Santa Clara University


Alumni in the News

A new bishop for South Africa
Ordination Day: Bishop João on April 18.
Photo: Tina Goodchild

In the Limpopo Province, about 250 miles northeast of South Africa’s capital of Johannesburg, lies the diocese of Tzaneen. On April 18, Tzaneen received a new bishop: João Noé Rodrigues M.A. ’05.

Born in Capetown in 1955, Rodrigues studied in Pretoria and received a degree in theology from the Pontificia Università Urbaniana in Rome. He was ordained a priest in 1982 and came to SCU to study for his M.A. in pastoral ministries with an emphasis in spirituality 2003–05.

The diocese he serves is part of the Archdiocese of Pretoria. With a population of 2.5 million—of which 50,000 are Catholics—the diocese encompasses almost 20,000 square miles along the borders of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. It is also one of the poorest regions in South Africa, populated largely by the Northern Sotho, Tsonga, and Venda peoples. The region is referred to by South Africans as “the Great North” and serves as one of the gateways to Kruger National Park, South Africa’s largest wildlife sanctuary.

Bishop Rodrigues was nominated for his new post in January. He leaves the Sacred Heart Parish in Ackerville in the Diocese of Witbank, and he replaces Bishop Hugh Patrick Slattery.

John Deever


Baseball, basketball, soccer…
Playoffs this year? Randy Winn was hoping.
Photo: Getty Images

As a Bronco, Randy Winn ’96 tasted the thrill of postseason victory his first year on campus. As a professional baseball player, the wait has been much longer. Going into the 2010 season, the veteran outfielder had played in more than 1,600 games without making a playoff appearance, a record among current Major Leaguers. For a while this season, it looked as if that streak might be in peril. As we reported in the Summer 2010 print edition of this magazine, in February, Winn signed with the New York Yankees, the reigning World Champions, decamping from San Francisco’s ballpark for digs in the Bronx. Of course, Winn only qualified for the dubious distinction thanks to a career that would be the envy of many. The speedy fielder has played a dozen seasons, including 2002 when he was an All-Star for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. But no athlete wants to go home early year after year. Since 1995, the Yankees have missed the playoffs only once—not that Winn was taking anything for granted. “I hope it’s this year, but I’ve hoped it’s this year for a lot of years,” Winn told the New York Times. “I truly understand that nothing is guaranteed.” Indeed, at the end of May, Winn was cut by the Yankees when center fielder Curtis Granderson returned to their lineup. Winn didn't offer any excuses for what had been a lackluster season so far. "I played terrible and that's the bottom line," he told ESPN New York. "With Curtis coming back, a move had to be made, and it fits. One outfielder coming in, one outfielder going out."

Certainly Winn knows how unpredictable sports can be. In 1993, he was a freshman backup on the Santa Clara basketball team when the 15th-seeded Broncos upended the second-seeded Arizona Wildcats in the NCAA tournament, one of the greatest upsets in college basketball history. Winn focused on baseball after his sophomore year, though his time playing basketball helped cement a friendship with another future All-Star: Steve Nash ’96, who stars for the Phoenix Suns. “Wherever Steve is, that’s the team I root for,” he told the Times.

In February, Steve Nash was, of course, back home in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Sporting a pair of maple leaf–embroidered mittens, he was one of four athletes given the distinctive honor of lighting the Olympic flame for the opening ceremony. Then, amid March Madness, Kurt Rambis ’80 was awarded a special distinction by the editors at GQ: one of the top slots in their online feature “The 64 Most Stylish College Basketball Players of All Time.” Rambis advanced to the semifinals in the ’80s bracket, which put him ahead of the likes of Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, and Isaiah Thomas.

Magic Touch: Aly Wagner
Photo: AP Images

In the storied history of Santa Clara soccer, few names stand out like Aly Wagner ’02. The local girl with the magic touch, Wagner scored the winning goal in the 2001 NCAA Championship, securing victory over archrival North Carolina. But perhaps her greatest legacy was as a field general whose deadly passes unleashed her teammates. Wagner went on to feature in more than 130 games for the U.S. national team, winning a gold medal in the 2004 Olympics. She ranks second for assists in U.S team history. Last year, she helped the Los Angeles Sol to the championship game of the inaugural season of Women’s Professional Soccer. But in January, Wagner announced she was retiring after years of fighting injuries. Her fondest memory? Winning SCU’s first championship. “It was such a huge goal of mine to beat North Carolina,” she told the Mercury News.

Sam Scott ’96


California politics

The governor and lieutenant governor don’t always get along in the Golden State, but this year there’s the possibility that they could have the Mission Campus in common. In March, California State Attorney General Jerry Brown ’59 ended a long-running guessing game by declaring himself a candidate for governor. At press time, he was the consensus favorite to win the Democratic nomination in the June primary. He previously served as governor from 1975 to 1983 and was later mayor of Oakland. Brown, whose father was also governor of California, only attended Santa Clara for one year before departing for Sacred Heart Novitiate, a Jesuit seminary. But he claims Santa Clara as an alma mater and was back on campus for the Grand Reunion in the fall. Meanwhile, at press time presumptive Republican nominee and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman beats all comers in polls for governor.

Also in March, Gavin Newsom ’89, who is in his second term as the mayor of San Francisco, announced that he was seeking the Dems’ nomination for the state’s No. 2 position. The political science major and one-time Bronco baseball player was just 36 when he assumed San Francisco’s top spot, the city’s youngest mayor in a century. He had initially sought the governor’s position, but dropped out of that race last year.

For the trifecta: Alberto Torrico ’91, the California State Assembly majority leader, is a candidate for California State Attorney General. His chief of staff in the Assembly: John Doherty ’91. California Republicans and Democrats pick their parties’ candidates in primary elections June 8, with the statewide general election Nov. 2.