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Alumni & Friends

Your Memories of St Mike’s

Victor DeBonisVictor F. DeBonis | Class of '39

The annual retreat held during Holy Week.

Absolute silence prevailed throughout the campus only broken at the close of the retreat at noon on Holy Saturday. Also, the first ever "At Home" held at the College in Hart House, spring of '39. A real breakthrough, the late permission granted to upper classmen without having to report to Fr. Joseph O'Donnell! Sic Transit Gloria!!

Sr. NormanSr. Marion Norman, IBVM | Class of ‘39

Story year 1937

There were five women students in II Honours at SMC in 1937. When we presented ourselves to the good Father who taught RK he said, “I don’t teach women!” When we asked what the course should be, we were told “St. Paul”. So we organized a study group to cover the course.

But when we presented ourselves for the exam at the end of the year no paper had been provided. We were told by the Registrar Fr. Basil Sullivan to write on any question we could on the IV YEAR Exam (also on Scripture). We did – but were all awarded an automatic “D”.

Daniel RyanDaniel V Ryan | Class of ‘44

Having graduated from Aquinas Institute and working the following year in a local industry, I decided to apply for admission to St Michael’s. As I recall, the tuition including room and board was about $500 for a full term; about 50% of my earned income for a year's labor.

Accepted in the autumn of 1941, I was assigned with two other students to a corner room in the "Irish Flats" once occupied by Father Charles Coughlin, the famous radio priest of the depression era. The study load along with a 7:00 p.m. curfew protected us from the temptations of a big city and the urgings by recruiters to enlist with the Canadian armed forces in the war against the Axis powers.

One of the highlights of the year, not to discount a classroom lecture by Jacques Maritain, was the defeat of the sophomores by the freshmen in the traditional football game that liberated us from wearing the required "beanie".

Pearl Harbor and the entry of the U.S. into the war compelled most of us to leave at the end of the spring term. Government restrictions prevented my return the following autumn so I transferred credits to Kansas State University, enlisted in the army reserves and soon along with 16 million of a great generation marched into history.

Following military discharge, I completed undergrad work at the University of Rochester. In reverie I still like to think of St Mike’s as my "alma mater". Thanks for the memory.... (submitted June 27, 2004)

Daniel McGarityDaniel P McGarity | Class of '45

About 60 years ago in the fall of 1942 a group of St Michael’s male students volunteered to go to Saskatchewan to help bring in the harvest. The war was on and farmers needed help to replace those who had joined up.

Fired by a sense of adventure I volunteered along with former St Mike’s students such as Dave Seitl, Pat Lawlor, Don Hector, Adrian Kean, Ed Hurley and many others. We left Union Station cheered on by President Sydney Smith (whom the students called "Kidney Myth"). Fr. Larry Shook (now alas deceased) accompanied us. Along the way he decided to offer mass. As you can imagine this was no easy task in a moving train. However, we persevered and managed to set up a makeshift altar while closing off the entrance to the train car. This might have been fine until a group of students from Queens decided to push through to make their way to another car.

Several burley St Mike’s boys held them back until mass was over. It was like holding back the barbarian hordes from the gates of Rome. Throughout all of this Fr. Shook kept his sang-froid until mass was finished to the last De Gratias. Now that is what I call a memorable mass for all seasons.

Irene (Misslbeck) StoessIrene (Misslbeck) Stoess | Class of '51

At the age of 30 I was a high school teacher with two diplomas and the status of a civil servant of the State of Bavaria. I had finished one year at the Graduate School of the University of Chicago donated by the US Military Government of the American Zone of Germany. I had saved US $500 and was longing for a diploma of an English speaking university.

In 1950 I was one of the first German nationals admitted for emigration to Canada. I had attended the Canadian Summer Seminar in 1948 in Germany. As soon as I was employed as a kitchen helper in one of the University's retirement homes on St. George Street I started looking for a suitable school. To my disappointment an evaluation of equivalency said that I had to go to night school to take the final year of a BA.

When I made the rounds of colleges I spoke to Sisters St. John and Blandina who were intrigued by my teaching experience in Latin. They pointed out to me that I had enough cash to go to St Mike’s during the day. They advised me to look for a family that offered room and board in exchange for part time services.

1950/51 at St. Joseph's College I got a very valuable education in the subjects Canadian History, Latin, German, Philosophy and English and earned a gold medal for general proficiency.

