Press & Publications

from Years of Yearning

by Brother Mel Anderson, FSC

president of Saint Mary's College 1969—1997

Saint Mary's EastBay Scholarship Fund

Joseph Shally, '32, was a one-man wonder in his initiation of and consistent devotion to the Saint Mary's EastBay Scholarship Fund, Inc. The Fund began modestly in 1955, when invitations were sent mainly to alumni in the East Bay to attend a scholarship fundraising dinner at the Claremont Country Club in Oakland for $100 per person. The dinner, combined with the Treasurer's Report by long-term Treasurer Dick Logan, JD, and the pro forma election and reelection of Officers, is the only fundraising event conducted by the organization since its founding. At the insistence of some, long-term members, attendees were presented with Planned Giving information that in a few cases encouraged the increase of the Fund endowment. President Joe Shally demonstrated a remarkable feat of memory year after year by introducing, without notes, each participant, together with his or her employment and position, a task that became more challenging as Joe aged and as the group expanded from the small Country Club dining room to the Lakeview Club atop the Kaiser Center on Lake Merritt, in Oakland, and then returning to the largest dining and reception room at the Claremont Country Club when the Lakeview Club suspended operations.

Saint Mary's EastBay Scholarship Fund, Inc., boasted $1,264,824 in its endowment portfolio in 1997 and contributed approximately $50,000 per year to provide financial aid to students from the East Bay. Only once did the organization deviate from funding scholarships, and that was when it sponsored the acquisition of the large brass bell that had called students to Chapel at the original Saint Mary's Mission Road Campus in San Francisco between 1870 and 1889. When the College moved to Oakland, it left both the Mission Road Campus and the bell to the Archdiocese of San Francisco. The bell was purchased by the EastBay Scholarship Fund, Inc. from the Archdiocese in 1988 to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the founding of the College. Cast in 1870 at Troy, New York, the bell now rings on special occasions from a specially built tower over the passageway between the Chapel arcade and the courtyard on the west side of the Chapel.

When Joe Shally was called to his eternal reward in June 1993, the presidency was asumed by Lawrence Appel, JD,'64, who remained president until May 2003, when he was named Superior Court Judge for Alameda County. Attorney J. Randall Andrada, '72, a longtime member, assumed the reins from the Honorable Lawrence Appel. There have been many donors, large and small, to Saint Mary's College since its founding in 1863. Between 1969 and 1997 there was a continued increase of generous benefactors from among alumni, many of whom faithfully send an annual donation through the Alumni Annual Fund to support College projects and financial aid for needy students. Alumni, parents and friends have expressed their generosity by providing assistance, from the construction of needed facilities to enlarging the endowment for student financial aid and the establishment of faculty chairs. Assistance has been generously provided by both living donors an through estate planning.