Collegial and dedicated: Fr. Donnelly
|Young prof: William Donnelly, S.J. Photo courtesy SCU Archives
For a man who spent most of his professional and priestly life rooted to the Mission Campus, William Donnelly, S.J. ’49 found ways to see wide swathes of the world. He visited 92 countries in his lifetime—a fact that only partially tells the story of the breadth of his travels. He died Oct. 26, 2012, at the age of 84. A burial Mass was held on Nov. 5 at the Mission Church.
A proud Eagle Scout, Fr. Donnelly also loved to hit the road on breaks, throwing a sleeping bag and some gear in the back of a truck and heading off camping, frequently without telling anyone. He once drove the coast to Alaska unbeknownst to his rector in the Jesuit community—or anyone else. “He’d just leave and nobody would know where he went,” says longtime friend and colleague Ted Rynes, S.J., an assistant professor of English.
For all his roaming, Donnelly leaves his deepest legacy in the place where he spent so much time and played so many roles. He arrived on Santa Clara’s campus as a freshman in 1945 along with his older brother Thomas ’49, a military veteran returning from service.
It didn’t take long for a nickname to take hold; young Donnelly’s friends called him “Blade,” a nod to the tall, lean frame, which he never lost, says Tom Kelly ’49, one of seven classmates who served as honorary pallbearer and sat his vigil at Mission Santa Clara.
But what set him apart, Kelly recalls, was his abundant energy. Donnelly was a devoted student who used to get up at dawn to deliver the San Francisco Chronicle and then toiled as student manager for the understaffed football team.
After graduating, Donnelly worked at Tide Water Oil Co. before joining the Society of Jesus and earning his doctorate in economics from New York University. He returned to Santa Clara to teach in 1969, beginning a 43-year span on campus, with roles ranging from rector to academic vice president to board trustee.
He was beloved by the members of the Catala Club, the women’s social and service club that raises money for scholarships for Santa Clara students. The club’s chaplain for nearly 20 years, Donnelly was a constant at the monthly meeting and luncheons, says niece Dianne Bonino ’76, a Catala member. “He loved those ladies and they loved him.”
Above all, Donnelly remained committed to the classroom. I was fortunate to have him as a student for Economics 101. He was still teaching a full load at the time of his death, sticking to his preferred schedule of early classes and afternoon grading.
But Donnelly always looked forward to his sabbaticals and the opportunity to again take flight. “He was always very good about sending postcards,” Bonino says. “But if you needed to get in touch with him, he’d just say, ‘Send a letter to Farm Street [the Jesuit residence in London]. I’ll get it.’”
Besides Bonino, her husband Mark Bonino J.D. ’76, and their daughter Julia M. Bonino ’09, Donnelly is survived by niece Cathy Donnelly McAvoy ’84, nephew Tim Donnelly ’84, and numerous other relatives. Sam Scott ’96
Remembering alumni, friends, and staff
|Twin '57s: Bob and Ronald Ciraulo. Photo from The Redwood
Lt. Col. Robert (“Bob”) l. Ciraulo ’57 and twin brother Ronald Eugene Ciraulo came into the world together in May 1935. Bob served as a career U.S. Army officer, with multiple tours in Vietnam and Germany. He died on April 21, 2012, and is interred in Arlington National Cemetery. Ron worked as a civil engineer first for the State of California and then for Hetch Hetchy Water & Power for more than 33 years. Dedicated Broncos, the brothers—along with Jerry Clements ’57 and 58 other classmates—helped commission a statue of St. Clare for the University’s St. Clare Garden. Ron died a few months after his brother on Sept. 29, 2012.
Elizabeth Mary Ginty was a member of the Catala Club for more than 40 years. Born in 1917, the lifelong resident of Oakland/Piedmont had a cheerful and friendly nature that she bestowed upon anyone she met. She passed away on Oct. 7, 2012.
Elizabeth “Betty” Sutro endowed the first academic chair at Santa Clara University School of Law, the John A. and Elizabeth H. Sutro Professor of Law, in 1994. Mother to Elizabeth Mackey M.A. ’91, Sutro died on Aug. 8, 2012, at the age of 101.
Kathryn Bauer Ivers was executive secretary to Athletic Director Pat Malley ’53 for more than 15 years and served as assistant to the dean of admissions. Her children include Patricia “Irish” Burney ’67 and Michael ’71. Born in 1914, she traveled the world with husband Lt. Col. Ed Ivers; while living in Germany she was named Catholic Woman of the Year. She died on July 7, 2012. Marisa Solís
Read full obituaries of Santa Clara alumni here. Family members can also use a form to submit an obituary.
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