Dear LMU — Letters From Our Readers, Fall 2011

I am the managing director of the Watts House Project, which works with artists, architects and the families across the street from the towers to enhance the local quality of life through the arts and design. The article about the Watts Towers (“Higher Calling,” Summer 2011) captured the true spirit of the towers and the impact that they have on this community. I first visited the towers as a student at LMU. I was a political science major and had to write a paper on local area politics for Prof. Fernando Guerra’s course called “Politics of Los Angeles.” The towers and neighborhood fueled my passion for civil service and community organizing.
Will Sheffie ’94
Los Angeles

Your article on the Watts Towers take me down memory lane. Our family lived on 107th street. As a child, I used to see Sam Rodia pull his wagon full of bottles. He never smiled or acknowledged us kids. It seemed his work was never done. I especially enjoyed your insight into his personal life and the beauty of his work. Continue your professional dedication and visual, hands-on connection with your students.
Christine Castillo
Fullerton, Calif.

Thank you a thousand-fold for the recent issue of LMU Magazine. The Watts Towers article has the most wonderful, perfect color photographs I’ve ever seen of Rodia’s work. Outstanding! The interview with Paul Harris is revealing — and inspiring.
Jeanne S. Morgan
Santa Barbara, Calif.

I grew up in Watts, and my grandparents lived across the street from the Watts Towers. The towers were our playground whenever my family visited them in the ’40s and ’50s. I thoroughly enjoyed the article and the photos, which I eagerly shared with my siblings. (My husband, Donald, graduated from Loyola University in 1960 — he died last year.) I also enjoyed the article on Olvera Street in the fall issue.
Sally Cleary
Modesto, Calif.

To the LMU Faculty Hall of Fame (Summer 2011/, I would nominate Dr. Dan Stage, who was extremely inspirational in my business and marketing career and the many transitions that I have made. I still remember his use of Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” for his organizational behavior class. I still see those characters in everyday business life.
Mike Sapien ’75, M.B.A. ’77
Carlsbad, Calif.

My Loyola experience started with the demanding course of “Rhetoric and Composition,” taught by Daniel Mitchell of the Department of English. Until I entered his university-required class, I thought I knew how to write English. He disabused me of that assumption and drove me to greater clarity in the organization and expression of my thought. He also introduced me to the novels of Willa Cather through her classic, “Death Comes for the Archbishop.” My other great professor — among the many from whom I benefitted — was Terrance Mahan, S.J. of the History Department. How he made us read! The Hall of Fame will be crowded because LULA (and now LMU) has prized teaching for so many years.
Michael Engh, S.J., ’72
Santa Clara, Calif.

I would have to nominate Pauline Khuri-Majoli. She honed my drawing and painting skills over several years. To this day, I draw and paint as a teacher using techniques taught to me by Ms. Khuri-Majoli.
Joni Harshman Stephens ’80
Edmeston, N.Y.

How much better is Tara Erdmann (Spring 2011) than LMU Hall of Fame runner Therese Koxlowsky ’83? I remember Therese won the NCAA Cross-Country Championship in her division. Her time was faster than the next division’s best, and she would have placed second in the top division. I had one of my best LMU cross-country workouts with Therese in 1979. Keep it up, Tara! LMU cross-country is a great break from the grueling 70+ hour study weeks I remember at LMU.
James Weiler ’81
Montrose, Calif.

Enjoyed your Favorites page (Summer 2011) by Billy Traber. Not only were the comments on his toughest batters an interesting and great idea but the inclusion of their actual baseball cards made it a very clever and extremely creative presentation.
Good job!
L. R. Ronnow ’70
Canyon Lake, Calif.

When I received my copy of LMU Magazine, I was unaware that Sister Mary Milligan had passed, so it was a bit of a shock of sadness to read her obituary. I graduated from LMU in 1993. In my time at LMU, Sister Mary was dean of the College of Liberal Arts. I was an English major, so I fell under Sister’s purview. I never had her for class, and Sister had no specific reason to take an interest in me. Despite that fact, I can honestly say that Sister was one of the few people who went out of her way to make me feel welcome at LMU. She knew me by name (I don’t know how that came about), and she always made sure to ask me how I was doing and if there was anything she could do for me. She has stuck in my memory over the past 18 years for her simple kindness to me. I will be offering my daily rosary for her (although I am quite sure that she is already in heaven serving our Lord).
Philip Zampiello ’93
Chatsworth, Calif.

Great story on the website ( about the alumni who started Enegren Brewery — and while I’ve yet to try it, I’ll bet it’s a great beer, too. I love seeing that your once post-lacrosse practice hobby is going big-time, guys! And Joe, I love the beard.
Greg Siggins ’07
San Francisco

Nice work, guys! Glad to see some of the lacrosse brethren starting a brewery. I played lacrosse for LMU from 1988–’92. Hope to see some of your brew at the next alumni game.
Daniel Macca ’92
Vashon, Wash.

My belated thanks, I think, to whoever was responsible for digging up that old photo of me sitting in the Loyolan office in my bathrobe (Summer 2011, Page 39). That thing has popped up a few times over the years and simply refuses to die. I have no idea why it has turned into a “go-to” photo that is somehow representative of the experience of working at the paper, but I am not one to quibble with the vagaries of fame.
Bernard Sandalow ’78
Alhambra, Calif.

I was so impressed with the clarity of rugby action shots on your website. Those pictures looked like the photographer was of a rugby mind as well! Congrats to all involved in your program, the coaches and waterboy, too!
Bob Porter M.A. ’90
Carlsbad, Calif.

I am a mom of Bobby Shanahan, senior rugby player and a member of the class of 2012. Bobby’s aunt was a member of the class of 1977. It was really great to see rugby coverage in LMU Magazine and on the magazine website.
Lisa Shanahan
Fair Oaks, Calif.

We published “Middle School” in the summer 2011 edition of LMU Magazine (Page 44) and promised a $50 gift card to the first three correct solvers. The puzzle masters are: Derek Browers M.B.A. ’11, of Hermosa Beach, Calif.; Eileen E. O’Brien ’84, of Redondo Beach, Calif.; and Bill Wagner ’61, of Newport Beach, Calif. To see the solution, go to Or contact us, and we’ll reply with the solution attached.—The Editor