On 3/11/2010 this picture was taken as the bronze plaque was installed on our rock monument to St. Joseph's Seminary and College. In a remarkable coincidence this was the exact same day that Pat Cloherty, 6 years earlier, first proposed the idea of establishing a monument to our school. Many stepping stones had to be crossed, many approvals had to be obtained and Dennis O'Brien, R'61,
was "the sparkplug" that made it all happen. He was with this project all the way. He began with the necessary engineering diagrams, he knew (or figured out) what documents had to be steered through which committees, whom he needed to talk to and what approvals were necessary along the way.
Our Alumni Board gave him plenty of support and encouragement along the way, but
Dennis was the mastermind who nurtured this project along and he brought it
to completion. Nice job Dennis!!! Thank you Dennis!!!
For more details, and a great summary, be sure to read the "Pop's Rock Planted"
article in our Alumni Association Newsletter, Summer 2010.
It can be found at this web site by clicking on the "Newsletter" button at the
top of any page.
We have a rock!!!
During our Alumni Board meeting on 2/23/2009 we learned that the Santa Clara County
Board of Supervisors approved our proposal to place a memorial of St. Joseph’s College
in the Rancho San Antonio Park. On 3/29/2009 we visited the Stevens Creek Quarry and
selected a large greenstone rock.
On Friday morning, 6/26/2009 the quarry delivered and installed our rock.
It was placed about 150 yards from the entry to Rancho San Antonio Park right
at the edge of the "Peanut Field" where we used to play softball, soccer, baseball, run track events, etc. When current visitors enter the park they cross a foot bridge over Permanente Creek. A right turn puts the visitor on a
path that runs parallel to the creek, and the rock is easy to spot on the left side of that path.
The final steps for this project will be the installation of a brass plaque
on this rock that will state the historical significance of our school to
this area. This should be followed (hopefully) by some kind of dedication.
If our plaque can be installed by the end of Summer, then it would be most appropriate to schedule the dedication on or near Saturday, October 17, 2009 the 20th anniversary date of the Loma Prieta earthquake that closed our school.
In the above picture Rich Voss, CEO of the Stevens Creek Quarry, is watching the backhoe operator dig a hole where the monument rock will be set. In the background Dennis O'Brien and Pat Cloherty are discussing our rock which is strapped (by a wrapped chain) to a large forklift.
The picture above left Shows Rich Voss with his crew who operated the forklift and back hoe.
On the right, Michael Newborn is the Area Superintendent
of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Foothills Field Office,
and Dan Hill works for the Santa Clara Parks Department.
Here at the left are three of our Alumni Monument Committee flashing big smiles after "the rock" has been installed. From left-to-right:
Dennis O'Brien, Pat Cloherty and Chuck Smith (6/26/2009).
Your thoughts and ideas regarding a dedication are welcome. Please click on the "Contact" envelope icon at the top right corner of this page and send a note to Chuck Smith.
Genesis: "In the beginning..."
Five years ago, on March 11th, 2004 during our Spring Alumni Board meeting,
Pat Cloherty shared one of his thoughts with our board. He wanted to “see some sort of
marker or monument installed at Rancho San Antonio Park in Mountain View to acknowledge
the existence of St. Joseph’s College.” Board President, Phil Murphy (who was president of our Alumni Board
at that time), asked Pat if he would like to assert his idea as a proposal – which he did.
It was immediately, and enthusiastically, seconded by everybody in the room.
Pat volunteered to do a bit of homework and to report back to our board in the fall.
By December 2nd, 2004 Pat realized that the pursuit of this project was going to be a
bureaucratic nightmare for us who were not used to such entanglements, so we quickly set up
a committee to help pursue this project: Pat Cloherty (Chair), Bob Gorman (our new board president),
Walt Harrington, Phil Murphy, Kevin Connolly, Rev. Joe Gordon and Chuck Smith. Within a week we also “volunteered”
Dennis O’Brien who was not at our meeting, but we knew that we would need his expertise.
This picture shows some of our Alumni Monument committee at our old "Peanut Field" on 5/16/2006. On this day we made a site survey and we identified 7 different potential site locations. Bob Gorman, Jim Murphy, Chuck Smith, Kevin Connolly, and Pat Cloherty are "present" from left to right in this picture. As fate would eventually have it, this particular location was the winner.
On 4/27/2009 our committee met with several county officials and we marked the location for our monument -- at the "Peanut Field" close to the park's walking path. Pictured here are: Chuck Smith, Michael Newborn (from the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District), Dennis O'Brien, Dan Hill (Santa Clara Parks Department), Robin Schaut (S.C.County Parks & Recreation),
Jerry Anderson, Jim Murphy and Pat Cloherty.
So it has been 5 years!?!?!
This is not to imply that time has flown by, but rather that progress on this memorial project
has been excruciatingly slow. During this time the following government agencies
and people have been involved:
The Santa Clara County Parks and Recreation Department
Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District
The Cupertino Historical Society
The Open Space Authority of Cupertino
Anna Eshoo, our representative in Congress
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.
However, before going forward to these agencies, we needed:
A clear statement of what we wanted
A proposed monument style
Some suggested monument sites
A statement of historical significance
And a landscape architect (with a thank you to Dennis O’Brien for this)
So, yes, it has taken a bit of time. Dennis O’Brien has been instrumental.
Pat Cloherty has kept progress flowing.
Our Alumni Board has awaited updates and discussions at every board meeting.
We have all coped with frustrating delays and stalemates.
Progress has been slow, but “we have progressed.”
So, after five years, we have a rock!!!
.....and it has been installed!!!
Here are three quarry photographs: The rock shoppers!
Taken on 3/25/2009.
Above: Some of our Alumni Monument Committee at the Stevens Creek Quarry - Chuck Smith,
Jim Murphy, Dennis O'Brien and Pat Cloherty.
Below left: Dennis shopping in the Green Rock pile
Below right: Murphy holding down our "Rock of Choice" (Actually another rock had to be selected, but that's another story).