Sections

Letters

by SCM |

Foot by foot

Walk Across CaliforniaI am not sure why you put listening in italics in your editor’s column [Spring/Summer SCM] or felt this aspect of the “Walk Across California” article deserved special emphasis, but it helped draw my attention to the fact that not one of the students shown in the article’s photographs was using earbuds, talking on a cell phone, or in some other way electronically distracted.

It was agreeable to see that these students were truly listening during their long walk. And so now they can hear my applause for their multifaceted accomplishment.

Dana A. Freuburger M.S. ’94
Madison, Wis.

 

I was appalled at the way “Walk Across California” portrayed the city of Stockton. The city has a wonderful Catholic school system, two universities and a junior college, three large hospitals, an excellent symphony and theaters, beautiful parks, and a historical museum. There are nice neighborhoods with quality houses and community amenities.

Further, the farmworkers in the San Joaquin Valley are crucial to the rest of us having food available to buy. They deserve our thanks and appreciation, as picking crops during the hot valley summers is hard, backbreaking work that many other people refuse to do.


Creta A. Hendricks ’79
Port Angeles, Wash.

 

I would like to join the walk in 2014. Is that possible? I am an alumna and a retired teacher.

Sheila Moss M.A. ’76
San Diego, Calif.
[We’ve passed along the question to David Popalisky, who taught the class. —Ed.]
 

 

Paying tribute to Charley Phipps

Fr. Charles Pipps
Photo by Charles Barry

Fr. Charles Phipps [“Keep the door open,” Spring/Summer SCM] meant so much to me at SCU. I lived across the hall on the second floor of McLaughlin during my sophomore year and he was my academic advisor, even though I wasn’t honors material and he was the head of the honors program. He inspired my love of reading, and his teaching style was captivating. I cannot thank Fr. Phipps enough and I wish him a long life and happy retirement.


Joseph Kelly ’76
Santa Clara

  

I was a floundering student who came to the end of my sophomore year with no clear idea of a major, career direction, or (somehow) an advisor, when Fr. Phipps came to the rescue. When we first met, he reviewed my hodgepodge of a transcript and stated, “I’m assuming your parents are planning on paying for you to be here for four years—ideally then leaving with a degree. For that to happen: One, I’m now your advisor; two, you’ll be going to Durham, England, next summer; and three, let me be the first to welcome you as our newest English major.”

From that day forward, the path became clear(er) due in large part to Fr. Phipps and many of the excellent professors mentioned in your article.

My sincere gratitude for the sage advice and tough love when it was needed most.


Scot Asher ’87
Scottsdale, Ariz.

 

Fr. Phipps was definitely my favorite teacher—and he presided over my wedding at the Mission. Since he didn’t perform a lot of weddings, I think he was more nervous than I was.

Lisa Samon ’83

Santa Clara

 

Fr. Phipps fondly was part of an amazing set of English faculty—including Ted Gross, Chris Lievestro, Frank Duggan, Jesse Gellrich, Diane Dreher, and Carol Rossi—who helped inspire and shape my own path to becoming an English professor.


Scott Pollard ’81

Newport News, Va.

 

Fired up

Having completed a philosophy B.A. and now finishing up doctoral work in the same field, I’m all for discussing “how to prevent a bonfire of the humanities.” Yet I was disappointed by Michael S. Malone’s essay in the Winter SCM.

Malone’s piece recommended a merging of the sciences and humanities. A noble cause and vision, but if the merger (and hence the humanities’ survival) is contingent on, first, young humanities students identifying their transferrable skills as their primary source of value, and second, science and tech industries’ growing demand for those skills, well, I’m still concerned.

I didn’t choose to study philosophy merely because of the analytic and creative skills I gain from it, but because I believe the content and activity of doing so has the power to transform individuals into more open-minded, reflective, better people. I think many humanities students feel this sort of passion for their subject. But instead of kindling this subject-specific passion, realistic professors and career counselors now find themselves having to console humanities students with the value of gaining wonderfully transferable skills.

Until the storyteller can leverage her inherent value as a legitimate reason to continue existing, I’m afraid Malone’s essay comes off more as an illustration of the bonfire’s burn than a prospect for avoiding the blaze.


Noelle Lopez ’09
Oxford, U.K.

 

I read Malone’s story with great anticipation, looking for evidence that Silicon Valley companies were changing the way they recruited since I broke into high tech 20 years ago. Malone’s essay falls short of offering any tangible evidence that things have changed. Companies still look for candidates with technical backgrounds. They feel that, armed with a strong technical foundation, new hires can learn storytelling skills.


Geoffrey Rodgers MBA ’93

Livermore, Calif.

 

An SCU English alumna and former print journalist, I began teaching the art of oral storytelling just a few years ago, and I have witnessed the appeal of this tradition gain new traction among a variety of audiences, including the scientific and commercial worlds. We are all storytellers, and we don’t have to look very far to discover the benefits of excellent stories. Great stories change us. They provoke. They make us think. They give us context. They provide hope and vision, impart valuable lessons, help us discover new paths, strengthen our resolve to meet our goals. Effective, valuable stories not only help us grow and learn, they help us better understand our lives, our work, our age, and each other.


Genevieve Sedlack Waller ’90
Chicago, Ill.