Alex M. NastasiukAlex M. Nastasiuk | Class of '52

I attended St Michael’s College in residence from 1949 to 1954. I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1952 and my Master of Arts in Philosophy in 1954. (Teach me Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge)

In these five glorious years I studies Thomastic philosophy, practiced Basilian philosophy and I relished all this on a $50 bursary that St Mike’s offered me way back then. It was money certainly very well spent. My teacher Miss Wilson ­ French) had written Father Lavery the Registrar about this 20 year old young man in need ­ "a very poor mouse" ­ but a guy from Timmins who loved to learn.

The strange part of this confession is that at this time I wasn't even Catholic. I had been baptized in the Catholic Church as a child of Byzantine Orthodox parents. Father Kelly was Dean of Residence and I happily landed in the basement of Teefy Hall with five other students like myself. Times were tough and rough at this time but St Mike’s made room for one more ­ me! I came from nowhere to somewhere ­ I was nobody but I became somebody thanks to St Mike’s. Father MacDonald was teaching Maritain's True Humanism and it was an extreme pleasure for me to attend his class. The exalted state I was yet to enter ­ listening, writing, thinking and studying.

Remember those Sunday evenings of benediction at 7:00? Adoration, praise, the Word of God? And those Basilian Fathers out in force preaching the Word of God and celebrating His glory? Those were great days and heady stuff. And here I was a nobody truly invited to the Lord's Supper. Father Maurer taught me about Thomas Aquinas and Cardinal McGuigan confirmed me in the Faith.

And all this happened because St Mike’s offered me a $50 bursary in 1949. Deo Gratia!

Donald Kerwin | Class of '55

Memories include first year residence in the "Old High School", short sheeting beds plus ice cubes, dry-skiing down the stairs, toasted PJ's at Kenny's drug store and soda fountain, the Bay-Bloor Tavern and the KCR. I earned a B average in watered down grade 13, '53-'54, and failed all but English in my sophomore year, '54-'55. I and many others were part of the Marion Year Pageant at the CNE directed by Rev. Daniel J. Lord, SJ. We survived hurricane "Hazel". The only hockey game that the UofT didn't win one season was a 2 - 2 tie with Clarkson in Rochester. I finally received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson in 1961.

The one morning that we were allowed to sleep-in, not required to attend mass, the spare sport jackets we had to wear occasionally for meals, the Sunday evening sing-alongs around the piano at the union, and the "At Home" are some more of the memories of my short stay. Submitted July 24, 2003.

Jan WejtkoJan Wejtko | Class of '56

I was an undergraduate at St Michael’s College from 1953 - 1956. For whatever they are worth, here are some of my more predominant memories from those years.

There was Marshall McLuhan, my English prof, leaning on the lectern in a classroom with windows facing Queen's Park, and reading from T.S. Eliot's Collected Poems the "Fragment of an Agon", with its running refrain:

Birth, and copulation and death.
That's all, that's all, that's all, that's all.
Birth, and copulation and death. …

Birth, and copulation and death. …

Birth, and copulation and death.
That all the facts when you come top brass tacks,
Birth and copulation and death...

That T.S. Eliot distillation of the essence of life, first revealed to me by McLuhan's classroom reading, has reverberated in my mind ever since.

It was a red-letter day when South African born poet Roy Campbell (1901-1957) came to speak at Brennan Hall. It was a shock to learn a couple of years later that he had died in a car accident in Portugal.

There was Hugh Hood, my English tutorial T.A., working on his PhD, who went on to teach at Université de Montreal, and became a prolific writer. He authored the 12 vol. New Age series of novels - began in 1975 and almost completed Sept. 2000, when he died on Aug. 1, 200 at age 72.

There was Sister Geraldine, another English prof, who enthused about the Stratford Festival, opened July 1953, and who encouraged us to take in a play there.

There was Father Black, who lectured on Introductory Psychology, in a large classroom on Clover Hill. He was distinguished by never looking at his audience but only at the floor and ceiling. His T.A. was Mr. Dewart, a PhD candidate, whose accent made one wonder whether he was of South American, or maybe German, origin.

One would catch a glimpse, with awe, of Etienne Gilson, walking on the grounds of St Mike’s when he visited from France - an elderly, short man, wearing a French beret. I learned year's later that he was the founder of the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in 1929.

I think that once the philosopher Jacques Maritain was also glimpsed on the grounds.

