Readers write: three cheers for the successful completion of the Leavey Challenge, hurrah for 25 years of photos by Charles Barry, and comments on Janet Napolitano ’79 becoming president of the University of California system.


In the successful completion of the Leavey Challenge, noted in video, online, and in the fall 2013 issue of SCM.

Congratulations, Santa Clara, for a job well done on this incredible challenge. Well done to Santa Clara staff and supporters for making this happen.

Seattle, Wash. 
Wonderful news! Great job, Broncos!

San Francisco 
Santa Clara never ceases to amaze me.


Posted to the digital mag



Photographer extraordinaire who, for 25 years, has been catching Santa Clara’s stories in photos —some of which were featured in “Good Light” in the fall 2013 mag. For the digital mag, Chuck tells more of the stories behind more of the photos.

Enjoyed the commentary, Chuck. The way that you work is so much deeper than merely your technical skill (which you also have—in spades).


San Jose

Fascinating! Thank you.

Posted to the digital mag
Love it!!


Santa Clara


The conversation on campus on Oct. 3, 2013, with Reza Aslan ’95 about his new book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, brought in a few comments. Read an edited excerpt in this edition.

From the perspective of the class of ’72, I am reminded that my Jesuit education did not necessarily teach me answers, but taught me to ask questions and gave me a solid foundation from which to seek answers, as Aslan has done. The keys: intelligence, research, grace under pressure, inquiry, understanding, appreciation.

Despite my graduation from a nearby university years ago, and thanks to the Osher program on the SCU campus, I have become a Broncophile. SCU offers so many gifts, such as the Reza Aslan presentation (a Muslim alum presented to a full house on a Jesuit campus … delicious), the irresistible President’s Speakers Series, and the joy of strolling through a beautiful campus, now massively enhanced by the new pedestrian promenade. The students also should take a bow for being so friendly and not dismissive of a decidedly older student generation. Next: On to the Leavey Center!

Santa Clara



“Keep the door open” is the title of Jeff Zorn’s tribute to Charles Phipps, S.J., as he retired from teaching and advising after nearly half a century. It appeared in the spring/summer 2013 mag and brought in lots of thank-you notes. Here’s another.

Loved Father Phipps as my academic advisor and his nephew Chris as the RA downstairs in Graham 300! These are the kind of people who make Santa Clara great.

Oakland, N.J.



Kristen Intlekofer’s story on Janet Napolitano ’79 stepping down from her post as Secretary of Homeland Security to head up the University of California topped the charts for comments this time around. Such as:

I was also in Sec. Napolitano’s graduating class at SCU, and it seems to me that she has been denied the recognition she richly deserves for a list of truly impressive accomplishments. I have often heard experts on shows like Meet the Press or Charlie Rose talk about how FEMA has been completely turned around since Hurricane Katrina and how good its response has been during the large number of horrific disasters that have occurred during Napolitano’s tenure—yet I have never heard anyone mention her by name or give her credit for that transformation.

I went down to UCSF’s Mission Bay campus the day Napolitano was confirmed as president of the University of California system. The group of protesters chanting “Education, not deportation!” were mostly teenaged, well organized, and well behaved. I tried to imagine the courage it took for them to be there, and I admired their commitment to trying to effect change. I stood and chanted with them while holding aloft a handmade sign that read “Welcome, Janet! We need you!” on one side and “You fixed FEMA, please fix U.C.!” on the other.

I don’t think the demonstrators expected a middle-aged woman supporting Napolitano to also be supporting them. To their credit, some of them engaged me in conversation. They said Napolitano hated immigrants and had no background in education and should never have been appointed. I asked them if they were aware of Napolitano’s record when she was the governor of Arizona; they were honest and said, “No.” I said that if they did some research, they’d find that for years she’d been talking about the desperate need for immigration reform in her speeches. Did they know what statements she had made regarding allowing the children of illegal immigrants to attend college?

