Santa Clara Mag Blog

Santa Clara Magazine's blog, updated whenever the writing goblin visits the editorial staff of the magazine.

  •  Flashback Friday: Sultan of Swat at SCU

    Friday, Nov. 5, 2010

    In 1931, legendary slugger Babe Ruth visits the University of Santa Clara. Here the Sultan of Swat poses with Guido Joseph Simoni ’30 in the SC sweater. That season the Bambino hit .373 and slugged 46 home runs.

    Babe Ruth visits the then University of Santa Clara


    Liz Carney '11, editorial intern, Santa Clara Magazine

  •  Everything Everywhere: A postcard from Kyiv...and Kharkiv

    Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010

    Statue of the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko

    It’s a between time in Ukraine—a country whose name itself means Borderland. Traveling here at the beginning of November, one has the sense of things being on edge once again; there’s not a sense of nervousness exactly, but more a sense of things slipping from golden autumn into gray winter, a time to hunker down. The days are still warm but they are short and there are still weeks that will grow shorter.

    It’s a time I know well. I spent a few years in the 1990s in this country, teaching at a university in western Ukraine as a Peace Corps volunteer and then directing the Fulbright program and other academic exchanges for the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. In Ukrainian, the name of this month is Listopad, which translates as leaves fall. Indeed they do. Sometimes hope does, too.

    Across the country (except for in Kyiv, which held them two years ago), local elections were held on October 31. The result? The ruling Party of Regions, headed by President Viktor Yanukovych, seems to have consolidated power further. That wasn’t a great surprise. Is it a good thing? As in much of politics, that depends on where you stand.

    Yanokovych was the candidate defeated in the Orange Revolution six years ago. I came back to Ukraine for the first time in nearly a decade to serve as an election observer during that tumultuous time. A feeling of optimism swept much of the country like a tidal wave.

    (Full disclosure re. my revolutionary sympathies: Sashko Polozhynsky, a Ukrainian student I knew from my days a Peace Corps volunteer, had since become a major pop star, fronting the Ukrainian band Tartak. They headlined the victory concert in Independence Square the night after the election in 2004 when the Orange coalition of Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko triumphed. Like Sashko, I was rooting for the orange wave of change. So was another former student of mine, Roman, but even before the election, he sagely quoted to me a Ukrainian proverb: “We wanted better, but it turned out the way it always does.” Indeed it did.)

    The Orange coalition floundered far sooner than it should have. Blame infighting and corruption, in part. The once-vanquished Yanukovych was elected president in February. He’s promised stability and now, after Sunday’s election, further economic reform. This cheers the folks at the Wall Street Journal, who await a wave of massive liberalization. I’m more of a skeptic. I recall vividly that, back in 1994, the newly-elected Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma warmed the hearts of folks in Europe and the U.S. by talking the talk of economic reform. What Ukraine got instead was entrenched corruption, a blurring of the line where organized crime ended and government began, and a journalist’s headless body found in the woods.

    It helps to remember at times like this that the national anthem of this country is “Ukraine Is Not Dead Yet.” As I write this, I’m in an apartment on Lenin Avenue in Kharkiv, in eastern Ukraine. I spent the day with doctors at an orphanage, Baby House No. 1, which some faculty and graduates of Santa Clara have worked with in recent years on a number of projects regarding the care of orphans and children with special needs. It’s heartbreaking, soul-stirring work. And as in politics, there is much reform needed in medicine here.

    Kharkiv boasts the largest plaza in Europe, with a statue of Lenin, arm outstretched, commanding the center. Nearby is another square, with another statue, this one of the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko. At the statues feet are figures emblematic of the oppressed peoples of Ukraine. Those are some of their faces in the photograph above. There’s no mistaking the fierce dignity.

    This weekend brings the 113th anniversary of the Great October Revolution, but that’s no longer a holiday in Ukraine. Halloween wasn’t a holiday, either, but in Kiev that didn’t stop throngs of teenagers from roaming the main boulevard, Khreschatik, some wearing little red horns and face paint.

