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Definition of a Legacy

Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010

 Legacy: leg·a·cy (noun)

A gift; something received from a predecessor or from the past

The legacy of generosity and compassion at Santa Clara has manifested itself in many ways – through many people – throughout the years. The Mission Campus is graced with many buildings that bear the names of individuals who have left their legacy through their generosity; others have left their legacy through their support of endowed chairs or scholarships making it possible for worthy students to live the Santa Clara experience.

And then, there are those whose legacy is built merely on kindness and compassion - those who have touched people through their years of service and friendship so deeply that their names will always be synonomous with Santa Clara - Pat Malley, Lou Bannan, Carroll Williams, John Drahman, Pat Carroll – teachers, mentors and friends who taught us more than we could learn in the classroom about what it meant to be people of competence, conscience, and compassion.

When Fr. Richard Coz first joined the Santa Clara community in 1963, he had no idea he would spend the next 36 years of his life building his own legacy; no idea that his genuine interest in his students, his friendship, concern and mentorship would endear him so passionately to thousands of Broncos over the years. Whether it was the development of “Cozinomics,” his ever-present smile at Santa Clara sporting events, the creation and nurturing of the Studies Abroad Program, the always-present lens of Santa Clara’s most famed photographer or simply the fact that Fr. Coz was there – with us – identifying with our problems, our celebrations, our Santa Clara experience, that made him such a beloved presence on the Mission Campus.

Fr. Coz’s friendship and support extended far beyond campus for many, sharing our joy at more than 800 weddings and countless baptisms over the years, always adding his own special touch with a classic Fr. Coz sermon. And come each December, it was Fr. Coz who always remembered us on his Christmas card list with the annual SCUTS photo or a collection of 4x6 black and white photos from years gone by. Sure – we already had five or six copies of those pictures – but the fact he remembered and made the time to send them helped define why Fr. Coz was different – why “Padre” has always been far more than our friend and mentor - he is family.

For so many people, Dick Coz, for so many years, has typified what we all love about Santa Clara. It is about learning in and out of the classroom, it’s about today’s experiences and the joys of celebrating those memories tomorrow; it is about doing the right thing and, more importantly, always doing it with class and dignity. This is the Santa Clara we love because we learned about it Fr. Coz – not just because he taught us that way, but because it is the way he has lived his life.

Fr. Coz has indeed given us all a gift – his legacy – and it is one worthy of being honored. We have all been blessed by the gift of Fr. Coz living his life true to the words of St. Ignatius Loyola:

“Love ought to manifest itself more by deeds than by words.”

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