I pointed out that Arizona has a state school system, too—including some large universities. And that, as governor, Janet would have been actively involved in issues pertaining to that system. Since the president of U.C. will have to tackle complex and difficult business issues such as funding, budgeting, and staffing, selecting a woman who had been in charge of the U.S. Coast Guard and had fixed FEMA sounded like an excellent choice to me. We disagreed—but we let each other speak. And I think we all actually tried to listen.

I hope the people protesting will meet Janet. I feel certain she would admire their courage and commitment to work for change. And I know they would find not the adversary they imagine, but an accessible, caring, and thoughtful person who would listen carefully to their concerns and continue working to find a solution to the deeply troubling situation these kids are in.

San Francisco
As an SCU alum, and now a U.C. faculty member, I want to remind your readers of another of Napolitano’s legacies that your magazine omitted. Under Napolitano’s watch, the Department of Homeland Security deported 400,000 immigrants a year. Between July 1, 2010, and Sept. 30, 2012, nearly a quarter of all deportations—more than 200,000—involved parents with children who are U.S. citizens. California is home to thousands of mixed-status families—including many SCU families such as my own—who have been impacted by the dragnet of raids, detentions, and deportations.

[In October 2013], California Gov. Jerry Brown ’59 signed into law the Trust Act, which will limit local law enforcement’s role in immigration enforcement efforts through DHS’s devastating program Secure Communities. Janet Napolitano was a key endorser of this legislation, largely on the pressure of student leaders. I hope this marks a shift in her approach and a willingness to be a staunch and proactive supporter of education and security for all Californians and their families.

Associate Professor of Latin American & Latino Studies
University of California, Santa Cruz

Secretary Napolitano is a great selection for the U.C. system. Go fellow Bronco!


If she runs the U.C. system anything like the DHS, they’ll be bankrupt in a year.

Philadelphia, Penn.


Memories inspired by the 1963 Santa Clara Snapshot, in which the Broncos hosted (and defeated!) the San Francisco Giants.

I remember that game, though I thought it was played early in April as the last exhibition game of spring training for the Giants. I was there, along with thousands of elementary schoolkids from public and Catholic schools in the surrounding area. School was a half day that day. I believe 11,000 fans were there to see the Broncos beat the NL Pennant winners (and possible World Series winners if that ball McCovey hit had been higher and to Richardson’s left). That day is really etched in my memory. Imagine letting kids out of school to see a baseball game today? Wouldn’t happen. We didn’t need permission slips, if my memory serves me well.


I was also there. Everyone at St. Clare’s elementary school walked over to Buck Shaw Stadium for that game. To see Willie Mays play was a day I have always remembered. It was also my very first time seeing a professional team play in person.

Santa Rosa


Along with Alden Mudge’s review of Teardown by Gordon Young in the fall 2013 SCM, the digital mag carried an interview with Young that brought in a few comments, including this one from a reader who, Young notes, moved just before things really started to go downhill in Flint.

My husband was transferred by GM out of Flint in 1977. We were a young couple, having been married only three years at that point. We spent the next 15 years trying (wishing) to be back in Flint. We laugh about it now—but that is the kind of hold the city had on folks who grew up there. As a child, I went to brand-new schools and experienced the community school concept. I remember buses of educators touring the high school I attended (Northwestern).

Oxford, Mich.


In response to our fall 2013 feature marking 25 years of work by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics:

How about trying the federal government? Ethics does not exist there.


Marietta, Ga.


Make that seven: In “Potions and Poisons,” our profile of B. Joseph Guglielmo ’73 in the fall 2013 SCM, one of our facts was out of date. We said that Guglielmo, who is dean of U.C. San Francisco’s School of Pharmacy, has four grandchildren. Let’s make that seven. “That’s what happens when you have four daughters!” he says. —Ed.

Fall 2021: Signals + Connections

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Letters: Fall 2021

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The Gift of Experience

SCU Trustee Jack Lewis and wife Carolyn are passionate about education for all. Their donation to the Miller Center will empower students working in disenfranchised communities.