Letters

Winter 2010

By SCM

The Catholic imagination

scmFall10_cover2Thanks for a great edition of Santa Clara Magazine. I loved the article “Justice, Education, and the Catholic Imagination” by Keith Douglass Warner, OFM! It is a fantastic presentation of everything I believe and love about faith and education that is fully engaged in a sacramental universe. I am so grateful to Brother Warner for his presentation of the Catholic imagination as fundamental and integral to this vision. I love Fr. Teilhard de Chardin’s books, and it is marvelous to hear the reverberations and expansions of his thoughts and faith in the new deeper awareness stewardship of the earth. I am proud to have been educated at Santa Clara! It is also pretty exciting to see the Jesuits at the forefront of the imagination of global education, infused by faith. Hooray that Fr. Locatelli was able to share his vision with fellow Jesuits from all over the world. We will miss him, but he has been such a wonderful model of Christian stewardship for all of us, and I am grateful for his life. God bless SCU.

Martina Nicholson ’72
Santa Cruz

Farewell, Fr. Locatelli

We were so sad to hear of Fr. Locatelli’s death. He truly was one of a kind. His contributions to Santa Clara were remarkable, and he devoted his whole life to the institution. Whenever he came into a meeting, the whole room was immediately brightened by his presence.

We are making a gift to the Paul Locatelli Memorial Fund for Student Scholarships. I know this would be special to him, as he had so much love for his students. We also are making our annual contribution to the William Riddle Family Scholarship program. We receive letters from the students thanking us for the financial aid that we have provided. I always reply and tell them we are pleased to be able to help and also congratulate them on their achievements. We are pleased this program will go on when we are no longer around.

I was surprised to learn [in the Winter 2009 issue] that so few alumni make donations to Santa Clara, as each of us received so much from our time there. I know that it changed my life very much and I appreciate what I learned from my time at Santa Clara.

William C. Riddle ’51
Nevada City, Calif.

Smart profiles

The Bronco Profiles by Sam Scott ’96 are a highlight of your magazine. [In the Fall 2010 issue,] I especially enjoyed the story “Internet, we have a problem.” It’s not easy to make such techy stories riveting—and Sam Scott does an excellent job. Please keep him around and make sure he has lively people to cover. From one journalist to another—great writing, Sam!

Joan Voight ’75
Healdsburg, Calif.

Remembering Fr. Sullivan

St. Ignatius in the Mission: The painting by Jerry Sullivan, S.J. Photo: Charles Barry

Thank you for your acknowledgment of Jerry Sullivan, S.J. [In Memoriam] in your Fall 2010 issue. It was a grace for me to live in a community with this unique and extremely lovable man for 10 years. In addition to the artistic works you mentioned, he also did an oil painting of St. Ignatius, which hangs in the Mission Church and was blessed by Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., Superior General, when he visited SCU.

I am delighted that my grandniece Alejandra Germann ’12, a junior art major and second cousin to Dan Germann, S.J., was able to take a course from dear Jerry in his last year of teaching.

Keep up the great work!

Mario J. Prietto, S.J.
Rector, Loyola House Jesuit Community, University of San Francisco

Talk about a hit!

Thanks very much for the online version of the magazine. I’ve just read “Fenway Hero” [Fall 2010] and it’s great. Continued success to you and your magazine.

John Porter ’74
Cambria, Calif.

… But an error on that play

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Psychology of the grand slam: Daniel Nava Photo: Getty Images

While I love reading Santa Clara Magazine cover to cover, I was horrified to see a fatal error in your wonderful story about Daniel Nava [Fall 2010, p. 35] and his remarkable entry into major league baseball by hitting a grand slam on his first pitch with the Boston Red Sox. (Of course, coming from the Boston area myself, we consider the Sox as God’s team.) Daniel is a psychology major (not a philosophy major), and I act as his academic advisor. I feel compelled to correct this critical error and give the psychology department the credit it deserves! It is a great story, and we here in psychology are very proud of and pleased for him.

Thomas G. Plante
Professor of Psychology, SCU

A note from a budding novelist

In my 88th year (the 71st since entering Santa Clara as a freshman in the Class of 1943) I’ve written a novel: The Lake. Being published is not a new experience. I’ve written a half-dozen nautical texts published by W.W. Norton of New York. But fiction is a different genre, and a more feasible route for someone my age seemed to be enlistment in an electronic publishing program. The pace from notepad to finished book is much faster, and to octogenarians time is, indeed, of the essence.

Although e-publishing might be a wave of the future, it is a tabula rasa. So I invoked the shades of such profs as Fathers Fagothey of philosophy and Shipsey of English to rehabilitate the skills they tried to give me while the shades of stern Fathers Gianera and O’Connell kept me on course.

Contrasts between Santa Clara today and that of my time are more than just startling. Gone is The Ship, an imposing theatre building which acquired its name by looming up like a mist-shrouded vessel in valley fogs. And not offered anymore, I’ve been told, is the degree Ph.B. (Bachelor of Philosophy) for which I was a candidate. Also no longer around, I imagine, is the name The Owl for Santa Clara’s literary magazine. I was editor of it in 1941 before heading off for war years at sea.

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Inspirational Jesuits: Fagothey, left, and Shipsey offer lessons to a writer almost 70 years after he graduated. Photo: SCU Archives

There have been many more changes, of course. Not only is the undergraduate population 10 times as large and coed, but gone are nightly lockdowns with lights out at 10 p.m. for freshmen in Kenna, 11 p.m. for sophomores in O’Connor, and midnight for upperclassmen in Nobili. And relegated to history, I’m sure, is the Saturday morning ritual of passing muster before a dean of discipline as formidable as Father O’Connell. He would consult his records of weekly miscues before granting a boarder permission to go off campus, and that would be only until 7 on Sunday night. The weather, though, was every bit as good as now, except, perhaps, for the stench in September from a nearby tannery.

