Letters

By Santa Clara Magazine

Bucky confidential

My most fond memory involving Benny Bronco: a U.C. Davis/SCU football game at Buck Shaw, circa 1984. After a UCD touchdown, a couple of their male cheerleaders came over in front of the SCU student section to do pushups for every point they had on the board. Benny, in good spirits, sat on one of the cheerleaders’ backs. The cheerleader, thinking there was a male inside the costume, came up swinging. Witnessing this, Rich “psycho” Genoff, the head groundskeeper at Buck Shaw, starts pounding the UCD cheerleader to the resounding delight of the SCU student cheering section. I don’t remember if UCD scored again, but their cheerleaders stayed on the other side of the field for the rest of the game.

GREG ANTONIOLI ’87
Acton, Mass.


I was a cheerleader for SCU 1978–80. At that time Mary McFarland ’80, a.k.a. “Mary Mac,” was Benny Bronco. She was indispensable in entertaining the crowd. She was extroverted, entertaining, a good sport, as glam as a mascot can be, and a good colleague for us cheerleaders. She got more attention than we did and certainly could get the crowd going. Being Benny probably helped her prepare for her job right after college, which was entertaining on a cruise ship. The article was a fun read.

GRETCHEN KING ’80
Redwood Estates, Calif.

Live Bronco: Benny and Pat Carr '66
The Redwood

Thanks for a great article on Bucky Bronco. It conjured memories of the fleeting era of “Benjamin B,” to my knowledge the only live equine mascot in the history of the University. The photo here, from the 1966 Redwood, shows Benny Bronco and yours truly scooting across Buck Shaw Stadium during one of the football games.

I had bought a young quarter horse colt from my grandmother, originally a cowgirl from Saskatchewan. I arranged with the Rally Committee at Santa Clara to pay for Ben’s “room and board” at Alum Rock Stables, and to spring for horse trailer rentals when we conveyed him to football games. I "blanket broke" Ben—but he was high-strung and strong. He could tow an entire section of folded, empty bleachers across the stadium unassisted—as proven one night when I tied him to a bleacher section and went to the snack bar to get a hot dog, only to be alerted by the roar of the crowd as I returned and saw him charging across the field.

PAT CARR ’66
Cottonwood, Calif.

 


 

Why women professors?

Thank you for your article on the women professors [in the spring SCM]. As an undergraduate and law student, I had wonderful professors of both sexes. Some favorites were Eleanor Donohue J.D. ’84, M.A. ’85, Sister Gemma Neunzling, Marcia Frederick (Lifeboat), and Cynthia Mertens.

I served as an adjunct professor in the ’80s, teaching family law. I love the students and their enthusiasm; they offered a wonderful challenge and gave great insights into common perceptions about legal rights.

LYNNE YATES-CARTER ’72, J.D. ’76
San Jose


Eleanor Long
taught me that when doing research, it was not enough to dig deep enough to prove that you were right. You had to be willing to dig deep enough to find out if you were wrong. A lesson worthy to be remembered in all walks of life.

JOSE R. LOPEZ ’75
Fernley, Nev.


Working with Janice Edgerly-Rooks of the biology department got me interested in research, and her mentorship inspired me to apply to graduate school. I love the path my life has taken, and I owe so much of that to Janice. Now that I’m also a professor here at SCU, I try to model Janice’s passion for science and similarly pass the joy of research along to my students.

MICHELLE MARVIER ’90
Chair, Dept. of Environmental Studies at SCU


Barbara Kelley ’70
is a wonderful magazine journalism professor I had during my time at SCU. She showed genuine interest in my improvement as a journalist. Her enthusiasm for the trade is one of the reasons I am at the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism today. Also, since graduating, I—and a ton of other women—have particularly benefited from her book and blog that she writes with her daughter, Undecided. It’s an excellent ongoing conversation about the trials of women in the modern world and the choices that haunt and hoist us.

MAGGIE BEIDELMAN ’09
Berkeley


Jagienka Drweski
was my freshman acting teacher. She was able to pierce straight to the heart of a person, situation, idea, or motivation with ease, all while having a smile on her face. She was much more than an acting professor; she offered a great example of how to live with sincerity and without fear.

I entered SCU without a declared major and signed up for an introductory political science class as part of my overall requirements. When Professor Jane Curry would start a lecture, the people, places, and events came alive; she actually did know many of the Eastern European power brokers throughout the region and flew there regularly to participate in the ongoing transition of Eastern Europe from a closed, socialist system to an open, democratic one. She explored psychology, history, economics, and art through the lens of political science. Her insight has had a great impact on how I see the complexities of the world.

DANIEL ROMANSKI ’98
Campbell


At santaclaramagazine.com, visit “Why women professors?” to read many more tributes from SCU alumni. - Ed

 


 

Opening new doors in the Philippines

Beautiful, just beautiful. I cried watching the video and looking at the photos from the Philippines [in Mission Matters, Spring SCM]. That wall mural is fantastic, and such an affirmation of the dignity of the people of Manila. And Suzy’s comfort of Thelma—bless you all.

REGINA STACK KANE
Rockport, Mass.


I’m one of the Filipino staff here at SCU and I’m very touched by Thelma’s story. Thank you for the kindness that you showed her.

