Letters

by SCM |

Live long and prosper

I am a member of the Class of ’47. During my stay at Santa Clara there was no Santa Clara Magazine. When I started to receive copies it was a baby mag. It slowly grew and improved. The Spring 2014 issue is something to be proud of. The Dalai Lama! The symphony! Afghanistan! My compliments to the staff.

In my freshman year at Santa Clara, the total student body was under 75. There were twice as many S.J.s and professors as students. One day, in my friend Gene Donatelli’s car, we spun hookers right under [former SCU President] Fr. William Gianera’s office. We should have been expelled but we were a large percentage of the student body.

In my sophomore year, a few men were returning from the service. Enrollment jumped to 200. My junior year, the servicemen really started to come back. When the Class of ’47 graduated, we totaled 80 or 90 men. No ladies in those days!

The big things at that time at Santa Clara were:

1. The famous Ricard Observatory

2. Fr. Bernard Hubbard, who was roaming all over the North Pole

3. The beautiful Mission Church. Still is.

May Santa Clara continue to prosper. God Bless to all of you.

KENNETH W. CRIBARI ’47
Las Vegas, Nev.

Swiftian rhapsody

Regarding the “Near and far” issue: How about a “Near” issue featuring SCU students who’ve made fortunes? “From the editor” should wax purplish about the futility of abandoning the practical gain of riches for naive, innocent, and forlorn crusades to spread freedom in Long Ago and Far Away oppressive places by (a) the Internet, (b) good will, (c) happy talk, (d) brave visits and the like; for example, acknowledging the recent archetypal lesson in Egypt in which sadly we have an execution-mad, repressive, arch-authoritarian military dictatorship emerging (yet again) after coming full circle from the revolutionary crowds just months ago.

Since you’d be featuring rich people, I’d recommend a thematic piece on the absurdity of the Dalai Lama evangelizing the titans of Silicon Valley: “Trivial disconnect.” And pay attention to the letters section: You can see the sins of the fathers in the “Near and far” issue—“Tom” Merton (oh, wow) and the confident assertion of having discovered the ultimate case for a conspiracy to murder JFK, a questionable and Herculean assertion since one reputable estimate says that over 40 groups, over 80 assassins, and over 200 people have been accused in the JFK conspiracy industry in the endless challenges in endless books to the idea of a lone gunman. A lot to sift, eh? Anyway, it remains OK to make money and even OK to have prevailed loyally in the Cold War. I phoned Jonathan Swift in Elysium, and he says you need to get those messages out there.

ALBERT CLARKSON ’60, M.A. ’64
Los Gatos

Swiftian rhapsodies are e’er welcome. ¡Gracias!—Ed.

Ukraine in crisis

Style and substance: wearing traditional Ukrainian shirts to vote in the country's presidential election in May Photo by European Pressphoto Agency

Having grown fond of Ukraine since I visited my daughter, Alexandra Angel ’10, during her service in the Peace Corps (and stayed very close in touch throughout her 27 months there), I was pleased to see “Inside Ukraine’s revolution” [Spring SCM], and even more pleased to see her and Jessica Barnette ’10 mentioned as having put into action the spirit of compassion and service that infused their studies at SCU. Alexandra is, as you might imagine, heartbroken about recent events in the country and among the people she came to love. In May, she returned to visit her home town of Sosnivka (in the L’viv oblast in western Ukraine—not in eastern Ukraine, as the article mentioned). Both Alexandra and Jessica worked with HIV-positive children, and both are currently pursuing master’s degrees in public health. Alexandra also worked a good deal with girls and young women in the areas of health education, empowerment, and gender inequality awareness. Ukraine is plagued by a high rate of human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, and exploitation of girls and women.

Thank you again, and your entire editorial team, for the fine magazine you produce for SCU. You make this parent of an alumna proud! (Also, thank you for using “Kyiv” throughout your article. Western media need to honor Ukrainians by speaking of the capital city by its correct name, not its translation in Russian.)

MARIANNE ANGEL ’07
Santa Maria, Calif.

I’m glad to see the coverage of the struggle in Ukraine. My younger brother volunteered to be an election monitor for Ukraine’s May 25 presidential elections. He is trying to build awareness and support for democracy in Ukraine. I served in the Peace Corps in Romania in the 1990s.

CARL DOCKHORN MBA ’03
San Jose

During my junior year, as an SCU student at Loyola Rome, many of us visited Moscow, St. Petersburg (then Leningrad), Warsaw, and Budapest. People wore gray, black, and brown clothes. State tour guides were always with us. Society was clearly restricted. Students there were eager to speak with us about the United States. Some bought coveted blue jeans from our students. Then the Soviet Union crumbled. Freedom seemed to take wings. It is disturbing to see the tide of history reverse.

