Brother Ron holds a framed blessing from Pope FrancisThe Saint Mary’s College community turned out in force on Wednesday, May 8, for a festive farewell party for Brother Ronald Gallagher, our 28th president. During a midday ceremony, he received a number of gifts, including the greatest gift of all —a certificate bearing a blessing from Pope Francis, which was met with clear delight.

The Jazz Band, Spirit Team and Glee Club all provided entertainment during a community barbecue. Then the ceremony began, with more gifts for Brother Ron, including a set of golf clubs for the avid golfer and placards signed by students with messages of thanks like “You’re awesome” and “Rock on, B-Ron, and keep livin’ the dream!”  

Official proclamations honoring Brother Ron for his eight years of service as the College’s president also came in from far and wide. They included resolutions from the House of Representatives by Rep. George Miller; the California State Senate from Mark DeSaulnier, Lois Wolk and Loni Hancock; the California state assembly from Assemblymembers Susan Bonilla, Jim Frazier, Joan Buchanan and Nancy Skinner; the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors by Candace Anderson; and the Australian consulate presented by Consul General Nigel Warren.

Brother Ron responded by saying, “I couldn’t be more proud of the community we’ve become academically, socially, artistically, and athletically. It’s something I didn’t really imagine. I knew we had these strengths, and if I’ve been able in eight years to help us develop those, to help us become a really vibrant community, I am thrilled." He added, "I want to give my thanks to all of you. I want to congratulate all of you for making Saint Mary’s a wonderful place.”

View a slide show of the farewell party.

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