LORENZO SABADO
Information Specialist, University Library

 


 

Reunion reflections

1941 football team scoring a win. The Redwood

The recent 70th reunion of the Class of ’41 will probably be our last. It was a unique class: The total student body was about 500 during the Great Depression; tuition was $1,000 per year, including room and board. Our class started with 150 and graduated 100. Eighty percent boarded, and the whole student body had dinner at 7 p.m. in Nobili Hall. It was prepared and served by local Portuguese women. At the far end were “training tables” for 45 football players. If we had a
glass of milk, they received a pitcher, and everything else was in proportion. After classes, they spent two hours of strenuous practice on Ryan Field under coach Buck Shaw. They were mainly Irish from the Mission District and Italians from North Beach with a smattering from around the state. They regularly defeated Stanford, Cal, UCLA, St. Mary’s, USF, and visitors from Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas, climaxing as Sugar Bowl champions.

We also had a great basketball team, coached by George Barsi. The “Magicians of the Maplewood”—Bruce Hale and Marty Passaglia, the first fast-break forwards—turned pro, as did Bob Freerick at guard.

Ours was the last class with organized freshman hazing. I wore a beanie for six months, which I didn’t mind at all, but there was also physical harassment. Two sensitive fellows dropped out as a consequence.

We were the last class to graduate before World War II. There were two years of compulsory ROTC, wearing woolen blouses and breeches from World War I and wrap-around leggings. The two French 75 cannons were never fired, but we did a lot of marching. We all went into the armed services. About a dozen did not return. Of flyer fatalities, four died during training, a statistic not known to the general public.

Our small classes taught by dedicated professors provided an excellent education. The most valuable subject I ever studied was a course in logic taught by Fr. Austin Fagothey. I hope logic is still a required subject for all Santa Clara students.

JAMES H. FLIPPEN ’41
Cupertino

Grand reunion: Becky Villarreal and William F. Cahill '61

While at Santa Clara for the Class of 1961’s 50th, I found myself at the corner of Franklin and Lafayette looking south and trying to re-create in my imagination the wonderful looming form of The Ship—a building that, in a heavy wind, during thunderstorms, during earthquakes, etc., creaked and groaned like an old wooden sailing vessel. I remember how, in 1958, I was on stage there and became conscious of the great array of ropes, lines, curtains, and panels that hung down above and to the left and right of the stage. A complex set of apparatus hung high above the stage: great wooden wheels, pulleys, and gears. From the vantage of the second floor, the theatre auditorium and stage seemed a great ship’s hold. The huge wooden walls bounding the hold to the west and to the east were the hull, the doors on Franklin the prow, the stairs rolling up to those doors were the waves of the sea. The ropes, lines, curtains, and panels suspended there seemed a great set of sails, for a caravel maybe, stored vertically in the hold from where they would be shot up fully masted into the sky somehow when the right time came.

After the William Gianera Society luncheon in October, I fell in with some members of the Class of 1956, and in their company also was Becky Villarreal, the 2011 Louis I. Bannan, S.J., Award winner. As she and I talked, it came out that in the fall of 1957, when I—as a freshman—bought my Santa Clara jacket, she was the one who had sold it to me! I wore that jacket, leather arms much patched, to the Gianera luncheon and still had it on.

WILLIAM F. CAHILL ’61
Long Beach

 


 

Sugar Bowl sweetness

Frank "Mississippi" Smith

My father was Frank “Mississippi” Smith [part of the 1937 Sugar Bowl team mentioned in the winter magazine]. He died in 1999 in California's Napa Valley. He was the seventh child in a family of 12. He was born and raised in the little town of Picayune, Mississippi. From the stories he told, his boyhood rivaled that of Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn. Once his father made him a shoeshine kit to help earn a little extra money. He would take his shoeshine kit to the local barber in Picayune and polish shoes. He had a raccoon in a cage to attract customers. He mastered the shoeshine rag—he got to where he could pop a boogie-woogie rag that not only shined the shoes of his customers but also made them feel like dancing as they walked away.

During the Great Depression, he sewed a $20 bill into the lining of his coat and hopped on a freight train headed for California. In San Luis Obispo he worked for his aunt; there was a football team, so grandpa joined and would play after work. One day a scout from the University of Santa Clara offered him a scholarship to go to Santa Clara. So he enrolled in the Mission University. When Buck Shaw took his team to New Orleans to play in the Sugar Bowl, my father had his own rooting section because so many of his family were there. We heard many stories of that game; I used to think there might be a little exaggeration. However, one day he came back from a Santa Clara reunion with a videotape of the 1937 Sugar Bowl game. Then we saw that all those stories were true.

CAROLE SMITH DUNCAN
Yountville, Calif.

 


 

A connection she treasures

 I am writing on behalf of my mom, Rose Jones. She recently mentioned to me that she missed receiving the wonderful Santa Clara Magazine in the mail each quarter. At 94 years young, she takes pride in that my dad, J.M. (James Moran) Jones ’38, graduated from the School of Engineering. Though he’s been deceased for several years, and Mom is afflicted from age-related macular degeneration, she has looked forward to receiving and reading the magazine. (“The print isn’t that small that I can’t read it.”) This says a lot about being part of the Bronco family. So, if we can get her back on the mailing list, to receive her copy of Santa Clara Magazine, that will be awesome! Thank you for such a well-established publication that we enjoy reading and sharing with others.

My dad’s younger brother, P. T. (Patrick Thomas) Jones ’39, also was at SCU when my dad was. I grew up Bronco, as when we were kids, my dad would bring us to the campus—and in those days, the highlight was the huge cross in front of the Mission, with the hedge shaped in the letters of SCU in front of it. We have lots more family history with Santa Clara—this is just the tip of the iceberg.

MAUREEN JONES STANDIFER M.A. '72
Santa Clara

 

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