MICHELE TERZIAN-MUNDA ’71
San Mateo

Monkey business

The correct capuchin: drawing dozens of students to Costa Rica for fieldwork Photo by Shawn Hanna ’07

Thanks so much for highlighting the research of anthropology and environmental studies and sciences major Allison McNamara ’15 on prehensile tail use and play behavior in capuchin monkeys inhabiting a forest in Costa Rica [“Farther afield,” Spring SCM]. Unfortunately, the photograph accompanying the article showed a different species than Allison studied. Since 2007, 61 Santa Clara undergraduates have traveled to Costa Rica to take field courses and conduct independent research on any aspect of tropical ecology. (A list of student projects can be found at: michellebezanson.com/field-course.) Many students choose to examine white-faced capuchin (Cebus capucinus) behavior. Capuchins are a fascinating group of New World primates that are known for their large brains, manipulative foraging strategies, long life stages, and intelligent behavior. In fact, the brown capuchin (Sapajus apella) pictured in the magazine is described to use tools in the wild. Animal common names, Latin species names, and biodiversity can be tricky, and we are very grateful for the coverage in Santa Clara Magazine. We thought you might be interested in a photograph snapped by Shawn Hanna ’07 during summer 2009.

MICHELLE BEZANSON
Associate Professor and Chair, Anthropology

Always interested in cool monkey pictures. And appreciative of gracious corrections. —Ed.

Another pull

Thanks for your article about Santa Clara crew [“Another pull,” Spring SCM]. I was fortunate to row for Santa Clara from 1966 to 1970 and even more fortunate to know Jim Farwell ’66. Even though he had just graduated when I began rowing as a freshman and he was not yet coaching the team, he was already a legend among us novice oarsmen. Jim’s passion for the sport—and for life—inspired all of us. He challenged us to always do our best in whatever we did and helped us learn to love a sport that requires both exquisite teamwork and unflinching self-discipline—great life lessons for a 19-year-old. I believe that Jim Farwell and Santa Clara crew have had a profound influence on many young people in the last 50 years. Thank you to Jay Farwell ’94, J.D. ’01 for continuing his father’s legacy.

MIKE URBANSKI ’70
Tucson, Ariz.

Whose who?

I thoroughly enjoyed the history of The Owl [“For your mental improvement,” Winter SCM]. While I doubt anyone has ever seen one on campus, it seems to have been flitting about the campus for a long time, in pursuit of wisdom—trying to get through to anyone who will listen. I envision the Owl, perched on the patibulum (cross-arm) of the Mission Cross, in the background, watching the assembled editors do their work, quoting the Owl, “who’s who.” That’s all he ever says: “Who.” But he’s frequently misquoted, substituting that for who.

ROBERT DALEY ’58
Campbell

A tribute to Victor Vari

In the annual State of the University address on Feb. 19 [“What connects us,” Spring SCM], President Michael Engh, S.J., announced an $8 million gift by Professor Emeritus Victor Vari and his wife, Julia Botto Vari, which will go toward the newly named Victor B. and Julia Botto Vari Hall and create an endowment to support the arts and humanities. The announcement prompted this tribute:

It is with a sense of enormous gratitude and pride that we learned of the generosity of Professor Emeritus Victor Vari to Santa Clara University. All of us who know him have our treasured associations with this remarkable person.

One unforgettable incident is fixed in my memory. In the summer of 1950, I was privileged to participate in a Holy Year pilgrimage to Rome with a group of about 36 fellow Broncos—a tour of 12 countries led by Karl von der Ahe, S.J., and Professor Vari.

We traveled to Paris and then Tours—where a group of European students had just finished some academic testing. Typical bashful Broncos, we got ourselves invited to their celebration. On an outdoor veranda there was a local band, a makeshift bar, and an abundance of food and wine.

The music was loud, the students boisterous and having a great time. But things took a darker turn when two male French students got into an argument, apparently vying for the attention of the same young lady. The music stopped. A loud verbal exchange (in French) took place. Then a figure of authority, who obviously spoke their language, stepped forward—none other than our own Victor Vari! He stood between the two men and calmed them. The rivals shook hands, the loud music resumed, the wine flowed, and all applauded our beloved Professor Victor Vari. Viva la Vari!

PHILIP HELFRICH ’51
Kaneohe, Hawaii

Peace angels

Readers responded to the profile by Danae Stahlnecker ’15, “Transforming fear into hope” [Spring SCM], about artist Lin Evola ’75, who uses decommissioned weapons to shape images of peace.

Lin, you are such an inspiration to us to never give up hope ... you have real guts and power!

MARITA KUBERSKY
via santaclaramagazine.com

Fantastic piece! Thanks for sharing, Ms. Stahlnecker!

CHRISTY CHOW ’16
Ashland, Ore.

MORE THANKS

In “What connects us,” a recap of the State of the University address in the Spring SCM, it should have been noted that the gift of $500,000 for a new pedestrian mall on Franklin Street was generously given by both Peggy Bradshaw ’72 and her husband, Richard Bradshaw. We’re looking forward to strolling that path. —Ed.

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Summer 2014

Table of contents

Features

A day with the Dalai Lama

High-spirited and hushed moments from Feb. 24: a day to talk about business, ethics, compassion.

The Catholic writer today

Poet and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts Dana Gioia argues that Catholic writers must renovate and reoccupy their own tradition.

Our stories and the theatre of awe

Pulitzer Prize–winning author Marilynne Robinson speaks about grace, discernment, and being a modern believer.

Mission Matters

What would the next generation say?

Hossam Baghat, one of Egypt’s leading human rights activists, was awarded the 2014 Katharine and George Alexander Law Prize for his work defending human rights.

Breaking records on the maplewood

Scoring 40 points in one game. And besting Steve Nash’s freshman year.

How's the water?

A lab on a chip helps provide the answer—which is a matter of life and death when the question is whether drinking water contains arsenic.