I was impressed by Prof. Lawrence Lynch, who taught us logic. His free-flowing speech and articulation were a pleasure to the ear. He would glide across the grounds in crepe-soled shoes.

My philosophy prof, Father Shook, with his great intellect and soft speech was another delight to hear.

Father John Kelly, a grand figure around, tended to smoke heavily - which finally killed him.

Dr. Anton Pegis from New York, yet another philosophy prof, was also glimpsed a couple of times. His very brainy oldest son, Charles, was earlier my classmate at St Michael’s College School on Bathurst St.

Peter LegacePeter Legace | Class of ‘59

Story year 1958

Each Friday fish was on the menu. You could smell the aroma from afar. We affectionately referred to it as “sewer trout”.

Now the Basilian seminarians ate a better type of fish from those of us who lived at 21 St. Mary Street.

We served tables in our second year. The Friday when it was my turn I took the fish intended for the Basilians from the dumb waiter and I left the “sewer trout” for the Basilians on the other dumb waiter.

Needless to say, there was “hell to pay”. The Basilian rector spoke to our rector. I pleaded ignorance!

After the meal Fr. Ken took me aside and said, “We all enjoyed the meal … but don’t do that again!”

Michael GyokeryMichael Gyokery | Class of 59

Story year 1958

In formal hall there was a formal grace said. The bell on the wall was rung, and the designated person led us in saying grace. One evening, Dennis Psutka, now Dr. Dennis Psutka, was to say grace. He rang the bell and started, “In the name of the father, and the son, and of the Holy Ghost” (ghost back then), then he continued, “Bless me father…” and I screamed out loud, whoa—wrong grace!

Joan (Bellis) VastokasJoan (Bellis) Vastokas | Class of '60

I guess a major highlight of my undergraduate years at St Mikes was the pilgrimage organized by students to the Jesuit Martyr's Shrine in Midland, Ontario. We walked some 100 miles over 5 days from St Basil's to the shrine, sleeping over in school basements, trudging daily with aching muscles, and carrying an oaken cross on the last day. The other highlights were the wonderful sisters of Loretto, the old days when the residence was on St. George Street, their care and concern for the students in their charge. As well, I remember, but have lost touch with, all my undergraduate friends after leaving for the States for graduate work. I fondly remember you all on a regular basis. (submitted March 26, 2004)

Arch AndrewArch Andrew | Class of '61

St Mike’s was people, exchange, caring, and being know as a person.

I will always remember Father Dorsey, not just as my English Prof., but because of his involvement with people from the community as part of his work in St Basil's Parish, and then as a friend whom I invited over for dinner and a hockey game on television. One evening when he was watching the Leafs with myself and my roommates, I said, forgetting who was there, "I write a lot of my essays watching the Leafs play hockey." I heard the voice beside me respond, "I know. I've read them!" Then there was Father Madden, not Bob, but his brother. I noticed his name as lead off lecturer and closing lecturer on a special Shakespearean series, and I teased him about his double billing. Without a pause, he replied, "Well Arch, well begun is half done' and all's well that ends well!'"

As students, we exchanged ideas with each other in the Coop. Not unlike Stephen Leacock's idea of a common room where university students could exchange views and grow. St Mike’s gave me a living picture of John Henry Cardinal Newman's Idea of a University Education. It was a place where I learned to think and explore the world, no the universe, of ideas just exchanging thoughts with others, like Ted Schmidt, with whom I also enjoyed the fine art of mock literary discussions to the distraction of our seminar tutor. St Mike’s was Father Malon who signed my application for a bursary when I had no one else who knew my financial status. I was not just another student, I was this particular student whom he knew personally. St Mike’s was Christianity in education, not the courses taught, but the interaction of Christianity in life that made St Mike’s a place of belonging.

Joe Moher | Class of '61

Memories of Philosophy

"Ladies and gentlemen, there are two rules of conduct in this class" Fr. Dore, holding up his left and then his right fist.

"On my way to class I was talking to a squirrel in central park and he was saying Š." Fr. Belyea, followed by an interesting 40 minute presentation.

Pat Murphy | Class of '61

I've heard so many people say that not one teacher throughout their entire schooling was the least bit inspiring. My life was gifted with wonderful teachers and many of them taught me at St Michael’s over 40 years ago. But there was one who stood out and still stands out in my memory, not because he became a household word, or because he was eccentric and provided us with many laughs one way or another, but because he truly enabled me to see differently and to express myself in ways that had been closed to me before.

