspartame in moderation was safe. If you know of evidence or studies to the contrary I’d appreciate knowing of them, especially as it’s easy to switch to sucralose (as in Splenda) or other similar products.

Peter Ross
Emeritus Senior Lecturer in Mathematics at SCU

Writer Melissae Fellet replies:
I’m glad to hear you’re thinking critically about chemicals, exposure, and safety. Aspartame is part of that EPA list, though it’s not clear from what’s posted if the studies that landed it on the list were based on human consumption or (most likely) lab animal exposure, like dosing mice or rats. The posted information from the EPA also doesn’t make clear the exact amount of aspartame that the pregnant mothers received that affected their babies’ developing brains, except that the dose is less than 5,000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the acceptable daily intake of aspartame is 50 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. That means a 150-pound adult would have to drink 17 cans of diet soda, or use 97 packets of artificial sweetener, in one day to consume enough aspartame to reach that limit. A 2007 review of the toxicology of aspartame concluded that it’s safe at the levels of ordinary consumption.

[To learn about the EPA’s preliminary developmental neurotoxicants list, download a PDF from their website. You can also read an in-depth article about the list that’s helpful.]



Off to the game: From the Class of ’50, they’re Norm IngrahamVince DiTomasoPete Kraljev, and Dennis Rosaia. Photo courtesy Lillian Rosaia

I thoroughly enjoyed your Fall 2012 edition, especially the article “The Boys of ’50.” It brought back fond memories to me, since I was one of the “boys.”

My parents could never have afforded to send me to Santa Clara. Thank God for the G.I. Bill. Tom Mollard ’50Bill O’Leary ’50, and I graduated from St. Joseph High School in Alameda together. After serving in the military, we entered Santa Clara and graduated from the Engineering College together. Today, the three of us are widowers, each having long and happy marriages.

I was sorry to hear of the passing of Denny Rosaia ’50. There aren’t many of us left. All of those mentioned in the article were my friends, and the engineering class of 1950 was “like no other.”

Bill Ward ’50


Wonderful group! I wasn’t quite five years old when these men graduated, but I was a happy member of the third class of women at Santa Clara, and I, too, have lasting friends from my years there.

Mary Taylor Olsen ’67
Blairsden, Calif.


It is an honor to have my father, Bob Smith ’50, as part of this great group of men.

Chris Smith ’88 
Portland, Ore.



Two of my favorite Bills!

Katey Dallosto Shinn ’93
Dublin, Calif.



Great interview. Great video simulation. All indicators is that it went just as in the simulation. The whole team should be proud of the accomplishment.

John Beck ’78 
San Jose

Watch our interview with Robin Beck here


Thank you for Santa Clara Magazine. In a world where my focus is making a living and paying bills, thoroughly reading or sometimes just skimming through the magazine makes me proud of the diverse accomplishments of our alumni and faculty. Santa Clara Magazine is the reality we need: stories of real people who live with passion and integrity.

Tracey (Belfiglio) Hebert ’86
West Hills, Calif.



The magazine is always welcome with the excellent articles exemplifying the great Santa Clara University. I had the joy of being at the Sunday liturgy in late July this summer. Great memories of my summers on the campus and of the chapel liturgies.

Marian Enck, OSF
Dubuque, Iowa



I was happy to read [“The Makers” in the Summer 2012 SCM] about the arts at SCU, which included the theatre, studio art, music, and dance programs, but was disappointed that the film-“makers” were not included. The film program—part of the communication department at SCU—is a hidden gem. We hold annual film festivals showcasing dozens of students’ films on campus, our works have been exhibited at the de Saisset Museum, and we have amazing professors and instructors who teach every aspect of filmmaking, from using Super 8 mm cameras for experimental films to composing documentaries focused on social justice issues to building sets in our television studio in the Arts & Sciences Building in the studio production class. Students’ films have won awards in film festivals around the country, they have recently been featured in local newspapers (see American Colter), and they make films that bring artistic expression as well as awareness to our community.

I would also argue that the film program encompasses and unites all the arts: Theatre majors have been our wonderful actors, music majors have composed music for our soundtracks, dance majors have been a subject in many of our documentaries and experimental films, and works of art have been incorporated in our movies. I know that many of our films would not have thrived if not for all the other incredible makers at SCU, but I hope that, equally, our films have inspired and helped other artists to thrive in our collaboration with them.

Chelsi Johnston ’12

We couldn’t agree more with Chelsi Johnston: Writing and directing and editing sure have something to do with making. More to come in covering that stuff here? Absolutely. As for Johnston, she completed (with honors) a degree in digital filmmaking and has recently been helping wrangle things behind the scenes on the television series Hawaii Five-O. —Ed.



The opening of the new Graham Hall in fall 2012 created quite the buzz on the SCU Facebook page. Here’s a sampling.

“Like” doesn’t quite do this justice.

Miranda Niemoth ’02
Holy guacamole!

Chloe Wilson ’13
Can I move back in?

Kate Lamey Dick ’95
I’d like to go back, too.

Jennifer Mary Burman ’86
Graham, is that you? SCU does it right! Beautiful!

Elena Ebra Imian ’08
This is not fair not fair not fair not fair not fair …

Sanjay Rao ’12

This Summer Girls Ran the World

Swift Clara, the Bey Hive, honorary mayorships, and more: This summer, fanbases of mainly women helped rebound the U.S. economy.

A Billion for Tomorrow

A billion in support of scholarships, research, and facilities. Find out what it all means

Super Bloom!

What happens after the rains fall can be glorious.


Play—whether via imagination or with perspective—never stops being important to a person’s development.