Material Support Committee II … & T. Brew (class 69) update

Fellow Chamois:
When considering a V2 of the villa community for this century, I thought of my Bossuet years and that odd Material Support Committee. Even now, I don’t think I could say what we accomplishing in those committee meetings. And I suspected, even then, that it was mostly an empty gesture, intended for the yearbook and college applications.
Now, in 2007, we’re making amends.  
In tandem with Steve MacIntyre (68) and Kevin DiPalma (67), I’ve pitched the Wikipedia and Vox blog projects as the resurrection of the Material Support Committee, this time, though, with purpose.

Every high school and college on the planet has an alumni group, many of them plotting reunion weekends and persistently soliciting donations. For good measure, our neighbors have Facebook, school alumni sites, football games, sweatshirts, caps and, of course, flashy school web sites.
And what we do have? The campus is gone, there’s no alumni weekend, not even an official web site. There’s nothing tangible of the Villa anymore, no there there.

We do — thanks to Mr. DiPalma — have a slew of black and white photographs and some wonderful correspondents.
To sustain a digital villa community in this century, we concluded that we needed a collaborative site. Kevin’s site is a treasure of invaluable photographs, reminisces and chatter. However, it can only be sustained by Kevin, now (curiously) locked away in rural China.
With a new generation of Internet tools, we can all add contributions to this blog, making it (I hope) a living, breathing entity.
Further, I’m hoping the site will enable us to do more than recall distant days.
I’m hoping we can solicit short bios (200-300 words or so?) from villa graduates, a sort of “where-are-they-now” feature. In other words, what’s happened to you since 1970? Tell.
Isn’t this more ambitious that those Bossuet committee meetings?
Tom Brew (’66-’69)

A postscript: As an example, here’s my brief bio.
After the villa, I attended Mount St. Mary’s College in Maryland, another Catholic boys school, mostly lacking in any charm. Afterward, I attended graduate school (journalism) at the University of Florida, which was a dreamy 18 months of swimming pools, parties, girls and, yes, some classes. Also beer.

I graduated in ’76 and married my wife, Dawn, in ’77. (Here’s a photo of us from two weeks ago — 12/30/06.)
I worked in newspapers as a reporter and editor in Florida and in California, the last 12 at the San Jose Mercury News. (Our staff won a Pulitzer in ’89).
I left the Mercury News and the print business in ’95 for online journalism and have worked at for a decade now.
Dawn and I have two boys (Graham, 15, and Brad, 13) and live in the Pacific Northwest (specifically, Sammamish, Wa.) near the Microsoft campus, which houses MSNBC.
I’m 55 now and used to blame the tricky light in the Northwest for what appeared to be flecks of gray in my hair.
(As an aside, in a very curious way, it was the Villa and a friendship there in Sapinière that introduced me to my wife-to-be in northern Florida a decade later. That story is in the comment section here.)


Send your bio to us at and I’ll publish it. Embellishments, exaggerations and retouched photos are fine.  

Read and post comments | Send to a friend


About villastjean

Villa St. Jean was a Marianist school in Fribourg, Switzerland, from 1903-1970. This blog site is intended as a forum for Villa alumni to share memories, pictures and connections.
This entry was posted in 170.00 Villa, 170.90 Digital Villa and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Material Support Committee II … & T. Brew (class 69) update

  1. An addendum to my ps: It occurs to me that I neglected to mention the VSJ connection to my family. It goes like this: I showed up in Gainesville in January 1975 for graduate studies in journalism. While going through the student directory, I came across the name Thomas Berrigan. That seemed curious as a Villa student of the same name was a friend of mine during the '66-67 school year. After a few weeks, I walked to his off-campus apartment and asked whether this Berrigan had gone to school in Fribourg. It was. Within a couple months, I moved into his apartment. Tom was studying law. Later that year, my future wife, Dawn, moved in the same complex a couple doors down. As it was, Berrigan and I attended each other's weddings in the late '70s. All very curious…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s