Letters to the Editor

DEAR READERS: We welcome your comments. Please send letters to news@stmarys-ca.edu, or mail to the Office of College Communications, Saint Mary’s College, Box 5165, Moraga, CA 94575. Please include your class year and hometown. Letters may be edited for space and clarity.

More Olympians

Dear Editors,
The College and her valued associates are doing a great job to seize upon current events that make for a positive contribution to Saint Mary’s reputation. The men’s rugby success and Patty Mills’ inspired play on the Australian men’s basketball team at the Beijing Olympics are two recent examples. Further, our entire Athletic Department under the leadership of Mark Orr is to be complimented for their work and marketing of Saint Mary’s sports. However, we are hamstrung at times by poor historical record-keeping.

There are two elite athletes I am aware of, Jeff Hamilton ’88 and Tracee Talavera ’90, who were inadvertently left off a recent article (fall ’08) about SMC Olympians. Hamilton won the bronze medal in speed skiing at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville. Talavera won a silver medal in the women’s team gymnastics competition at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

I hope the College will recognize all our Olympians by inviting them and their families to a ceremony at a home basketball game and by raising an Olympian banner in McKeon Pavilion.
This honors our legacy and tradition and gives meaning to the words family, unity, brotherhood and pride as articulated in the press releases about the new sports logo launch in July 2007.

Michael W. Johnson ’87
Ladera Ranch (Orange County)

Thanks for the Memories

Dear Editors,
I read with particular delight the quote in the (fall ’08) editor’s note taken from my dad’s article in the 1933 yearbook. I have just read his old yearbook articles from 1933 and 1934 (he passed away in 1996). Even though his generation was experiencing the depths of the Great Depression, you can see that we share some of the same concerns about the human condition.

After graduating cum laude in 1934, my dad struggled to find a job. He was finally hired by Standard Oil in San Francisco as a mail room clerk! Times were tough. He worked the rest of career with Standard Oil in the Bay Area, Sacramento and Seattle in a variety of accounting management positions. He married and had three children.

He had a great fondness for the College and said it was the best four years of his life. He particularly respected Brother Z. Leo and James Hagerty.

Thank you for refreshing this remembrance of my dad.

Paul Schaefer ’62

Yearbooks’ Demise

Dear Editors,
Your editor’s note about going through the old SMC yearbooks, and the college yearbook becoming an endangered species, prompted me to write this letter.

After the “Class of ’50 Think Tank” committee raised more than $300,000 (currently more than $500,000) for a scholarship endowment gift to the College for our 50th reunion, we continued to meet to explore other ways that we might help the school.

Our leader, Joe Casalnuovo, proposed supplementing the yearbook with a DVD of seniors answering an interviewer or commenting spontaneously on their experiences at the College and thoughts about their future. Based on our experience with yearbooks bringing back memories, we thought this would be a good use of modern technology. Senior class officers a few years ago said they were more interested in getting their degrees and a job than worrying about future memories, and they thought the whole senior class would agree with them.

Undaunted, we pursued the idea with the Alumni Association, and with the help of Gus Guardado ’01, alumni video director; associate alumni director Chris Carter ’97 MA ’02; and some cash donations from our committee members, a DVD of the Year 2008 was made using what could be collected and filmed shortly before graduation. This prototype instilled enough interest to obtain a budget to proceed with a DVD for Year 2009 starting at the beginning of the school year. Student involvement will make it even better. We recently learned that there will not be a yearbook this year because of student disinterest; therefore, the DVD project is even timelier.

Bob Kozlowski ’50
San Francisco

An Outstanding Soldier

Dear Editors,
I was saddened to read in Saint Mary’s magazine (summer ’08) that a true American hero, Sgt. Timothy Martin ’04, was killed in Iraq.

I was touched by his mother’s comment that Sgt. Martin’s dream was to become an FBI agent and that the U. S. Army was a vehicle to achieve that goal.

In 1963, I graduated from Saint Mary’s College and had the honor of serving in the U. S. Air Force during Vietnam before being an FBI agent for 25 years.

I grieve that the FBI will not have Sgt. Martin in its ranks. There is no doubt that this outstanding soldier and stellar American would have elevated the FBI by being part of it.
May he rest in peace.

C. J. Ruona ’63
Rancho Palos Verdes (Los Angeles County)

Supporting the Country

Dear Editors,
I enjoyed the Saint Mary’s summer magazine. I graduated in 1994 with a master’s in health services administration and I now work for the United States Army at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. Landstuhl treats all casualties coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan before air evacuation back to the U.S. We also treated Bob Woodruff on his way to the U.S.

I have been here since April 2004, when increased casualties from Fallujah caused us to go from 150 beds to 300 beds.
It’s nice to see so many Saint Mary’s graduates supporting our country.

Sheila Estioco MS ’94
Landstuhl, Germany