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1995

'95
Donald C. Chavous Jr.

Donald Calhoun Chavous Jr. J.D. '95, 61, of Rancho Mirage, passed away July 29, 2014, in his sleep. Born Aug. 11, 1952, to Donald and Patricia Chavous, Don spent his early years in Bushnell, Florida. In 1967, Don received a congressional appointment to work as a page for the House of Representatives. He lived and worked in Washington, D.C., from 1967-1969, attending the Capitol Page School. Classes were held in the attic of the Library of Congress, during some of the most turbulent times in Washington, D.C., history. He received his high school diploma in 1969, at the age of 16. Don became a student at the University of Florida, majoring in chemical engineering. Just prior to completing his bachelor's degree, he was awarded the unheard of opportunity of early transfer to medical school at the University of Miami, achieving his Medical Doctorate (M.D.) in 1976. From 1977-1980, Don served as a doctor in the Navy, with the rank of lieutenant commander - traveling from Pearl Harbor to the Bering Sea, and eventually to Moffett Field, California. After working in California at Cupertino Medical Clinic (1980-1982), he co-founded and directed Los Altos Medical Clinic in 1983. It was around this time he fell in love with a nurse, Linda Larson, and her 6-year-old son, David. They married Sept. 9, 1985, and had a daughter, Emily, in 1988. Always one for a challenge, Don returned to school at Santa Clara University of Law, earning a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) in 1995. While still hard at work full time as a physician, he began work as an attorney with his own private practice, specializing in medical malpractice and personal injury. In 1998, the family relocated to sunny Southern California, where Don continued double duty as an attorney-at-law as well as full time urgent care physician, saving lives with Desert Medical Group (now Desert Oasis Healthcare). Over the years, Don was an avid skier, tennis player, basketball player, golfer, hiker, and loved watching ESPN. He had a passion for the open road, and took many long rides across the Western U.S. on his '97 Valkyrie motorcycle, becoming very involved with the Valkyrie Riders Cruiser Club. He had memberships with the local gun clubs, and enjoyed going out for target practice. He is remembered for his sharp wit and keen sense of humor, his stimulating political banter, loyalty to friends and coworkers, and his fundamental human decency. Don had the nickname "AAA": he made himself available to help anyone - Anytime, Anywhere, for Anything. Don is survived by his wife, Linda Chavous; two children: David Berry of Portland, Oregon, and Emily Chavous of La Quinta, California; four granddaughters, Pearl, Sayde, Ginger and Rosie; his mother, Patricia Chavous, of Tampa, Florida; and siblings Shirley Purvis, of Leesburg, Florida; Alan Chavous of Tampa; Terri Bonner of Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Brian Chavous of Oxford, Florida; his in-laws Larry and Marjean Larson of Rancho Mirage, California; countless friends and colleagues; and by the family cat, Bebe

submitted Sep. 15, 2014 11:54A

Faculty & Staff

'ff
Victor Vari

Dr. Victor B. Vari died on Aug. 20 at the age of 94 after having lived a full and generous life. As a professor, he touched hundreds of students with his passion for languages and cultural studies, particularly Italian. As a colleague, he will be remembered for his generosity and dedication to teaching. As a friend of the University, he leaves behind a legacy that has helped the arts and humanities program at Santa Clara thrive and grow. 

Santa Clara's longest-serving professor, Dr. Vari and his wife, Julia Botto Vari, for decades were among the most passionate and integral figures in humanities and cultural education at Santa Clara. As a young married couple in the midst of a mostly Jesuit faculty, they soon took their place and relished the role of extended family.  
 
The couple nurtured hundreds of students Dr. Vari taught over the decades, many of whom became lifelong friends. The Varis donated their time in countless ways, including conducting student tours of Europe, chaperoning dances and other activities, and hosting dinners at their home.
 
Over a lifetime Dr. Vari and his wife have made significant donations to the University out of a deep love for Santa Clara and its students.  Their most recent gift was an estimated $8 million bequest from their estate, to fund an endowment for the arts and humanities, to name the arts and sciences building, and to support other projects .
 
“Victor Vari devoted himself wholeheartedly to Santa Clara University for nearly 70 years,” said President Michael Engh, S.J. “We are deeply saddened by his loss, and we are grateful for the ways in which he has enriched this campus. As heaven’s newest arrival from the Santa Clara family, may he rest in peace.”
 
Dr. Vari was born in San Francisco in 1920, moved with his family to Italy when he was 1 year old, remaining there until he was 16, when he returned to the Bay Area to attend Galileo High School. He graduated from San Francisco State University and enlisted in the Army, serving as a linguist and military intelligence agent in England and France during World War II before pursuing graduate studies at the Sorbonne in Paris and Lausanne University in Switzerland.
 
Before Dr. Vari joined SCU in 1946, he also had spent time as an Olympic fencing coach, journalist, actor, radio announcer, and elementary school teacher. He received his master’s degree from Stanford University in 1952 and completed his Ph.D. (summa cum laude) at the University of Madrid in Spain in 1961. He began his academic career as a student teacher at Stanford before joining SCU.
 
Dr. Vari joined the faculty of Santa Clara University in 1946 and taught until his retirement in 2012. While at SCU, he taught all levels of French, Spanish, and Italian language, culture, and literature, and served as chair of the Modern Language department for more than 20 years. He led many student tours through Europe and initiated and taught at the Assisi summer program, 1982 to 2004. As the longest-serving faculty member for many years, Dr. Vari was the ceremonial mace-bearer at commencement and at other important events from 1969-2012.
 
“Dr. Vari’s contributions to campus academics, culture, and student life are immeasurable,” said Atom Yee, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “We will celebrate his life and legacy for decades to come.”
 
Dr. Vari is survived by his wife Julia, cousins Don and GeorgeAnn Proia of Oakland, as well as the Proia family in Italy, and hundreds of former students--the children the Varis never had--who now live around the globe.
 
Notes of condolence may be sent to Julia Vari, c/o the Dean's Office.
 

 

submitted Aug. 26, 2014 12:35P
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