A Gael Forever

millerDevotion to Saint Mary’s helped define Giles Miller ’54, say those who knew him best. With a father, father-in-law, multiple uncles and two children as alumni and a group of Gaels among his closest friends, Miller, who passed away July 27, was part of a web of relationships that kept him tied to the school throughout his life.

Although he was always studying (even on the weekends) as a student, he was able to squeeze in stints as the baseball team equipment manager, a campus garbage collector and senior class president, remembered Vic Miloslavich ’54, his roommate of three years.

After graduating in chemistry, Miller earned an M.D. degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine. He then became a U.S. Navy medical lieutenant and a cardiology fellow at Ohio’s Cleveland Clinic before returning to San Francisco to establish a successful medical practice.

Miller’s interests were many, thanks to his liberal arts education. And a love of history compelled him and a friend to establish Sons of the Shakes, whose members, descendants of the 1906 San Francsico earthquake survivors, gather yearly on the hour it occurred. Among all the institutions with which he was affiliated, however, Saint Mary’s stood out.

“Saint Mary’s was a place he remembered throughout his life and continued to give back to for what he thought was an unparalleled education and a leg up to his future successes. He loved the college,” said son Giles Miller ’84.

Miller’s dedication to Saint Mary’s included donating generously to various building projects and endowment and scholarship funds, and serving as president of the Alumni Association, as well as 18 years on the Board of Regents. He was named Alumnus of the Year in 1994. And, as Brother Mel Anderson’s personal physician, according to the patient himself, perhaps one of Miller’s most notable accomplishments was scientifically verifying that the former College president does indeed “have a heart.”

-Judy Jacobs

Tags 

Beloved Counselor

Pictured L to R: Anita Cardenas, Richard "Dick" Moore '67, John Higgins, Jim Weyland '60, Barbara Tarabini, Randy Bennett, Tom Bruce '67 and Linda Higgins

Crowds of staff, students, alumni and friends packed Saint Mary's chapel on April 19 for the funeral of Jim Weyland '60, a much-loved former College career counselor who died April 15.

After a 30-year career with Pacific Bell Telephone Co., Weyland came to Saint Mary's, where he worked in the Career Development Center for 18 years helping alumni, graduate students and extended education students find employment and advance their careers. He retired in 2009.

Weyland had a zany sense of humor and was an eternal optimist. "He was the kind of guy who made every person feel like the most important person in the room. And I've never met anyone who maintained such lifelong relationships as Jim did," said Courtney Lohmann, associate director of alumni and volunteer engagement, who worked with him for four years.

As a dedicated alumnus, Weyland served two terms on the Alumni Board of Directors, and twice received the Saint Mary's College Alumni Association Recognition Award, as well as the Lasallian Award for Distinguished Achievement.

And beyond that, Weyland was known as a diehard Gaels fan. He had season tickets to both men's and women's basketball and often followed the team to its WCC Championship games—most recently he traveled to Las Vegas in March for the 2013 WCC Basketball Championships. Among the many ways Weyland will be remembered is by a chair with his name on it in McKeon Pavilion, where he will remain forever in spirit with his beloved Gaels.

-Judy Jacobs

A Long Journey

Mougo Nyaggah '64

Saint Mary's had a profound effect on the life of Mougo Nyaggah '64, who passed away in Orange County on March 29.

Nyaggah began the long journey from rural Kenya, where his grandfather measured the family wealth in cattle, to the life of an academic in California by applying to 47 colleges in the U.S. Three accepted him, including Saint Mary's, the only one in a warm climate. He set his sights on Saint Mary's and became part of the Kennedy airlift that brought more than 300 African students to the U.S.—including Nyaggah and three other Kenyans who enrolled at Saint Mary's—in 1959–60.

After graduating from Saint Mary's with a history degree and earning a masters in history and a Ph.D. in African history from UC Berkeley, Nyaggah began his teaching career at Saint Mary's and several other Bay Area colleges. He went on to teach history at Cal State Fullerton for 40 years and served as president of that university's California Faculty Association chapter.

Although his academic experience included several California colleges, it was Saint Mary's that meant the most to him, according to his wife, Lynette, to whom he was married for 41 years. "The spirit of inquiry that he learned at Saint Mary's guided him throughout his life. He was also a man of great faith, and Saint Mary's helped build that faith," she said.

"He's leaving a significant amount of his estate to Saint Mary's, because he wanted the school to do for others what it did for him. They took a chance on four Kenyan students sight unseen and gave them the best education they could have possibly asked for."

-Judy Jacobs

Tags 
Maps & Directories

Mailing Address

Saint Mary's College of California
1928 Saint Mary's Road
Moraga, CA 94575
(925) 631-4000
Google Map | Campus Map | PO Boxes