The regimen rivaled that of a boot camp. Having a choice was seldom an option, and the food was less than gourmet. But by intention or not, we were ready for the wartime institutional life most of us soon encountered. I’m sure that I echo the majority opinion of my surviving classmates when I say that, if given a choice, we might gripe as much but would do it again.

I seldom have occasion for campus visits. In fact, during the past 50 years I think there were only four. One was the interment of my cousin, Fr. Tom Sullivan, S.J., in a nearby cemetery, a second was at the start of my daughter Christine Crawford ’76’s freshman year, the third was the graduation of my son Dan Crawford J.D. ’86, and the fourth was the 50th anniversary get-together of the remnants of the class of ’43. And that was 17 years ago. It’s past time for me to schedule another visit.

William P. Crawford ’43
Beaverton, Ore.

Read more about Crawford’s novel here. —Ed.

What are they reading?

First off, I love Santa Clara Magazine. Your staff does a fantastic job with the well-written articles, excellent pictures, and overall stories. Keep up the great work!

Idea: Has anyone ever thought of putting together a brief summary along the line of “What Students Are Reading”? This summary could appear infrequently, but just might intellectually challenge those of us off campus.

Jim McDonnell ’66
Chico, Calif.

File Prof. McDonnell’s note under Ideas We Like. (After all, we asked historian Tim O’Keefe to give our readers a reading list in the Summer 2010 issue.) Here’s a beginning: Over the summer, new SCU students read The Open Space of Democracy by Terry Tempest Williams as their assigned Common Reading. On campus this fall, the University Library sponsored the same book as the Fall Book of the Quarter, which brought together students, faculty, and staff to discuss it. Stay tuned for more literary updates.—Ed.

Inspiring professors

I received a copy of Santa Clara Magazine [Summer 2010], and to the best of my recollection this is the first time I have seen an alumni publication from Santa Clara. I graduated with the class of 1951 (quite some time ago!) with a B.S. degree and then received my Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1955. Whilst at Santa Clara, I was especially impressed by professors Edwin Beilharz (history) and Austin J. Fagothey, S.J. (philosophy), both of whom I consider amongst the very finest college professors I have ever encountered. I had also attended Johns Hopkins and Tufts College.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I will never see 80 again! And it was very pleasant indeed to see a Santa Clara alumni publication. One of my most vivid memories was Santa Clara’s victory in the 1950 Orange Bowl.

Beir bua (Irish for “yours truly”),

William R. Kenny ’51
Murrysville, Penn.

Grads of all stripes

Santa Clara Magazine [Summer 2010] has done it again: It has stimulated me to respond to those who want the University to be more conservative and less humanistic. In 1951, when I entered the hallowed halls, SCU had just celebrated its 100-year history and had become a David in upsetting Kentucky in the Orange Bowl. But not all during my matriculation was copacetic. SCU had to drop the football program for a number of reasons, one of which was that some of the athletes were not taking to learning. There were other problems: We did not take Bobo Lewis ’53, our best running back, to play Tulane in New Orleans. Our class was the backbone of the final four in ’52. At times, when we played USF (Bill Russell, K.C. Jones and Co.), some of our players made racist remarks. Bigotry was alive—though muted in those days here in California.

For some, the primary purpose of getting a degree was to avoid the draft for a time and get a well-paying job. A few entered the priesthood and a few left the priesthood. And some of those from our freshman class were prominent in national conservative politics (e.g., Frank Murkowski ’55 and Art Hayes ’55). The preeminent conservative state politician was our classmate, Frank Murphy ’55. There were only four of our class that majored in philosophy; Aquinas, Aristotle, and Russell Kirk were the most influential philosophers. We progressives had some Jesuits championing our causes, but their voices became more prominent in later times. Believe it or not, many progressives didn’t want the student body mixed with women in the 1950s.

Santa Clara has come a long way. I need not reiterate the international influence, good work, and great endeavors of the student body and alumni over these past 60 years. I hold in reverence the Jesuits whose pedagogy brought forth thoughtful graduates of all stripes of political persuasions. It is difficult to highlight a Thomas Merton or Henry Nouwen because of our biblical admonition to modesty and humility. Frankly, I find sanctity in all stances, persuasions, and work ethics. Maybe, in the very near future, God will show us that we will have female Jesuits. Won’t that bring in the comments?

Thomas Whaling ’55
Laguna Hills, Calif.

Fertilizing hearts and minds

After reading about the new statue of St. Clare in the garden by the de Saisset Museum [Spring 2009 SCM], I decided to visit the campus and see what else is new. In my meanderings I came upon a meditation bench near the eastern side entrance to the Mission Church, dedicated to the Friendship of Aries by three classmates who share Aries birthdates. It got me thinking about all the current talk of the coming shift into the Age of Aquarius and all the gnashing over the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012—which some people think marks the start of the new age. Then I reflected on the fact that many people consider new age stuff in derisive terms. Perhaps the magazine ought to address this shortcoming as falling under the Jesuit mission to educate concerning Jesus. Most people know that the last 2,000-plus years were the Piscean Age—the Fish—the symbol of early Christianity. And we all know that fish is the best fertilizer available for the garden. For two millennia Jesus has been fertilizing the minds and hearts of mankind, and now the task shifts to Aquarius, the Water-Bearer. For the next 2,200 years it will be expected that the message of Jesus will pour forth as new thought from those who really got it from Him. Perhaps the Ricard Observatory should be dusted off and reemployed in its original purpose until we’re well into the new Mayan Age.

Robert E. Daley ’58
Campbell, Calif.

 

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