    Steven Boyd Saum, Editor, Santa Clara Magazine





  •  On Campus: 192 movements and a musical journey across the world

    Friday, Oct. 29, 2010

    When a piece of music has 192 movements and takes three years to record, it's premiere is going to take a special form, too. And here it is: SCU Associate Professor of Music and pianist Teresa McCollough premiered composer Steve Heitzeg’s World Piece Music. Recorded at SCU over the course of three years, this composition comprises 192 movements, each with its own set of musical chords and artisitic representations. You can find the premiere on YouTube.

    Each of the 192 movements represents a nation, telling of the ecological and political issues of that country.

    McCollough's goal is to send a moving musical cry for world peace.

    Unlike other live premieres, this one takes place online for the user to journey at their own pace. The movements range from a few, short chords, like the Solomon Islands (156), to a more lengthy string of notes, such as Bangladesh (14).

    You can find more information on this project on the World Piece for Solo Piano page.


    Teresa McCollough showcases 192 movements dedicated to world peace

    Teresa McCollough, professor of music at SCU and pianist


    Lindsey Nguyen '13, editorial intern, SCU Stories

  •  Man at the gate: Remembering Rudy Flores

    Friday, Oct. 29, 2010

    Rudy Flores was a much loved Campus Safety Officer for 36 years who enjoyed welcoming faculty, staff, students and campus guest from his post at the main entrance kiosk. He retired in 2000 and passed away on Sunday, Oct. 24.


    Jon Teel '12, editorial intern, Santa Clara Magazine

  •  Everything Everywhere: A postcard from Prague ... and Brno

    Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010

    Here in the Czech lands the hillsides are wearing their riotous autumnal colors: from Petrín Hill overlooking the Vltava River in Prague to the rocky Moravian Highlands, the landscapes wear gold and red and orange and yellow and brown and the last of the brilliant green of summer.

    Some of the cornfields have been plowed under and the celebrations of young wine (sweet as apple cider, if not sophisticated in flavor) and local elections (results not earth-shattering, but the Czechs have a stable government and a strong currency), and it’s the eve of a holiday celebrating nation that no longer exists.

    Klementium: a historic site in PragueAn independent Czechoslovakia came into being on October 28, 1918, wedding two regions into an independent nation. That nation ceased to exist on January 1, 1993. But the holiday persists.

    Some of my Czech friends find the celebration absurd; but having lived and worked in the Czech Republic in the 1990s, I’m among those who hold a special reverence for the fact that the little country of Czechoslovakia was formed at all—and then tragically dismembered at Munich in 1938, with British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returning home and saying, “How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas masks here because of a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing.”

    That country is not so far away any more. (Not that it was far away then; Prague is closer to London than Vienna is.) But historical memory has a way of receding so quickly.

    Some of the students at Santa Clara were born after the Velvet Revolution brought down the Communist government here. Why does that matter?

    As I write this note, I’m actually in Brno (second-biggest city in the Czech Republic, capital of Moravia, with a tiny fraction of the tourists that Prague has). Our friends here who lived through the heady days of the autumn of ’89 long ago pointed out that when the student protest began, joining them were people of their grandparents’ generation—those old enough to have lived under a democratic government and remember what was possible.


    About the photo: Nestled in the Czech Republic is the Klementinum, a complex of buildings historical in its Baroque architecture as well as in its missionary past. It was built by the Jesuits at the foot of the Charles Bridge in Prague over the course of several hundred years. Formerly a Jesuit college, this complex is now part of Charles University.

    Steven Boyd Saum, managing editor, Santa Clara Magazine, and Lindsey Nguyen '13, editorial intern, SCU Stories

  •  Flashback Friday: How high can they go?