Here is a scene I've told and retold:

A third year tutorial class sits waiting for Marshall McLuhan to appear. He comes in with a pile of papers under his arm and is riffling through them.
"Do you want to know the key to all of Shaw's plays?"
Blank silence.
"Do you do a Shaw play this year?"
"No."
"Oh. Well. Of course it is also the key to all of Isben's plays. Do you do an Isben play this year?"
"No."
By that time he had found the sheet with the list of topics for the tutorial discussions.
"We- e- ll I don't know if you could apply that to Dickens' Great Expectations … ? Yes! Yes you could. You know - what was his name? Wemmick! Always reminded me of that song (and he sang).
"When a constabulary duty's to be done, to be done, a policeman's lot is on an 'appy one, 'appy one. "Okay, for next week write a three page paper on the theme of vocation in Great Expectations."

Between thinking out loud in class and his essays, found all over in textbooks and learned journals, I discovered a way to respond to literature and write about it. That was certainly important. But what I value most when I look back at those classes unlike any others is the sheer persistence with which he questioned us as individuals capable of thought and made us answer him.

Michael K. DuganMichael K. Dugan | Class of '62

"Departing Buffalo on a clear mid-February afternoon, I pressed against the window to get a look at Toronto from above. As the plane sped across Lake Ontario, my thoughts quickly carried me back twenty-five years. Back then we never approached Toronto by air, but rather by car along the Queen Elizabeth Way or by train along the Lake Shore route. Each time I come back, the experience is a special one, one which reminds me how ingredients from the past color and flavor current recipes."

An excerpt from The Dying of the Light by Michael Dugan. If you would like a complete copy Michael invites you to contact him at by e-mail at mkd5@aol.com <mailto:mkd5@aol.com> .

Dr. Jane Mosall | Class of '62

Father Sore's philosophy course. A wonderful world opened up to? and the mind of a science student, was and still am very impressed. Meeting friends early after registration who have remained lifelong connections.

Sam ColenzoSam Colenzo | Class of '64

The year was 1963. It was a Friday. I remember a bright sun shining and a chill in the November air. I went to Brennan Hall for lunch, I noticed, curiously, how few people were there. The fellow in the short line in front of me had a newspaper and, as I casually glanced at it, I saw the leading headline, "Kennedy Assassinated". Shock, disbelief, despair filled my being as I immediately left and ran to the Elmsley Hall TV room. The silent, somber crowd, Canadian and American, upper class students, lower class students, faculty, comforted each other through sadness at the events unfolding on TV. "How could this happen?" we asked. I thought Fr. Gibbons was particularly profound, "Death is a mystery", he said, "and now is the time to be courageous and firm in our faith in God." These words sustained me and remain with me. During that weekend we found ourselves united in our grief and loss. A friend had been taken from us and each of us had been catapulted from the peace and joy of St Mike’s into a world of pain few of us were prepared for and none of us wanted to be in. On the day of Kennedy's burial, a mass was held at St Basil's ­ the church was filled to capacity as students and teachers united in prayer. Perhaps some of us have never prayed harder or sung with more heart during a mass since. I will never forget my dear brothers and sisters at St Mike’s ­ especially during that awful weekend in which we struggled to understand death and loss, appreciated the gifts of life, love, our faith and each other and came away from the experience somehow more grown up.

Bonnie (Aust) O’BrienBonnie (Aust) O’Brien | Class of 64

Story year 1964

It was fast approaching, my final year of French oral! It must have been St. Patrick’s day because Kathy (O’Regan) and I went over to the Bay-Bloor (at lunch time, no less) for a green beer to fortify our spirits and courage! Finally my turn came and in I went. Fr. Donavan and two others from other colleges were my examiners. After one or two ice-breaker questions, I took off and pretty well discussed what I wanted to. Fr. Donovan asked no more questions. Afterwards he approached me and, with awe in his voice, informed me that candidates didn’t normally choose their own discussion topic. I didn’t know! Needless to say, I passed.

Kathy (Brummel) O’ReganKathy (Brummel) O’Regan | Class of 64

Story year 1960 (fall)

Remember when there were tennis courts across from Loretto? Surrounded by a high chain link fence? One morning we awoke to see a truck inside the tennis court!

