The Wow Meter

Dear Editors,
The latest issue of the Saint Mary's magazine (spring 2010) arrived today. Upon closer examination and with some measure of prior issues of the magazine, it is my opinion that the latest issue is the greatest copy ever issued by Saint Mary's.

The layout is without peer. Thankfully, there is much to celebrate, and the foldout feature of the Gaels basketball team sends this issue high into the wow meter. Such excellence must be congratulated.

The real salient impact came from the words of the students themselves, whether they be the basketball players or former alumnus John Kenny. These words are what most impress me about the College, the sense of community it endears. These types of quotes or reflections could have a tremendous impact upon the high school senior, the parent of same, and potential donors. Very effective; pulls all my heartstrings.

Congratulations. Well done!

Dan Henning '76
San Francisco


Packed with News

Dear Editors,
Your spring 2010 edition was packed with news, and I really enjoyed reading it! 

Francie Aguilera EE '88
Santa Rosa


Story Brings Back Memories

Dear Editors,
It was with great delight that I opened up your winter 2010 issue and saw a feature article on Maria Elena Durazo '75, complete with pictures. I am in the photo that shows Maria Elena in the minority affairs office. I was an 18-year-old freshman at the time. Having been raised in Los Angeles, I recall with great fondness my days at Saint Mary's: Mass in the Chapel, meals in Saga cafeteria and subsequent lifelong friendships with truly remarkable individuals like Maria Elena, who took me under her wing, made sure I was on top of my studies and in many ways was and continues to be a role model to me more than 30 years later.

At Saint Mary's, we became involved in local and far-reaching issues related to minorities on campus, the plight of farm workers in the Central Valley and how to bring more diversity to our college community. In many ways, those issues are as relevant today.

Maria Elena is the head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. I became an elementary special education teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, where I served for 28 years until a stroke forced me to an early disability retirement four years ago. In those years I have kept in contact with Maria Elena and watched her meteoric rise in state and national politics as a voice for the working poor, the disenfranchised and the marginalized of society. I have been able to ruminate on how much we have changed, yet how we have retained the core values that were developed in the classrooms and study halls of Saint Mary's College. I transferred to the University of Santa Clara, from which I graduated in 1978, but I shall always consider myself a Gael.

Sal Valdez
Los Angeles

DEAR READERS: We welcome your comments. Please send letters to news@stmarys-ca.edu, or mail to the Office of College Communications, Saint Mary's College, Box 5165, Moraga, CA 94575. Please include your class year and hometown. Letters may be edited for space and clarity.

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