Fr. Tom Reed, SJ
Fr. Reed (whose life is detailed in the previous chapter) served as principal between 1957 and 1964. Paul Vangelisti ’63, who has gained fame as a poet, recalls being sent to him for discipline one day.
“Fr. Reed was more liberal than he let on. One day in religion class, our teacher was absent, and we thought we would have the period to study for physics. Suddenly we see an old priest sent in to proctor who, years previous, had been tortured by the Chinese. We were a little rowdy, but we studied hard. He decided he was going to have a class on religion and talk about Mary. That was the last thing we felt we needed. He started by asking each of us for an exclusive definition of ‘man.’ By the time he got to me — with my last name starting with a ‘V,’ I was at the end of the line — every definition had been exhausted, so I said, ‘Man is the only animal that habitually copulates in more than one position.’ The whole class went ballistic. He threw me out and told me to go to Fr. Reed.
“When Fr. Reed saw me, he said, ‘Paul, you’re a good boy. Why are you bothering me?’ I explained, and he walked back to the classroom with me. To the priest he said, ‘Father, we may punish boys for some things, but we don’t punish them for showing intelligence. Sit down Vangelisti. Father, I want to speak with you outside.’ I’ve always had a soft spot for Fr. Reed since then.”
Bill Kennedy ’50, who taught at SI between 1960 and 1997, recalls his first year working for Fr. Reed, who was a little behind on his accreditation report that year. He enlisted Kennedy to help him. “I had to go to several older Jesuits for information,” said Kennedy. “It was the first time they had ever been approached by a lay person asking for accreditation data. I amassed all the material and wrote some of it, but it was a very slap-dash affair as I was teaching a full load at the time. It was an absolute disaster, as the school was ill prepared for that accreditation. We got it, but it was a dicey proposition.”
The Death of JFK
After President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, students attended a memorial Mass on November 26 with Fr. Reed delivering the eulogy. An Inside SI article noted that “everyone in the church was moved to tears as [Fr. Reed] recounted a little anecdote about ‘John-John.’” Mark Murphy ’64 eulogized him in Inside SI by noting that “not one of us knew the man. There were 1,100 of us clustered around radios that day, listening to the broadcast of the assassination. Each one felt a curious sense of personal loss. None of us had voted for him: we were too young. Had we been old enough, perhaps many of us would not have voted for him. And yet, the very fact that we, as Americans, can have the freedom to choose, made the loss more acute…. Perhaps it was because he was a young man that we could feel a close identity with him. He played football, he sailed a boat, and he was a man we could understand. We could have sat down and talked to him; we could have argued with him, exchanged opinions; he would have understood. He was so young to die that somehow our youth binds us closely to his memory…. No more work was done that day. Bunches of tight-lipped students went over the tragedy in low tones. Teachers gave up their classes to study periods or to discussion groups. Because it wasn’t necessary, no attempt was made to keep order or silence. The classrooms, which on a typical day might have been filled with spitballs, wisecracks and paper airplanes, were strangely silent and devoid of any light-heartedness.”8
Fr. Ed McFadden, SJ
In the 1960s and 1970s, SI turned from a good city school into a great regional school; much of that was due to the efforts of Fr. Ed McFadden, SJ ’41, who served as principal between 1964 and 1976. He helped usher in the modern era of high school administration at SI. “When we grew up in post WWII America, many men, including priests, were products of the military,” said his close friend Bob Drucker ’58. “Their watchwords were power and obedience and authority. Relationships between scholastics and priests and students and teachers were adversarial. That waned with the ’60s when people questioned authority and with the advent of Vatican II when relationships became more collegial and collaborative.”
Drucker found this true in his relationship with Fr. McFadden, whom he grew to respect. “He was a visionary who recognized the need for more laymen and the need for a professional counseling office. He knew we needed to expand the language department to include more modern languages and hired Riley Sutthoff to teach French. He saw the need for more honors and AP courses, and he was a pioneer in the Jesuit Secondary Education Association.”