Also, that fall, a picture of a certain co-ed appeared in a Toronto paper when her name was printed on St. Mary St: “RALPH LOVES NANCY”, they eventually married and live in Rochester.

Deborah Webster RogersDeborah Webster Rogers | Class of 64

Story year 1962

Some Loretto residents were watching from the second floor as dressed-up girls left for a dance. One of the watchers was in her bathrobe (tsk!). They got onto the elevator and pushed a button for an upper floor. The elevator went down (i.e., the doors would open into the lobby). Without missing a beat, Mother Olga (in full habit those days), moved in front of the undressed undergrad who remains grateful.

Story year 1961

Some bad hats had removed the Canadian flag from its pole outside Carr Hall. Some who considered themselves good guys took an old sheet, marking pens, and copies of Grey’s Anatomy, and made a jolly roger, which they put up on the poll. It at once disappeared, and eventually the Canadian flag was back on the old pole. The Jolly Roger reappeared in Father Gibbons’ physics room in Clover Hill.

Richard (Dick) AgugliaRichard (Dick) Aguglia | Class of '67

Fall 66 The Music Guild (Mickities) was in the midst of rehearsals for West Side Story. Frank Marrocco and I were the "producers. One of my tasks was to assemble the stage crew. A number of SMC football players agreed to help out. They left every evening in a pickup truck and returned with various sundries, tables, chairs and various props. The Dean of Men approached me and accused the stage crew of taking the Elmsley Dorm ping-pong table as a prop for the play and fined us $50. I protested that they would never do this and refused to pay the fine. At dress rehearsal I was inspecting the set because a fire escape ­ a central theme in our advertisement ­ had fallen from its wiring on the stage. Luckily no one was hurt. It was there that I saw the "A" formed roof over Maria's window, the window where she sings to Tony, her forbidden love. Yes, indeed, it was the ping-pong table. The Dean was right. The play, however, was a big success.

Summer 67 Fr. Bob Madden and four SMC students including myself a recent graduate decided to drive to Don Healy's house in Greenwich Village for a graduation party. Upon entering the car Fr. Madden confessed that every time he tried to get to this party something bad happened. True to his prediction our car died in Canajoharie NY, near a small airport. We decided to rent two small planes to get to NYC. We flipped a coin, I lost. Fr. Madden got into my plane. Shortly after being airborne we were engulfed in a terrible storm and had to make a forced landing. We left at 9:00 a.m. Saturday and arrived at 2:00 a.m. Sunday ­ just as the party ended.

Ed TonelloEd Tonello | Class of ‘68

There were eleven of us in September 1965 when we began our freshman year at St Michael’s College. We were from Toronto, graduates from the Catholic high schools, De La Salle and St Michael’s College School.

We did not originate as a group but gravitated together. There was nothing particularly auspicious about any of us. We enrolled in the three-year General Arts program, eschewing the four-year Honour Course program. We avoided demanding subjects, like math and science. That is not to suggest that we lacked commitment to our academic obligations - our studies remained our focus.

We did not excel in extra-circular activity. For example, in hockey some of us played intramural in the bottom echelon - no try-outs, just show up – so that we could stick together. We occasionally drank beer to excess, usually across the street at the BayBloor (draft $0.15 per glass), while playing shuffle board or that mother of all video games, “pong.” Having emerged from all-male high schools (and grade schools) none of us was especially slick with the girls.

One thing brought us together more than anything else - playing cards. SMC’s renovated Brennan Hall lounge opened in 1967 and offered an anvil upon which we would forge some of our strongest memories - an unprecedented, exclusively-dedicated card-playing room! In our third and final year an unspoken ritual evolved. Once a week after completion of the first class of the day, sometimes several of us would drift into the room with the expressed purpose of just wanting to “see what’s going on”. Soon the beachhead was enlarged as others from the group ambled in from their classes, thereby achieving a “critical mass” with the inevitable result that a card game would break out. Guilt was assuaged by everyone avowing that the game would be only for “a hand or two.”

Within minutes of the first game getting under way, all pretence, along with books, was cast aside. Off came the jackets, spectators pulled up chairs to claim turf, sleeves were rolled up, and hands gleefully slapped together, money put on the table, imminent classes went unmentioned. Ten to twelve hour sessions, with washroom breaks only, became de rigueur. Money was a mere prop: our penuriousness (and equal card-playing skill!) ensured that over time losses and wins washed.

