Celebrating its golden reunion this year, the Class of 1958 decided to share its riches by establishing an endowed scholarship to help future generations study at Saint Mary’s.
“I was a very poor child and I would not have had an opportunity to go to a private college without two things,” says Michael Moran, the permanent class president and a self-described entrepreneur who is now building retirement houses in South Carolina. “I received a small partial academic scholarship from Sacred Heart (high school), and I was also a basketball player.”
Moran credits his eight years under the Christian Brothers’ stewardship with helping him through some tough times. He says the College and its Great Books program gave him “an idea of how to live and why to live,” and he now wants return the favor by helping other young people have the same experience.
“There comes a time in your life when it’s time to give back. That time for me and my classmates is now.”
Moran’s classmates Don Cariani and Herman Lujan came up with the scholarship idea in early spring, and it took off like a wildfire. By the end of Reunion Weekend in mid-July, class members had donated and pledged $59,000, enough to establish the Class of 1958 Golden Gael Endowed Scholarship.
Cariani, who says he was fortunate that his parents could pay the then $700-a-semester tuition, says he received so much from Saint Mary’s and the Brothers that he wants others to have the same opportunity.
“Saint Mary’s helped me develop intellectually and spiritually and mentally,” Cariani says. “This scholarship will be there in perpetuity for students so they can share the Saint Mary’s experience.”
Cariani, a retired OB/GYN who lives in Los Gatos, has been very loyal to Saint Mary’s. He was a regent for eight years and he has been a member of the President’s Club for 30 years. Cariani and Moran say they hope that 100 percent of the Class of 1958 donates to the scholarship, no matter the amount.
“Each individual gives to what they feel is their capacity,” Cariani says. “Each gift is a treasure to those who will receive it.”