June 17, 2002
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The final academic year for the Class of 2002 at Santa Clara University began with the tragedy of September 11 coming close to home, as students learned that SCU sophomore Deora Bodley had been among the victims of Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania.
The year ended Saturday with reminders from civil rights lawyer Morris Dees of the lessons of bravery from those who perished on Flight 93, which apparently crashed after passengers stormed terrorists who had taken over the plane. Among those crossing the stage were 43 Bronco student-athletes from 15 intercollegiate sports, including Brian Vaka from men's basketball and men's tennis player Victor Camargo. Both student-athletes were the first members of their families to graduate from college.
At the 8:30 a.m. ceremonies in Buck Shaw Stadium at the SCU campus, Dees. who founded the Southern Poverty Law Center and who leads efforts to combat intolerance and hate groups, received an honorary degree by SCU President Paul Locatelli, S.J. Dees was the second SCU commencement speaker this year with a legacy as a civil rights lawyer. Fred Gray, a fellow Alabaman who once represented Dr. Martin Luther King, spoke to SCU law school graduates last month.
Both speakers drew on King's reacting to the racist violence of the early 1960s with love and hope as inspiration in their lives, and in the lives for college graduates in the 21st century.
"The most important thing that you'll do that you'll look back on 40, 50, 60, 70 years from now will be whether you did justice," Dees told graduates today.
SCU's Class of 2002 valedictorian, 22-year-old Seattle native (and Ruff Rider President) Brendan Donckers, later responded to Dees' challenge: "Our ability lies in our opportunities," he said. "We can show hope, we can choose action."
Also at Saturday's undergraduate ceremonies, honorary degrees were awarded: John W. Donohue, S.J. (Doctor of Humane Letters), Barbara Zahner (Doctor of Public Service), Thomas J. Reese, S.J. (Doctor of Letters), Anna Halprin (Doctor of Fine Arts), Morris Dees (Doctor of Laws).
2002 Bronco Spring/Summer Graduates
Baseball - A.J. Ampi
M. Basketball - David Emslie, Justin Holbrook, Brian Vaka, Jason Westphal
W. Basketball - Becki Ashbaugh, Caroline Gruening
M. Crew - Sean Eirich, John Lingbeck
W. Crew - Katie Collord, Nikole Kaldestad, Jennifer King, Anne Schlotman
W. Cross Country - Shannon Gleeson
M. Golf - Sandy Horacek
M. Soccer - Keith Burden, Justin Canel, Anthony Chimienti, Mark Johnson
W. Soccer - Ynez Carrasco, Kerry Cathcart, Anna Kraus, Katie Sheppard
Softball - Kristi Harrington, Deanna Rodriguez, Sydney Wiginton
M. Tennis - Victor Camargo
W. Tennis - Nicole McCord
Volleyball - Jami Bari, Merrin Thompson
M. Water Polo - Bryan Failing, Jay Moorhead, Daniel O'Connel
W. Water Polo - Brynn Butzman, Sara Schmitt, Nicole Tronstad