New Legal Heights for Alumnae
Three alumnae rose to new legal heights in June, elected as district attorneys or appointed to the bench. Kathleen Meehan ’77 was appointed to a judgeship in the Fresno County Superior Court by Governor Jerry Brown. Meehan, from Fresno, has served as a commissioner at the Fresno County Superior Court since 2011 and as a deputy attorney general at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, from 2008 to 2011.
Alums Open New School
Just 12 miles east of campus in Concord, a group of Saint Mary’s alums has opened a new middle school for boys from low-income families in grades five through eight.
Sacred Heart President
Former SMC President Brother Ronald Gallagher, FSC, is serving a one-year appointment as the interim president for Sacred Heart Cathedral (SHC) Preparatory high school in San Francisco while the school conducts a national search for a permanent leader. “Sacred Heart Cathedral is an outstanding school. I look forward to working with the entire SHC community in furthering the Lasallian, Vincentian mission in San Francisco,” said Brother Ronald. Sacred Heart serves young men and women in grades nine through 12 and is part of the Archdiocese of San Francisco Department of Catholic Schools, sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers and the Daughters of Charity.
It was a sea of smiles on campus the weekend of July 19 when 555 Gael alumni, family and friends gathered for the 2014 Alumni Reunion. Among the Golden Gaels (alumni from the classes of 1953 and earlier), the most golden was George Dini ’46. A Gael from Guam traveled 5,822 miles to attend while others traveled from London and Bermuda. A total of 16 states were represented at the joyous event, and Gaels from SMC Graduate and Professional Studies took part this year. One Gael couple—Mike ’79 and Roselle Nerney ’79—celebrated their anniversary at the reunion. “The whole event was a class act,” said Colleen Marquez ’84. “[It was] beautiful to come out of Mass to see everything all set up with appetizers and libations, with dinner on the lawn under the lights.”
In Loving Memory
A ceremony to honor Sandie McKillip ’80, daughter of Donald McKillip (SMC athletic director 1970–1989) was held on Feb. 27, 2014 on the Heritage High School campus in Brentwood. McKillip taught physical education, girls golf and dance at Heritage and Liberty high schools. Reflections offered by the Brentwood Union School District superintendent, the Heritage High School principal, the Parent Club, the Leadership Committee and a host of students are a testimony to the many lives McKillip touched. A mosaic bench, handcrafted by students, was cleverly designed to feature pink golf clubs, shaping the Breast Cancer Ribbon. The bench was placed in a garden dedicated to McKillip’s memory. Luke Shockley, McKillip’s son, spoke of the positive spirit and enthusiasm she generously shared. Family members, including McKillip’s mother, Eunice McKillip, attended the ceremony. The loss of such a caring person will be felt by all those who had the privilege of knowing her.
Farewell for Real
Butch Whacks and the Glass Packs, a rock-and-roll comedy sketch entertainment group started by Gael brothers Jerry Murphy ’72 and Gary Murphy ’74 in 1971, gave its final performance in late June. Although the group—which has included Julio Lopez ’73, Bill Lazzaretti ’72, Dan Ritzo ’72, Craig Martin ’72 and John Buick ’74—has given a series of sellout farewell performances over the years, this time it was for real. Their many fans will miss them.
Young alumni have distinguished themselves as donors, according to the Alumni Office, which reports that the class of 2013, who achieved a 53 percent giving rate as seniors, has maintained a 17.3 percent record of support for SMC. Meanwhile, the class of 2014, the largest graduating class so far (764), has given more than any senior class—with 62 percent participating in the Senior Gift Campaign (over $7,200 raised). The gauntlet has been thrown!
A Star to Watch
Remember the name Karen Trang. The recently graduated Saint Mary’s alumna is someone to watch. Trang is currently working in a UCSF lab at San Francisco General Hospital, studying how and where the HIV virus hides in the body. “We are trying to completely wipe out HIV,” she said. As difficult a task as this is, we won’t be surprised if she helps make it possible.