Through the windows in the south wall of the card room we could see the trees and the changing rhythm of the seasons along the walkway from the campus quad to St Basil’s church and Clover Hill, where some of our classes convened (e.g. Fr. Belyea’s unforgettable Religion 300). The Fr. John Kelly Library was about to open. There were only two tall buildings in the area – the Sutton Place Hotel and an apartment building on St. Mary’s Street. Yorkville, then in its coffee house- folk singing heyday, inexplicably did not hold attraction for us.

The year 1968 was epochal, not unlike 1848. Although somewhat cocooned at the card tables in Brennan Hall, we understood quite well that the world outside was swirling with profound change: Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A Changing replacing the Temptations’ My Girl, Haight-Ashbury displacing Main Street, the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy, the student riots in Paris, the violent suppression of the freedom revolt in Prague, the public/police riots in the Chicago streets during the Democratic National Convention, Jackie Kennedy’s marriage to Aristotle Onasis, increased opposition to the Vietnam war and its toll in human life, Richard Nixon elected President, the first orbit of the moon, marijuana is becoming a household word, flower power enters the lexicon, women’s rights, civil rights, marches, protests, colour TV, Laugh-In - all this was happening as we played cards; things would never be the same again.

An observer, casual or informed, would be justified in believing that we appeared to be a collection of listless, shallow individuals. But what was not so apparent was our bonding; life’s last fling at boyhood camaraderie - something that does not leave the consciousness even now, 35 years after the last hand was played.

Forever thanks, alma mater.

P.S. 4 went on to become lawyers, one a teacher, the others mostly MBAs & CAs. The May 30/03 Friday night All Alumni Reception was our 1st Reunion together, and we remembered.

Classmates and friends are invited to contact me at etonel1635@rogers.com

Bob ShileyBob Shiley | Class of ‘69

Story year 1968

One spring night about six of us – St Mike’s gentlemen that we were – had finished sampling the finest offerings of the Bay Bloor Pub. We decided to serenade the fair damsels of St. Joe’s with a spirited rendition of Roll Me Over in the Clove”.

The next day, Sister Janet Fraser greeted me by saying “Bob, you have an excellent singing voice.”

OUCH!!

James McCarty YeagerJames McCarty Yeager | Class of '70

This is a Fr. Dave Belyea story and, to that extent, it is not apocryphal.

In the academic year 1969-1970 I and a graduate student shared the first floor room across the main front hall of House 2 from Dave's study. I was in and out of Dave's office a lot more than my status called for; being fascinated, among other things, by his notion that the "Book of Job" was historically the first novel since it was not concerned with kings nor heroes, but with the interior life of an ordinary man.

The year before, Marshall McLuhan had just moved his offices from the back of House 2 over to the Carriage House across the street, so we had only ordinary college subject tutorials in the back half of the house, not the Great Man Himself. As a mere General student, I was not expected to bask in the McLuhanesque rays, nor would I have been temperamentally able to do so. It took me 20 more years to find out that all my reactions to literature were emotional rather than intellectual, a disability of perception which would have been a severe handicap in McLuhan's class. The First of All the 7T0 English Language & Literature Firsts, Marion F. O'Connor, had astutely remarked that, in McLuhan's class, the difficulty was that you had to pass twice: once in the exams on his searching and exact explorations of modern English poetry, and again in the discussions of McLuhanism as it evolved.

One autumn day sitting in Dave's study I made some sweeping political statement of the form, "All United States Senators are corrupt." I did so even though I knew from the actions of Senator Eugene J. McCarthy (DFL-MN) that this was not true. My excuse was that I was exasperated at the continuance of the war, and McCarthy was about to leave office. So this was prophylactic disgust on my part.

Dave immediately picked up on the fault in my logic and, by way of both illustration and refutation, told me about one particular afternoon when McLuhan came storming into the faculty lounge in a pet or temper. Having a large family and teaching for the Basilians, as my father had done in Houston, McLuhan, like my father, needed to have an outside job in order to support his teaching habit. McLuhan's was to present seminars on his media theories to advertising and publishing executives.

Fr. Etienne Gilson, the internationally regarded refurbisher of Thomistic philosophy whom WWII had driven to Canada, happened to be sitting opposite when McLuhan returned from one such seminar, threw himself into a chair and muttered, "I've been talking to these people all day and the only thing I can conclude is that all business men are stupid."

