Birthdays are cause for celebration, usually involving cake, candles, gifts and friends. That's what it was like for Clay McElroy '34, too, when he celebrated his birthday on April 10. The only difference was that he was turning 100.
When McElroy enrolled at Saint Mary's College in 1930, during its first few years in Moraga, he stepped onto a campus that seemed like it was in the middle of nowhere, with only Galileo and Dante Halls framing the Chapel. From his home in Oakland, he commuted to and from the College every day by streetcar and train. "I would take the red train down to Broadway, then the streetcar to the train station," he recalled.
At Saint Mary's, McElroy served as student body president and was a member of the Economics Club. After graduating with a degree in economics, he went to work for the Standard Oil Company, which is now Chevron. It was the middle of the Depression, and his starting salary was $55 a month. McElroy now lives in New Braunfels, Texas, but before retiring in 1975 he worked at 11 Chevron locations, including Salt Lake City, Houston, New Orleans and Venezuela.
Chevron was so grateful for McElroy's long service that it celebrated his birthday earlier this spring with a $10,000 donation in his honor to the School of Economics and Business Administration (SEBA). The check was presented at a ceremony in the Soda Center led by Alumni Association President David Johnson '84.
"We just wanted to celebrate Clay's 100th birthday and his legacy with both Saint Mary's and Chevron," said Steve Woodhead, the company's manager of university affairs, who presented the check, along with Larry Oliver MBA '00, Chevron's general manager of business and internal services.