    Friday, Oct. 22, 2010

    In a time devoid of iPods and Facebook, denizens of the ninth floor of Swig Hall celebrated their Prefect’s (a Jesuit living in the student dorms) birthday in June of 1970 by stacking nine beds together.

     Nine beds nine floors high

    Nine beds, nine floors high

     A close-up of an alum on the top bunk

    The king on his throne: An alumnus sits atop the ninth bunk bed.

    Here is another Santa Clara snapshot from 1960 that we've run in the mag recently.

    Do you have any fun memories of your time at the Mission Campus? Do share.

     Liz Carney '11, editorial intern, Santa Clara Magazine

  •  Laugh until you cry

    Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010

     Dan Dion's new book, "¡Satiristas!"

    One of our recent faves on the Santa Clara Mag bookshelf is a double-exclamation-pointed loveletter to comedy, featuring pics by photog Dan Dion ’92. As our man Danwas coming of age, stand-up comedy was his punk rock: eye-opening, soul-stirring, rule-breaking, you-can’t-do-that (but you just did) exuberance.

    So it’s no surprise that he turned his talents as a photographer upon comics and, along the way, earned international respect for his portraits of the comically disrespectful.

    (Check out the SCM archives for a profile of Dion)

    ¡Satiristas! (HarperCollins, 2010) pairs Dion’s talent behind the lens with spot-on interviews by Paul Provenza with “comedians, contrarians, raconteurs & vulgarians.” To narrow the field—and to capture the tenor of our times—the women and men who populate these pages are on the front ranks of satire, exploring the relationship between humor and society, analyzing politics, the media, and “institutionalized ignorance.”

    Behold Stephen Colbert and Sarah Silverman, Dave Chappelle and Margaret Cho, Amy Sedaris and Bill Maher.

    Generations of comics roam these pages: Steve Martin and the Smothers Brothers, Lily Tomlin and Chris Rock, Tom Lehrer and Cheech & Chong, Jello Biafra and Fred Willard (with a rubber duckie).

    Some of the gang mug for the camera, but not most; they lounge, they let down their guard, and they give the camera a straight-on look that says, This is who I am. After all, as satirists, they’re offering social commentary, not pure slapstick.

    In Dion’s introduction, he shares a bittersweet moment: George Carlin told him his photograph (Carlin perched on an upright piano) was the one he wanted to be remembered by—three weeks before dying. Dion also reveals, “The key to the guarded door of celebrity photography is trust. Without it, you don’t get in. Betray it, and the drawbridge is raised and you are thrown to the alligators.”

    Steven Boyd Saum, Editor, and Elizabeth Carney '11, editorial intern Santa Clara Magazine

  •  New digs on campus: The Locatelli Student Center

    Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010

    One of the grand events of Grand Reunion Weekend was a grand opening of the grand new Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Student Center on 10/10/10.  "Dynamic and handsome" was one apt phrase used to describe the new digs.

    Friends, family, and alumni of SCU walking to the Locatelli Center

    While there have been dozens of buildings constructed on campus since 1970, this is the first building in 40 years specifically dedicated to students.
    Upstairs are office spaces for student organizations. Downstairs is a 6,000-square-foot assembly hall, complete with disco ball suspended from the 20-foot ceiling.

    Mary Matthews-Stevens and family generously donated to the Locatelli Center

    Mary Matthews-Stevens ’84 and Mark Stevens made a $7 million gift to enable construction of the 16,000-square-foot center. 

    The Bronco Pep Band joins in on the celebration

    The Bronco Pep Band led folks through a rousing rendition of the SCU fight song.


    A Bronco shows off his vintage Santa Clara jacket

    A bucking Bronco on the back of the jacket

    Parents and friends and students young and old—including Bernhard Henschke ’58 in his dapper Bronco threads—were on hand for the fete…

    The Locatelli family is all smiles for the grand opening

    …As were members of the Locatelli family for a joyful tribute to the man who served as President (1988–2008) and Chancellor of Santa Clara.