Drucker most appreciated Fr. McFadden’s hands-on advice he would give to new teachers. “He’d give you a few suggestions after visiting your class, and he would choose what classes you would teach each year. He cultivated his faculty in that manner, hiring young laymen such as Chuck Murphy and myself.”
Fr. McFadden gained a reputation as a blunt but loving teacher and administrator who traumatized freshmen but who gained the love and respect of his students as they became upperclassmen. A Jesuit for 60 years, Fr. McFadden entered the Society of Jesus after graduating from SI in 1941. As a student at SI, he wrote a column for The Red and Blue called “Doings from Other Campi,” filled with topical jokes, puns and witty comments. Later, as principal of SI, that sense of humor would surface whenever he signed notes to coaches as “The Owner.” Later, as a teacher at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, he signed his notes with “Edward the Professor.”
After his ordination to the priesthood in 1954, he began his life-long work as a high school teacher and administrator, working as prefect of discipline and principal at Loyola High School in Los Angeles before coming to SI to serve as principal. (He eventually earned SI’s highest honor, the Christ the King award, in 2000.)
Throughout his career as an educator, he was known for his one-line advice to novice teachers: “Don’t smile until Christmas.” His take on students’ rights sometimes came as a shock to student councils when he emphasized, “One man, one vote. Mine!” And whenever a teacher complained about the dog-days of April, he would simply advise, “Get in there and pitch.”
His friend, Fr. John “Jack” Mitchell, SJ ’58, recalls that after Fr. McFadden left administration in 1977, he had a special way of starting the year with his freshmen at Bellarmine. Even the seniors each year would gather outside on the first day of class to watch. “Ed would enter the classroom hardly even glancing at the students sitting nervously at their desks. (Actually, Ed was more nervous than they were, but they did not know that.) He would walk directly to the board and write on it while saying aloud, ‘Summer is over.’ Then he would write down an assignment due the first day of class and walk out of the room. The freshmen would wear wide-eyed expressions of wonder at what had transpired and what it portended for the future, and the seniors outside would roar with laughter.”
“He used to scare the freshmen to death. He kept the kids on their toes and just expected the best of them,” Fr. Sauer said. “There was a method in his madness.
“I came to teach in 1965 with Bob Drucker, Chuck Murphy, Leo La Rocca, Riley Sutthoff and great young Jesuits,” added Fr. Sauer. “Fr. McFadden was our mentor and my friend for many years. For a long time, he was the only principal I knew. He was at my side at my first Mass in 1971, and I was honored to give the homily at his funeral Mass.”
SI in the early 1960s had “a lot of male testosterone in the halls with a militaristic atmosphere,” noted Peter Devine ’66. “Some of that changed when Fr. McFadden became principal. He emphasized academics and promoted the arts and Inside SI. He softened the hard edge and hired good laymen. The school needed that infusion because it had been slipping academically.”
Devine added that Fr. McFadden was clever in advancing his agenda. “He threatened to have us wear uniforms with blazers and ties. That was a smokescreen for what he really wanted to do. While students were busy protesting the uniforms, he made a host of changes, including having students, and not teachers, move between classrooms from period to period. He asked students to take a third year of a foreign language and biology in their sophomore year. He encouraged the lay faculty to be experts in their fields, so we started having better quality teaching. In the old days, the principal would hand a textbook to some poor scholastic and tell him to keep a day ahead of the students. At the end of the year, he told students that he was a principal who listens, and that he wouldn’t ask students to wear uniforms. They loved him for that.”
Leo Hyde ’47
For SI grads from the 1970s to the present, Dean of Students Douglas Draper, SJ, is synonymous with discipline. But for those who attended SI in the 1960s, Fr. Hyde holds that distinction. He was in charge of keeping discipline, of punishing offenders and, at times, of showing mercy when it was most needed.