 

Move a rock

If you want to move a big rock, you need a lever. Even in his first days, Pope Francis [“Why Pope Francis is different, and why a Jesuit pope is rare,” Spring/Summer SCM] is more about actions than words. His obvious personal integrity displayed as solidarity with God’s people—all of that speaks volumes. I think God has indeed chosen and situated a lever in Pope Francis. I will not be surprised at all to see the rock begin to move.


Glenn Snow, O.CARM.

Tuscon, Ariz.

The article comments on Pope Francis’ “penchant for stripping down the layers of Renaissance garb that often engulfed his predecessors.” Would that more priests (namely Jesuits) had a penchant for stripping down the layers of 1970s modernism and prejudice against tradition that often engulf today’s Church. 


Alessandro D’Anna ’92

San Mateo

 

The Glacier Priest

The “Bronco News” in the Winter ’13 SCM shared some adventures of explorer Bernard Hubbard, S.J. And it summoned memories from folks who met him.

In 1932 my late father-in-law, Al Dutilh, was working as radio operator and plant accountant at a cannery on Ugashik Bay. It was the same summer that Fr. Hubbard and his pilot made the first ever landing on a lake inside a volcano—on Surprise Lake in the Aniakchak Caldera. As the story goes, pilot Frank Dorbandt had become ill after drinking the heavily mineralized lake water. When he and Fr. Hubbard attempted to fly out of the caldera, the plane was not able to gain sufficient altitude to simply fly over the rim. Dorbandt eventually was able to roll his floatplane over the rim of the caldera and landed on Ugashik Bay near the cannery.

Fr. Hubbard spent several hours with Al in his one-room radio shack, drafting radiograms detailing his accomplishment for SCU, the Associated Press, Fr. Hubbard’s brother, John, and his sister, Mary.

Just prior to Fr. Hubbard’s death, I was able to arrange a meeting between him and my father-in-law. They briefly reviewed their prior meeting some 30 years earlier, and Al left with a photo of Fr. Hubbard and his favorite Alaskan husky, Katmai. What a thrill that was!


Dave Rigney ’63, MBA ’73
Mountain View

 

I attended several of Fr. Hubbard’s travelogues in the late 1940s in Santa Cruz. These were very interesting expeditions that included SCU students.

In 1956, Fr. Hubbard suffered a severe stroke and was unable to say Mass for months. That October, I also spent two weeks in the infirmary and nearly died from pneumonia. In my second week, Jesuits began bringing me Communion after Mass. One morning, Fr. Hubbard came into the room just radiant and glowing. It was his first day back to saying Mass again and he brought Communion. It was very exciting to meet him in person.


Ron Ohlfs ’60, M.S. ’62

Cupertino

 

Freedom not to choose

An online piece in which behavioral finance expert Meir Statman explains why employees shouldn’t be given the choice of managing their own retirement accounts.

Photo courtesy of SCU Leavy School of Business

Great article with some provocative ideas. I may not agree with all of Statman’s suggestions, but I do agree that there is a lack of financial literacy in this nation. I chafe a bit at the notion of instituting a new government bureaucracy, but most people would benefit from having a neutral person whose compensation is not tied to account activity manage their funds. It would be wonderful if people would receive financial education early in life, because the time value of money is a powerful thing.


Joanne Schwartz ’82, MBA ’85
San Jose

 

As an employee benefits consultant, I encourage my employer clients to promote financial wellness benefits and encourage 401(k) participation, but it’s a struggle. Health care reform is going to require larger employers to offer automatic health insurance enrollment, so why not add automatic retirement plan enrollment? Both issues are financially breaking Americans.


Dena Adams Dooney ’92

Portland, Ore. 

 

Touchdown for Pasco

I was sorry to read of the death of Bronco footballer Leonard Napolitano ’51. Just to correct the record, while he may have played in the 1950 Orange Bowl, it was John Pasco ’52 who had the major hand in leading the team to victory. The Broncos completed only three passes that day; one was a 16-yard gain thrown by Pasco, which led to a short touchdown run, again by Pasco. All those Broncos are larger than life in my estimation, and SCU’s unblemished record in bowl games is quite an accomplishment.


Woody Nedom ’60
Los Gatos

[Read “Sweet victory,” the story of the 1950 Orange Bowl, in our Spring 2010 edition online. —Ed.]

 

Daniel Nava in the swing of things

From a Web feature at santaclaramagazine.com on Nava’s big season with the Red Sox:

Photo by Keith Allison, via Flickr under a Creative Commons license

Nava is the man! Living the American dream ...

He has put in the work and deserves it.


Jeff Tucker ’15
Sunnyvale, Calif.

 

SC—Style and Class personified.


Rick Giorgetti ’70
San Jose


What year is it? In “Walk Across California” in the Spring/Summer SCM, one of the chaperones was Diana Bustos ’11. We had her class year wrong. Sorry about that. Steven Boyd Saum

Fall 2013

Table of contents

Features

One in a million

A personal note of thanks to SCU alumni. You came through in record numbers to secure a $1 million gift for the University.

Yes, but is it the right thing to do?

From business to government to college campuses, it’s not always a question that gets asked. But here’s how the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics set out to change that.

Good light

For a quarter century Charles Barry has told Santa Clara’s stories in photographs. Here are a few.

Mission Matters

Enter here

Palm Drive becomes a grand pedestrian promenade.

Graduation day highlights

More than 1,000 grads were on hand to hear the address by Leon Panetta ’60, J.D. ’63 at SCU’s 162nd commencement exercises.

She runs the game

Julie Johnston ’14 makes Glamour magazine’s list of top 10 college women.