Santa Clara University

Fr. Paul Locatelli 1938-2010

Memory Book


Memories of Father Locatelli

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A Friendly Guy

Friday, Jul. 16, 2010

My first day at Santa Clara was also the first day Fr. Locatelli began his tenure as President of the University. I took this to be a very auspicious start to my career at SCU. A couple years later, I had the opportunity to work with Paul, on occasion, as chair of the Staff Personnel Committee. I remember sitting next to him at the staff award dinner that year and he spent most of the meal asking me about my bedroom stenciling project and sharing about his summer plans to relax with family. I was both amused and touched that he showed such interest in my little bedroom painting project when he had so much to juggle that could be viewed as more important. But I think this points to one of the secrets of his success. Paul had the ability to be in the moment; so when he was with you, he was really present. My fondest memories of him were each morning for many years, as I walked my dogs on campus before going home to get ready for work. Paul would stop on his run and say 'Hi' to both me and the dogs. Brandy and Sophie would carry stuffed animals in their mouths as they roamed around campus, and he would stop to see what sort of creature they were carrying that day, and wished me a good day. It was a nice way to start most days. My final memory to share is another staff awards dinner when I received my 20 year certificate and Paul was honored for 20 years as President and, I believe, 35 years at SCU. In a pre-ceremony I got to have my picture taken with him. During dinner, while I was sitting at my table with colleagues, a coworker and dear friend, Mary Sue Crawford confessed to me that she would love to have her picture taken with Fr. Locatelli. After dinner I went up to Paul and told him Mary Sue was turning 50 in a couple of weeks and what she really wanted was to take a picture with him. He made some comment about being rosy cheeked because he had some wine, but he would be happy to to give Mary Sue her wish. And now Mary Sue has their two smiling faces sitting on her shelf looking over her desk. As can be attested to from everyone's comments, Paul Locatelli was a special man with exception talents, and we are all better for having had the opportunity to share in his vision. But for me, it is his simple friendly side that stands out the most.