In one sense, Leo Hyde’s SI history mirrors that of the Stanyan Street campus. He and his twin brother Robert Hyde ’47, were born at St. Mary’s Hospital in October 1929, across the street from the Shirt Factory, which had just been vacated as students left for the new Stanyan Street campus, and he was instrumental in supervising construction of and transfer to the 2001 37th Avenue campus.
As a student at SI, Leo Hyde was a member of the Sanctuary Society, which Fr. Carlin (then a scholastic) moderated, and through that organization, he grew friendly with many priests such as Fr. Ray Buckley, SJ, and Fr. Charles Largan, SJ. Hyde joined the order upon his graduation from SI and was ordained in 1960. He returned to SI in 1962 and served as prefect of discipline and as assistant principal until 1970 when he left SI. (He left the Society of Jesus in 1971 to wed, and he and his wife, Gail, now have two children, Jennifer and Kym, and one grandson.)
“Students were a bit afraid of me when I came to SI,” Hyde noted. He was tough but fair, and as one student wrote to him years later, “You were never an SOB. You always let us talk and explain why we were in trouble. You might send us to JUG, but we always had a chance to explain ourselves.”
For a young Peter Devine, on his first day at SI, there was nothing more frightening than Fr. Hyde. “He lined us all up in back of north schoolyard, military style. He walked down the line looking at each boy, shouting out his infraction: ‘Shirt!’ ‘Tie!’ ‘Haircut!’ Every so often, he would tell one boy to go to the office. He looked as if he were throwing someone out of school. We didn’t know it, but that boy was simply missing a medical form. To us, it looked like a random expulsion.”
Hyde did impose what he called Martial Law during fire drills. “If a teacher reported a student to me for fooling around or talking, then that boy was automatically and instantly suspended from school.”
Outside his office was an infamous bench where students would sit while waiting to meet with him. (That bench was moved to the Sunset District campus in the 1990s and now sits outside the deans’ office, a gift from Bill McDonnell, who bought it at a USF auction. Students lounge on that bench to chat with friends, something they would never do at the Stanyan Street campus.)
Sometimes discipline problems involved more than mere tardiness. One day a teacher punched a student in the hall, and the student responded by hitting him back. “He was sent to the office, but the priest involved saw me right away,” said Hyde. “He told me it wasn’t the kid’s fault. I treated that case as if it were self-defense.”
Later, at the famous Turkey Bowl game of 1967, when students began tearing down the goal post, Hyde ran down to the field along with two police officers and grabbed the first kid he saw. “I handed him to the police officer and said, ‘As acting principal, I’m making a citizen’s arrest.’ That broke up the mayhem. I was afraid someone would get hurt and that we would have to pay to rebuild the goal post. Later that day, I drove by the police station to make sure the police had released the young man. It turned out he was an SCU student who had had a few beers by halftime.”
Hyde made a point of not keeping the discipline records on file for long, as he did not want to see students damaged by youthful exuberance years later. “By state law, it was automatic suspension for smoking within three blocks of a school,” said Hyde. “I didn’t feel a suspension for that reason or for serving JUG should go into a permanent file.”
During the construction of the Sunset District campus, Hyde would visit every Saturday with plans in hand to inspect the work. “I knew all the contractors and all the architects. I had always been interested in the maintenance and was in charge of all the maintenance at the Stanyan Street campus.”
The 37th Avenue site had been a dumping ground of sorts, and for every truck load of debris removed, new sand had to be hauled in so the site would settle evenly, according to Hyde.
Hyde stayed on as assistant principal for one year when the school community moved to the Sunset District campus, and Br. Draper, who came to SI in 1966, succeeded him in the newly created post of dean of students.
After leaving SI, Hyde worked at the Provincial’s office for one year before deciding to leave the order. He then found work with his classmate George Millay ’47, the founder of San Diego’s SeaWorld, as a construction supervisor and, later, as manager of planning, construction and facilities for Magic Mountain, which Millay helped create.
