80 Years and Counting for Brother Mel and SMC: 1980-1989

By Erin Hallissy and Rich Davi

1988 - Brother Ronald Gallagher.


Bill Oates led the men’s basketball team to an 11–5 WCAC record and second conference regular-season title.


The Committee for Lectures, Art and Music (CLAM) was revived, offering high-quality entertainment to the campus community and the public. Intercollegiate Nursing Program was established in partnership with Samuel Merritt College.


Women’s soccer began at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics level with Randy Farris as head coach.


The Faculty Assembly approved changes to the core curriculum that added requirements for four courses: two from mathematics and physical and life sciences, and two from courses in the literary, historical or philosophical disciplines. Brother Albert “The Prince” Rahill and longtime rugby coach Patrick Vincent died.


Women’s soccer won the NAIA National Championship.
English professor Robert Hass ’63, who would go on to be poet laureate of the U.S. and a Pulitzer Prize winner for his poetry, receives a McArthur Fellowship, otherwise known as a “genius grant.”


Women’s volleyball won the NAIA National Championship.


A capital campaign goal of $32.1 million was set after two years of planning. By the end of the fourth year of fundraising, the goal had been exceeded by $2 million; by end of 1991 the campaign ended having reached the $51.2 million mark.


The East Bay Scholarship Fund financed the move to the Moraga campus of an 1,800-pound bell that had been at SMC’s original San Francisco location. It was formally presented and rung at Homecoming in October to the accompaniment of bagpipes. The bell, the only artifact except drawings that remains from the San Francisco days, now hangs in Korth Tower.


Brother Ronald Gallagher, then an English professor and RD in Thille Hall, began a long tradition of leading Jan Term classes to Ireland.


Brother Mel was inducted into the Contra Costa County Hall of Fame.


The Soda Center was dedicated. The Loma Prieta earthquake damaged the Chapel, but the 1928 tabernacle survived. Women’s basketball won its first WCC regular-season title with a 12–2 record. The National Endowment for the Humanities praised the Saint Mary’s Great Books program.