Santa Clara University

Fr. Paul Locatelli 1938-2010

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Memories of Father Locatelli

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Remembering Fr. Locatelli

Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010

In 1963, the University hired me to "direct and instruct young women in recreational and athletic pursuits, as they did for men, but tastefully, of course." With limited facilities and a $100 budget, I entered a thirty-two year adventure at Santa Clara. When I arrived, there were only three women faculty and administative staff and women students had been on campus just a few years. I was fortunate to be there in the beginning of building what has become one of the top women's intercollegiate athletic programs in NCAA, Division I. It is hard to believe, that in 1962, Paul Locatelli had just started his journey to becoming a priest, a teacher, a Dean, Academic Vice President and eventually the President of Santa Clara. When he became president, we all knew he was an avid runner and those of us in the Athletic Department knew he really wanted athletics to succeed. He decisions may have caused controversy, but athletic programs would not be where they are today without his real concern for student-athletes, both in the classroom and on the courts and fields. A Tradition of Excellence in Athletics (A Pat Malley quote), still exists today because of Father Locatelli's influence. Also, without this special influence, new athletic facilities would not exist. I became an alumnus of Santa Clara, when I received a Masters degree in Educational Administration, in 1991. Fr. Locatelli made a special effort to congratuate me. I have had the special pleasure of tasting his cooking. Since I retired in 1995, I have continued to follow not only athletics, but the entire University. On my visits, Father Locatelli was often present at special athletic events, that meant so much to all of us who were involved, whether staff or students. He always took a special interest in our individual lives. As I was on campus the week he passed away, I was able to visit the new Paul Locatelli Student Activity Center and pay my respects to him for making my years at Santa Clara the experience of a lifetime. We have all lost someone we will remember the rest of our lives. Marygrace Colby, Director of Women's Athletics/Director of Athletic Department Academics and Eligibility, 1963-1995