Gilson looked up at him and remarked sweetly, "And all Indians walk in single file. At least the one I saw did."

I never saw nor heard a better example of the perils of reasoning from a short series of data points: and it came from a philosopher, not a scientist! Submitted June 21, 2003.

Cathleen (Cushing) Duff | Class of '72

For some reason as I age my memories of life at St Mike’s are somehow more distinct than they were in my 20s and 30s. I remember Board Game Nights at the houses on Elmsley Place, and the construction of the "new" Library. Living at St. Joe's we circled the library construction for many months . . . and Marshall McLuhan chained himself to a tree slated to be removed by the contractors (but only until the press arrived and got the story). I remember playing bridge in the Coop, and waiting around at the Bull and Bear until the "nice" bartender came to work who would let us order draft beer without showing our identification. And I have never again seen that Italian soft drink -- Brio -- that we used to drink with our pepperoni pizzas.

But mostly I remember the sound of my professor's voices -- it is amazing how many phrases come to mind when I think of them. Father Bob Madden, Zev Friedman, John Meagher, Robert O'Driscoll, Betty Moseline, and others who still have faces and voices but their names have faded -- all of them made a bigger impression on me than strictly academic. The single most amazing event that I recall was a reception organized by St Mikes to honor literary figures for some purpose and I served on the event committee and was able to meet Buckminster Fuller, W. H. Auden, and (of course) Professor McLuhan. How many people can actually say that? I probably appreciate it more in retrospect than I did at the time! It was a wonderful time to be in University, and a wonderful University to attend. (submitted June 18, 2004)

Marjorie Poole | Class of '73

It was registration day at St Mike’s and I walked into English House to sign up for a course. When I entered I saw a striking young man at the table. He was signing his name to a course list. I glanced at his signature and said, "Hello Mike."

He looked up, shock on his face. "Do I know you?" he asked

"Not yet." I replied.

This summer we will celebrate our thirtieth wedding anniversary.

Joan RossiterJoan Rossiter | Class of '78

The professors were all kind but Prof Weissenborn was a bit frightening though he was compassionate when my dad died in 1975. I lived at Loretto and we had lots of fun (panty raids), doughnut nights and Academy Awards night. And the best was the reception in the main lounge at Loretto just before the Prom at the Park Plaza. I made a lot of friends at the residence. When I became engaged to Rick, I jumped up and down and yelled with joy. Graduation was fun especially to have the reception at Hart House. I loved Hart House and watched the CN Tower being built from the library window. I returned to SMC in 1986 and 1991 to do Theology at the Toronto School of Theology and I visit Fr. Principe often.

Sandra (Calderbank) Esterbauer | Class of ‘79

I remember walking through Brennan Lounge one day on my way to the Coop for lunch and seeing lots of people standing around looking "official" with buttons and clipboards. One young man, about my age at the time, came up to me and asked if I would like to join the Italian Club. I answered that I was not Italian. He asked if I was Catholic, I replied that I was. He asked if I belonged to St Mike’s. I said I did. He then said as I was female, a Catholic and at St Mike’s, it was automatic: "you're in the Italian Club!" I never did find out what that membership entailed, but I found it rather amusing at the time. I found it interesting that he did not offer the same membership to my male companion!

I also remember graduation day. I was not in residence, but I was visiting a friend of mine who was, and while we were getting ready, Sister McLean came to the door with an extra hood for me. I will never forget such kindness. (submitted February 25, 2005)

Classmates and friends are invited to contact me at sandra.esterbauer@rogers.com

Thomas Kremer | Class of '84

Playing at Kelly's Korner

As a freshman student at St Mike’s I was looking for a place to relax, enjoy music and meet new people. I was also learning how to play the guitar. The perfect place for me to spend time was Brennan Hall on the nights when it was transformed into a coffee house called Kelly's Korner, names after the late Basilian Fr. Kelly. I too was transformed on these evenings, as I developed confidence in my playing and singing and forged new relationships. My love for folk music grew and I eventually went on to perform at open stage events all over south-central Ontario and organize open stage events and music festivals. I now teach music in an elementary school in Bradford, Ontario. None of this would have been possible without the warm, comfortable atmosphere of Kelly's Korner Coffee House. I can sum up the experience by recalling the time I had to stop in the middle of a song, having forgotten a part, only to receive a rousing round of applause.

