Changes in Leadership

SI students, well into their first year in their new quarters, held a dance in the Carlin Commons on April 15, 1970. The school then opened its doors to the public on April 18 and 19 for an Open House, drawing 7,000 to inspect the still unfinished structures. Then, on June 6, 248 members of the class of ’70 took part in the school’s 111th commencement exercises at St. Ignatius Church, and many returned to SI June 9 when Archbishop McGucken blessed the school. The ceremony apparently took many hours as he blessed and dedicated each classroom, laboratory and office as well as the Stephen Orradre Memorial Chapel where he concelebrated Mass with the SI Jesuits. At the end, the announcement was made that the Jesuit residence would be named McGucken Hall in honor of the Archbishop’s financial and moral support.

That chapel, incidentally, features 12 brilliant faceted glass windows created and installed in 1970 by Carl Huneke. Each window holds “inch-thick glass set in a thin epoxy matrix that allowed the chipped edges of the glass to refract light in radiant colors. The saints depicted in the windows are Jesuit saints except for St. Stephen, who was selected in honor of Stephen Orradre.”1 The saints include St. Ignatius, St. Francis Xavier, St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, St. Peter Claver, St. John Brébeuf, St. Isaac Jogues, St. Stephen, St. John Berchmans, St. Stanislaus Kostka, St. Peter Canisius, St. Robert Bellarmine and St. Aloysius Gonzaga. The artist, who died shortly after the new campus opened, was born in Achim bei Bremen, Germany, where he started his apprenticeship at age 13. After immigrating to San Francisco, he opened the Century Stained Glass Studio on Fillmore Street where he created windows for more than 70 California churches and two additional windows in the Jesuit chapel in McGucken Hall. This second chapel, now known as the Monserrat Chapel, started as a house infirmary for the Jesuits.That space featured a 24-hour nurses quarters if the need ever arose and a bathroom to serve the patients. (Fr. Paul Capitolo, S.J., told SI archivist Michael Kotlanger, S.J., that a central staircase was added between the first and second floors so that lay health care specialists could enter a cloistered house without disrupting community life, as canon law had not yet been revised.) Sick priests could also walk out over the Jesuit garage for fresh air without exposing other members of their community to illness. This infirmary was short-lived. Shortly after McGucken Hall opened, President Cornelius Buckley, S.J., decided that the community needed a large chapel and more residence rooms. The stained glass windows in place today arrived from the artist’s atelier in Scottsdale. The fresco on the wall of St. Ignatius surrendering his sword to the Black Madonna at Monserrat was commissioned by Fr. Buckley and was painted by an Italian artist of his acquaintance.

Fr. Edward McFadden, SJ, continued to serve as principal until 1976, when Fr. Richard McCurdy, SJ, succeeded him. The Office of the President saw five occupants in the 1970s. Fr. Cornelius Michael Buckley, SJ, who led the school as president between 1970 and 1973, had taught at SI from 1956 to 1959 before being ordained in France in 1962. Fr. James R. Hanley, SJ, who succeeded him, was a native San Franciscan who had taught theology at SI between 1960 and 1968. He served until 1975 and was succeeded by Fr. Russell Roide, SJ, who served until 1979. Fr. Anthony P. Sauer, SJ, who had taught at SI in the 1960s and early ’70s, returned in 1979 to serve as president, and his record 26-year tenure in that office has provided the school with leadership in key moments in the school’s history.

Changes were taking place, too, on the academic side of the school, with the creation of two new positions — assistant principal for academics and assistant principal for student activities. Fr. Charles R. Gagan, SJ ’55 (who, at the time of this writing, is pastor of St. Ignatius Church), held the former position, supervising faculty, and Fr. Roide held the latter position, supervising all extracurricular activities, including athletics.

The administration and faculty were still primarily Jesuit with 39 religious and 34 laymen serving the school, a far cry from the school’s early days, when SI employed a handful of laymen; but by the end of the decade, those numbers would shift dramatically, with 51 lay faculty, administrators and staff and only 29 Jesuits. The 1979 faculty also included three women — Anny Medina (French), Carolyn Rocca (Italian) and Katie Wolf (Art & Architecture). In addition, two women worked in the library (Renate Morlock and Geraldine Ferring), nine served as secretaries and one served as the registrar.