Motivated by a strong desire to help his College, Joe Shally ‘32 spearheaded one of the longest tenured alumni groups at Saint Mary’s in 1956 — the Saint Mary’s EastBay Scholarship Fund.
After learning Saint Mary’s had raised tuition to $375, making it impossible for many local men to attend the College, Shally decided to take action.
“My father wanted to do some- thing for Saint Mary’s,” said Miriam Cordeiro, Shally’s daughter, who presides as dinner chair at the fund’s annual fundraiser in Oakland. “It was his second home.”
Gathering a group of local alumni, Shally and company built the fund from humble beginnings. After initially rais- ing $443 to aid one student from the East Bay, the fund has never looked back. To date, $2.15 million has been donated to the College, benefiting more than 100 students.
From a young age Shally was inextricably linked to Saint Mary’s.
“As a little boy, Joe was a wit- ness to the great fire of 1919 at the Brickpile,” said Randy Andrada ‘73, the current president of the EastBay Scholarship Fund. “This really gave him a profound sense of community.”
Saint Mary’s made sure Shally, who also served on the Board of Trustees, and his close bond with the College did not go unrecognized. Among his many honors, he received the Signum Fidei award in 1973 and was the Alumnus of the Year in 1977. The Fran and Joe Shally Award, named for Shally and his wife, also exists today to further aid students at the College.
“He cared about people and would help anybody,” said Brian Shally ’70, Joe’s son. “He would give people the shirt off his back.”
As a man who was dedicated to making a difference, the time and money he donated has left a legacy that embodies the spirit of Saint Mary’s College.