Fr. Anthony P. Sauer, SJ
Fr. Anthony P. Sauer, who has served SI for the past 26 years as president — by far the longest of any of its administrators — first came to SI in 1965 after philosophy studies in St. Louis. A graduate of Loyola High School and Santa Clara University, Fr. Sauer had served as a lieutenant in Korea in the 13th Field Artillery supporting the 19th Infantry Regiment at Observation Post Lola at the Demilitarized Zone, 2,000 meters from North Korea. “I had more power at 21 than I’ve ever had since then,” he said. “That’s why I don’t take myself too seriously today.”
After leaving the Army he taught for a time at Loyola High School and was briefly engaged before deciding to join the Society of Jesus. He studied English at USC and at St. Louis University. The day he arrived at SI as a young scholastic, race riots were breaking out in Los Angeles and tanks were driving up and down Stanyan Street to prevent the riots from spreading to San Francisco.
He found himself teaching sophomore and junior English (and, later, senior English) and helping to moderate Inside SI and the Sanctuary Society. He liked his first two years so much that he asked to stay a third. Two weeks before school started in his third year, Fr. McFadden told him that he would be the school’s only counselor, the admissions director and the person in charge of scheduling classes. On top of that, he had one English class to teach. “I had to learn college counseling really fast,” he noted.
Mr. Sauer was a far cry from the traditional Jesuits of the 1950s. Robert Thomas ’68, now a prize-winning poet, had Fr. Sauer for senior English and recalled that he and his classmates didn’t use the stodgy textbooks other English classes used. “He had us use a new textbook that included poetry of Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, T.S. Eliot and e.e. cummings,” said Thomas. “That was my first exposure to those poets.” Mr. Sauer even taught Ginsberg’s controversial poemHowl, much to the chagrin of a few parents and faculty.
Boris Koodrin ’67 also enjoyed Mr. Sauer’s English class. “I had never been inspired by a teacher the way Tony inspired me. I had never experienced academics the way I did in his class. It was no struggle at all. He had a way of seeing you for who you were. It was an uplifting experience. I’ll always be indebted to him for giving me something I really needed.”
Koodrin’s classmate, Michael Shaughnessy ’67 (a teacher and campus minister at SI since 1981) calls Tony Sauer “my personal hero. When he came to SI, everyone was scared of him. I swear he used a riding crop as a pointer and slammed it on desks to get our attention. He worked our fingers to the bone, but you could tell he cared about us, not just as students but as people. Now I am very lucky to be professionally related to him. He’s been a remarkable president, and I feel cared about and cared for.”
When students asked their teacher to consider the poetry of modern rock songs, Mr. Sauer agreed. He listened to the Beatles and Bob Dylan and even staged a debate between juniors Tom Schaefer ’67 and Shaughnessy as to whose poetry was better: Dylan Thomas or Bob Dylan.
He attended the Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park in January 1967 when Timothy Leary arrived in a hot air balloon, he saw what was happening during the Summer of Love in the Haight, and he counseled students who considered applying for conscientious objector status for the Vietnam War. He left in 1968 to study at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley and to be ordained, but he would return in 1971 for his second stint as a teacher.
SI’s First Female Teacher
In 1965, SI hired its first female member of the faculty. Mrs. Marjorie Buley (the wife of chemistry teacher Horace Buley) taught biology, though only for one year. Still, the school had a number of women working there. The 1966 yearbook lists nine women: Mrs. Emma Basso (registrar), Mrs. Dolores Bloom (bookkeeper), Miss Judy Galassi (alumni secretary), Mrs. N. Hauck (switchboard), Mrs. J. Jeffs (development secretary), Mrs. Frances McCausland (bookkeeper), Mrs. A. Murphy (president’s secretary), Mrs. A. Schmidt, (assistant principal’s secretary) and Miss C. Swanson (school nurse).