Saint Mary's College to Bob Hope: Happy 100th Birthday! Thanks for the Memories!
Entertainment legend Bob Hope celebrates his 100th birthday on May 29, 2003 with countless tributes and remembrances of a career that has spanned the globe many times over ...
...Including two memorable visits to the College in the then largely agricultural hamlet of Moraga in the San Francisco Bay Area.
On March 9, 1948, the Bob Hope weekly radio show was aired nationwide from a jam-packed Madigan Gym. Hope's college tour troupe that evening included Vera Vague, Jerry Colonna and Les Brown and his orchestra. Proceeds from the show benefited the College's Library Fund.
A favorite of the armed forces famed for his Christmas trips to troops overseas, Hope made his first visit to Saint Mary's when the College was completing the slow transition from serving as a Naval Pre-Flight School during World War II.
From 1963 to 73, the Associates of Saint Mary's sponsored Genesian Award banquets to honor luminaries from the performing arts (St. Genesius is the Roman Catholic patron saint of performers). Hope and Mike Connolly, syndicated columnist for the Hollywood Reporter, both received Genesian Awards on April 24, 1965. Other recipients over the years were Dennis Day, Jerry Lewis, Jimmy Durante, Milton Berle and Tennessee Ernie Ford. Genesian Award banquets benefited the College's Great Teachers Fund.