Alumni in the news

By SCM

President of the U.C. system

Another first: SCU’s first female valedictorian becomes the University of California system’s first female president. Photo from AP

Janet Napolitano ’79 made national headlines when she announced plans in mid-July to step down from her post as U.S. secretary of homeland security to helm the University of California system, becoming U.C.’s 20th president and the first woman to hold the position in U.C.’s 145-year history. As a student at SCU, she earned distinction as the University’s first female valedictorian.

In a press release announcing her appointment, the University of California noted that Napolitano was chosen from among 300 people considered for the position—and that she was the search committee’s unanimous choice. Napolitano acknowledged that her route to the post wasn’t a traditional one in higher education. “I have not spent a career in academia,” Napolitano told the U.C. system’s governing board in July. “But that said, I have spent 20 years in public service advocating for it.”

Napolitano has also advocated for what she says could and should happen more: people (with their ideas and energy) moving between work in government and higher education and industry. U.C. regents confirmed Napolitano for the post on Aug. 1, and she was scheduled to begin work as president in late September.

Prior to her homeland security role, during the two terms she served as governor of Arizona, Napolitano argued for such changes as a fixed four-year tuition rate for incoming freshmen and salary increases to encourage top faculty members to remain in Arizona schools. She also helped bring about the opening of a new medical school in Phoenix, increased funding for research, and advocated for state schools to educate more students in the health sciences and tech fields, even amid budget shortfalls. Kristen Intlekofer


A new archbishop for Fiji

Ordained: Peter Loy Chong, S.J., Ph.D. ’12 is one of the youngest archbishops in the world. Photo from Getty Images

Last year, after graduating magna cum laude from the Jesuit School of Theology, Peter Loy Chong, S.J., Ph.D. ’12 returned to his home island of Suva, in Fiji, where he has served as a priest since 1992. He planned to begin teaching at Pacific Regional Seminary, the very institution where he had completed his priestly studies years before. But God had other plans. The day he arrived, Dec. 19, former Pope Benedict XVI appointed him archbishop of Suva. He was ordained archbishop on June 8. More than 15,000 people were present for the ceremony at the Vodafone Arena. At 52, Fr. Chong is one of the youngest archbishops in the world.

The Fijian magazine Republika predicted that Fr. Chong would “take the church on a path towards deep thought and reflection, focusing on healing and reconciliation of social, moral, and theological issues. He is also likely to encourage the clergy to write and preach on topics which affect the people—land, culture, multi-ethnicity and the need for tolerance.” John Deever



General Yee

Photo courtesy of the US Army

When Garrett Yee ’87, a deputy commander with the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in May, the timing had special significance for him. Noting that May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, Yee said, “As a descendant of Chinese and Japanese parents, I find it inspiring to see how far we have come, especially given the challenges my parents lived through.” Yee’s mother and her family were Japanese-American farmworkers, ordered to an internment camp in Arizona during World War II. His father was told he couldn’t become a school teacher because he was Chinese. “My parents would have never imagined an Asian American would reach the rank of general, let alone their son,” Yee said during his promotion ceremony at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

Yee studied combined sciences and participated in ROTC as an undergraduate at Santa Clara, and he received his commission in the infantry after graduation. During his 25-year U.S. Army career, he has held a variety of command and staff positions and received the Bronze Star. From 2011–12 he served in Afghanistan as the deputy commander for the 335th Signal Command. He returned to the Mission Campus in May, when he was recognized for his recent promotion during the annual Bronco Battalion Awards Ceremony. Kristen Intlekofer

WJU’s new president

Nestled in the green hills of West Virginia’s northern panhandle near the banks of the Ohio River is Wheeling Jesuit University, the youngest of the 28 U.S. Jesuit institutions. In July, Jim Fleming, S.J., M.Div. ’94 became WJU’s 10th president. Fleming served as a senior administrator member since 2010. Previously, he spent a decade as a faculty member and administration officer at Boston College. He holds a doctorate in education policy from U.C. Berkeley. John Deever

 



MVP Big John

Photo from AP

John Bryant ’09 earned most valuable player of the year in the Eurocup Basketball league in the 2011–12 season, playing for Germany’s Ratiopharm Ulm. Last season the six-foot-eleven center was named to the All-Eurocup first team. In August he started practice with a new team, though: Bayern Munich, part of the Euroleague, the premier basketball conference on the continent. His move to the Audi Dome in the capital of Bavaria was dubbed the biggest transfer coup for the team this year. But “Big John” tends not to do things small. At Santa Clara he was the 2009 West Coast Conference Player of the Year and was the No. 2 player in the nation in rebounds. What’s next? “My goals are also the team’s goals,” he told a reporter for Münchner Merkur: “Win the championship.” Steven Boyd Saum


Spirit, flash, and pow

Red to blue: Bianca Henninger ’12 now wears FC Kansas City colors. Photo by Denis Concordel

Three Santa Clara women were picked in the draft for the new National Women’s Soccer League earlier this year: Bianca Henninger ’12 by FC Kansas City, Jordan Angeli ’08 by the Washington Spirit, and Marian Dalmy ’07 by the Portland Thorns FC. All three won West Coast Conference top honors while at SCU: Henninger as Goalkeeper of the Year, Angeli as Defensive Player of the Year, and Dalmy as Player of the Year.

Also joining the NWSL this year was Katherine Reynolds ’10, who returned stateside from playing in Germany to sign with the Western New York Flash. As a Bronco, Reynolds was named to the MAC Hermann Trophy watch list and was also a member of the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team. Meleana Shim ’13 signed with Portland in April as a discovery player. As a Bronco, the Honolulu native played with the U-23 national team and made All-WCC Second-Team. Portland named Shim the Newcomer of the Year. And Portland clinched the first NWSL championship on Aug. 31, beating the Flash 2–0. Steven Boyd Saum

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