    There are even more great pictures from this event on the SCU Facebook page.


    Jon Teel '12, editorial intern, Santa Clara Magazine

    Lindsey Nguyen '13, editorial intern, SCU Stories

  •  On campus: National security and ... motorcycles in Kenna Hall?

    Monday, Oct. 11, 2010
    It was a full house at the Mayer Theatre on Friday evening when Leon Panetta ’60, J.D ’63, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, kicked off the fifth annual President’s Speaker Series as part of the Grand Reunion celebrations on the Mission campus.
    “It's hard to believe that I am celebrating my 50th graduation anniversary,” said the CIA chief. “I made some special friends at Santa Clara and we did some crazy things.” Those included motorcycles on the first floor of Kenna Hall and “infamous” dances in San Francisco. (How infamous? He wondered if his classmates were still barred from the Palace Hotel.) “It was a special time.”
    In his reminiscences, Panetta also fondly remembered a very special friend in Paul Locatelli, S.J., ’60, former University president and chancellor who passed away in July.
    “He made Santa Clara what it is today,” said Panetta of his classmate. “He truly embodied the Jesuit ideals of academic excellence and public service. We have lost a friend but gained a saint.”
    As he addressed his fellow classmates, SCU faculty, students, and staff, Panetta took everyone down memory lane. “Few of us could have imagined the events that would engulf us as we graduated from this university,” he said.
    Among the highlights: the election and assassination of John F. Kennedy, Dr. King’s marches, the Vietnam war, the tragic death of another Kennedy, Dr. King’s murder, the various movements – civil rights, women’s rights, environmental rights, Watergate, 9/11, Katrina, the gulf oil spill, two wars, and a recession.
    “From Beatles to Bono, from typewriters to computers, from the telephone to the iPhone, from facts to Facebook … we have seen a lot of change,” he said. “ Yet, America has survived.”
    As he expounded on the various ways the world has changed, Panetta shared the four key areas that inform the Central Intelligence Agency’s operations: counter terrorism, counter proliferation, cyber security, and global responsibility.
    “We know that terrorists will come at us any way they can,” he said. “Good intelligence is more vital than ever. We have to know many different languages and we have to have diversity in our agency. Our technology has to be on the cutting edge, we have to be ahead of our adversaries, and we have to be agile.”
    But, he stressed, given all of these challenges in a fast-changing, cyber-aware world one must not compromise on the values that this nation stands for.
    “We have to protect our people, gather intelligence, and conduct all operations in a way that upholds our laws,” he said.
    It’s no easy task leading the charge of the country’s premier intelligence agency … for Panetta, the beliefs and principles he formed as a student at Santa Clara have been a guiding force.
    “I am grateful for the education I received here,” he said. “The Jesuits not only gave me knowledge, they gave me an understanding of life. I learned that you have to question … and you have to have a willingness to fight for what you believe in.”
    There’s lots more; watch the full video of Panetta’s talk on campus.
    Mansi Bhatia
    University Writer/Editor


  •  Flashback Friday: Grand Reunion...and Panetta in the house

    Friday, Oct. 8, 2010

    Leon Panetta CIA Director yearbook photo

    Santa Clara grads from across the years are gathering on campus this weekend, including a number of folks from the Class of ’60.

    One big event on Friday night: the launch of the President's Speaker Series with Central Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta ’60, J.D. ’63.

    (That's his law school graduation pic on the left.)

     Topic of the day: maintaining national security amid the threat of nuclear weapons, cyber-attacks, etc., while still abiding by the Constitution and upholding American values.

    Look for a lively Q&A.

    In his undergrad stint at Santa Clara, Panetta studied political science and helped found the Italian club.

    Can you find him in the group shot? 

    (Click image to zoom.)

     Thank you, SCU Archives and The Redwood for the archival snaps.

    Liz Carney '11, editorial intern, Santa Clara Magazine