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Class Notes | Obituaries

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Jerry McKevitt

Rev. Gerald L. McKevitt, professor emeritus of history at Santa Clara University, died September 18, 2015, at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, in Los Gatos. He was 76 years of age.

Jerry was born in Longview, Washington, on July 3, 1939. His family relocated to Quincy (Plumas County) where he graduated from the local high school. He graduated from the University of San Francisco in 1961 with a history major and philosophy minor and began graduate studies in history at the University of Southern California, earning an MA. In 1963 he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Los Gatos to begin training for the priesthood. His studies took him to Gonzaga University, Spokane, and in 1967 he started doctoral studies in history at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he received his Ph.D. in 1972.  Theological studies were taken in Rome, where he received his degree in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University.

Jerry was ordained a priest in San Francisco in June 1975 and began a lifetime association with Santa Clara University. As research professor and archivist, he was given the task of writing the history of the university. Based on his doctoral dissertation, his The University of Santa Clara, a History, 1851-1977, was published by Stanford University Press in 1979.

Through the years Jerry rose to the rank of full professor serving as department chair, University archivist, University historian, and rector of the Jesuit Community.  In 2004 Jerry was named the Ignacio Ellacuria University Professor for Jesuit Studies at Santa Clara. In addition to teaching a variety of courses, he continued his research in Jesuit history in the U.S. and published numerous articles and book reviews in scholarly journals and contributed to scholarly reference works. His award winning book, Brokers of Culture: Italian Jesuits in the American West, 1848-1919, was published by Stanford University Press in 2007.

His other academic experiences included visiting professorships at Fordham University and Seattle University, memberships on the editorial board of Studies in Jesuit Spirituality, and board membership on the National Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Santa Clara and Gonzaga Universities and was active in professional organizations. He curated an extensive collection of Jesuits in fiction, now part of the university’s special collections, and cultivated his hobby of watercolor painting.

After his retirement from the classroom, he continued his research and gave a number of lectures to a wide variety of audiences. At the time of his death he was working on a book length history of Jesuit higher education in the United States.

Contributions in Jerry’s memory may be made to the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053.

submitted Sep. 22, 2015 9:09A


UGRD Arts & Sciences '85
Jean Marie Adam Forti
Jean Marie Adam Forti '85 passed away peacefully on August 25, 2015, in her home surrounded by her family and pets. She filled her 52 years with love, laughter, adventure and care for others. 
Jean was born in San Mateo, CA, on May 7, 1963, to Kay and Bob Adam. At the age of 6, she and her family moved to a beautiful apricot and walnut orchard in sunny San Jose, CA. Growing up, she was very active in many community and school activities, including Girl Scouts, summer camps, backpacking, tennis, skiing, horseback riding (good old sway-backed George), volunteering, and many family trips around the country.
She was a good student in San Jose, CA, participating in a senior prank involving a helicopter and ping pong balls. Her further adventures included a trip to Guatemala, driving around the country with her cousin, and exploring Europe with a best friend.
She graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in Combined Sciences. After college, she crossed the country with two friends in a VW Bug, to start a new life in Albany, NY.
Jean worked with troubled children at St. Catherine's, and then with Senior Services of Albany. She joined the Hudson Mohawk Sierra Club, only to get lost on a hike and meet her future husband, Tony.
On August 24, 1991, they married in Los Gatos, CA, surrounded by good friends and family, redwood trees, and deer (who ate the flowers).
Jean and Tony spent the next 24 years building up their house in Knox, raising 3 children, farm animals and countless gardens. Their door and their hearts were always open to anyone who came along.
Jean was a pillar in her community. She co-led Girl Scout Troop 1758, helped run the Pony Pals 4-H Club, and organized the Elementary and High School Science Fairs and many PTA after school programs. She was instrumental in the Knox Youth Council and summer camp, Knox Food Pantry, Fox Creek Farm, Meals-on-Wheels, Fox Creek Players, and many other community functions. 
Despite her illness, she stayed involved as long as possible.
Jean brought a feeling of excitement and adventure into everything, always wanted to include everyone and bring any stranger into her circle. She taught her family and friends how to get the most out of every moment. 
Jean is survived by her husband Tony, daughters Katie and Marcy, son Adam, sisters Sara (Raymond) Luhrman and Cris Adam-Nakayama, brother Scot Adam, mother Kay Adam, several cousins, a niece and two nephews.
submitted Sep. 17, 2015 1:16P

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