Carla DiGiorgio Class of ‘86

I loved St Mike’s from the day I arrived. I had been dying to go to UofT since high school and had to wait patiently through grade 13 until I could go. There was a warm connection between St Mike’s and St Basil's High School which I attended.

I really enjoyed my first year of university, walking throughout St Mike’s and other colleges for classes, going to the library, socializing at the Hall and at Loretto. But my biggest memories are of the wonderful things I learned in the English class of Professor Moeslein, as well as the Old English classes. The whole place inspired me to learn as much as I could, and to lose myself in the beautiful history of time.

Now I am a professor, and I hope I inspire my students half as much as I was inspired in those days. I hope St Mike’s continues to thrive. Who knows - maybe one of my children or grandchildren will enjoy it someday!

Classmates and friends are invited to contact me at cdigiorgio@upei.ca


Adriana Tucci Class of '99

When I think of my four years at St Mike’s, my mind conjures a collective of memories, rather than just one in particular. Taking in the beauty and grandeur of the campus, philosophy class with Professor Kraemer, helping out with Orientation week, reading or lounging in the comfort of Brennan Hall, lengthy study sessions at Kelly Library, the statue in the quad which we all referred to as "St. Alcan", and of course, all of the great people I met on campus. The residences, Kelly Library, St Basil's Church, all of these elements are what made even "day-hops" like me feel like a member of a very warm and special community. Even after having graduated and moved on to the workforce, I still feel that St Mike’s is a place where I can always return and be welcomed with open arms. Double blue, till I'm through.

Ingrid LeFort | Class of ‘98

Even though I only spent two years at St Mike’s I have so many memories that I want to share a few: I experienced, along with others the warmth of a fostering community at Loretto and at Chaplaincy. At Loretto there were many of us who regularly met together, discussed our research and studies together and of course simply hung-out together and looked out for one another, but we also were together at mass on Sunday morning along with many others from the guy’s rez and from St. Jo's. Looking back I do miss those years but I realize that they influence me in the choices I make now to get involved in my present community.

I also learned a great deal from my SMC courses and my professors. We aren't supposed to have favourites however some of the things that Profs. McGowan and the Langans taught me will remain with me forever. I learned to take the time to be well informed, to do so because I care, and to feel responsible because God has given me this opportunity to learn from the best. Those two years also included a pilgrimage to WYD in France and to Cuernavaca for a two week socio-cultural experience.

In the past ten years I have often kicked myself thinking - when will I apply what I learned in university ... now I can see that I started a long time ago - and that it is a never-ending process

Trevor John Pereira | Class of '00

I REMEMBER DECEMBER by Trevor John Pereira

I remember trudging through ice and snow across Queen's Park -- a million things rushing through my mind -- getting to class on time, the girl I finally summoned up the courage to talk to, topics for the SMC debating team, lunch, my Spanish mid-term, a song, essays, deadlines, concerns, insecurities, the wind, my frozen fingers.

Then suddenly, a voice, "Hey you!" I escape my thoughts, lift my head. Barely recognizable in the distance -- a friend? A classmate? No.

I remember the familiar traffic light dividing St Mike’s College from the seasonal ice rink. I know the voice. I forget about getting to class on time or the biting cold. I forget about lunch, debating, essays, mid-terms, deadlines -- everything! I just smile. She smiles back.

Dedicated to K.T.

Shannon (Smith) Blanchfield | Class of ‘00

So many memories to choose from!! Meeting the best friends a girl could ask for (Karen, Kristin, Carol and Angie!), runs to the "K.T.", being a Frosh Leader, St Mike’s Pubs, coffee at Seven West, Double Blue Formal, Room Arounds, Loretto Keg Party, Loretto Door Decorating Contests, St Mike’s Cheers and especially the Loretto Formal Dinners. But the memory that really stands out has to be during December exams. We had made one of our "K.T." runs only to find the library closed when we returned with all our books locked inside!! Let’s just say that after banging on the doors for 10 minutes, lots of tears and sob stories ... we got our books back!! For some reason we never had a hard time remembering the closing time of the Kelly Library Reading Room again! (submitted September 25, 2004)

We all have a favorite story of our college years and some very special memories that will live in our hearts and minds forever. They could be moments spent with your friends, or a funny episode, an event, an anecdote or simply a great photograph of happy times. Whether these recollections are from forty years ago or events of just yesterday, please share them with us. Submit Your Memory