Tom Brady ’31

Tom Brady ’31, father of Kevin Brady ’68, transferred to SI in 1928 after his freshman year when his family moved from Seattle. He was not happy to learn that his sophomore year would begin August 16, three weeks earlier than in Seattle. “I felt cheated to have my summer cut short,” he noted in a 2004 interview. He felt even more cheated when he walked into the ramshackle Shirt Factory, but it took him no time at all to fit in. He joined the Sanctuary Society, moderated by Mr. William Huesman, SJ, who made it one of the most sought-after clubs to join by leading students on hikes in Muir Woods and taking them for outings on the bay to Paradise Cove on a tug boat lent by the father of one of the students.

At lunch and at recess, students played all kinds of games, including football. Brady recalls one large senior, Willie Kennedy, who tossed a football that landed in one of the latrines stationed at the south end of the play area. He also recalls eating Mexican food for the first time in his life — “They didn’t have Mexican food in Seattle when I was growing up” — and one food fight that ensued, involving tacos and tamales.

The old school featured handball courts that were built in the interior of the old church (after it had moved to Fulton and Parker). “But even then, there were only three or four courts for the whole school, so we played handball on the old rectory wall. It was only 15 feet wide, so we had to learn to keep our eye on the ball and catch it as it bounced off the back wall.

He took a job working for the Jesuits as a receptionist at Welch Hall and, the following year, at the new school on Stanyan Street, working for the school in a student-run co-op, where he sold candy, cookies, root beer, pineapple juic, watch fobs and pins with the SI insignia. He thought the new school resembled “a palace, with wide halls and lockers up and down the corridor. I knew I wasn’t in heaven because we still had class, but it was close.”

The new building featured a giant furnace in the basement (which was actually at street level), and as co-op worker (and later manager), he befriended the school janitor, James Aubry McCulley, who lived on campus in one of two rooms in the basement. One of McCulley’s jobs was to make a home brew for the Jesuits and to clean up the priests’ Villa at Clear Lake. Brady would sometimes accompany McCulley on these trips to help with the clean up.

He was surprised to see women working in the office at the new school, though he recalls only two — an assistant registrar and a receptionist/secretary.

For his graduation, Brady was disappointed to learn that he would have to go through two ceremonies, one just for SI students and another, by order of the Archbishop, for all Catholic San Francisco high school students at Dreamland (later called Winterland). “It just meant we had to take our Sunday-going-to-meeting suit out one more time.”

At SI, Brady found himself impressed with the Jesuits he met — Fr. Charles F. Carroll, SJ, who had been his parish priest in Seattle and who came to SI to teach, Fr. Ed Whelan, SJ, and his brother Fr. Al Whelan, SJ, and Mr. William Huesman, SJ, who inspired many young men to join the order, including Brady. He was one of 17 from his class to join the Society of Jesus, and he stayed in the order for more than 12 years, leaving just six months shy of ordination. He eventually attended law school and became an administrative judge for the Assessment Appeals Board.