80 Years and Counting for Brother Mel and SMC: 2000-2008
By Erin Hallissy and Rich Davi
2001 - men's basketball coach Randy Bennett.
The dedication was held for the new science building, now called Brother Alfred Brousseau Hall after the mathematician who founded the Fibonacci Association and was an authority on California wildflowers. Women’s basketball captured its third WCC title and defeated Texas in the NCCA Tournament’s first round.
Randy Bennett was hired as men’s basketball coach. Women’s basketball played in the postseason WNIT for the second time, marking its fourth straight postseason appearance.
Brother Jerome West ’40, a longtime economics professor and an RD in More and Guerrieri halls in the 1970s through ’90s, died. He led the first capital campaign (see 1986) and was an avid sports fan who helped secure funds for building McKeon Pavilion.
The College’s bylaws were changed to allow the election of a non-Christian Brother to the presidency if no qualified Brother existed or stepped forward.
For the third time in the school’s history, football was dropped as an intercollegiate sport.
Brother Ronald Gallagher was inaugurated as president after being named to the position in 2004. Men’s basketball competed in the NCAA Tournament.
Mark Orr became the youngest Division I athletic director in the country, replacing former AD Carl Clapp. In January, 25 students and two professors traveled to New Orleans during Jan Term to do Hurricane Katrina relief work; dozens more followed in subsequent years.
Randy Bennett became men’s basketball’s winningest coach with an 89–65 win over East Tennessee State at the Rainbow Classic.
Men’s basketball celebrated its 100th year and honored Tom Meschery ’61 as best all-time player. The Gaels, ranked in the Top 25 for most of the season, received a bid to the NCAA Tournament. Filippi Academic Hall, home of the Kalmanovitz School of Education, opened.