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.
A Long Journey
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."