Summer 2011

Cover Story

Higher Calling

For more than 30 years from 1921–55, Simon Rodia, an Italian immigrant, accumulated, assembled and constructed the Watts Towers — 17 sculptures, including three massive towers reaching to the sky, that evoke both playful randomness and meticulous order. English Professor Paul Harris has visited, studied, and written and taught about the towers for more than 20 years. To him, the Watts Towers, a National Historic Landmark, are a testament to one man’s workmanship, engineering talent, artistic vision and near-mystical sense of spirituality. Harris was interviewed by Editor Joseph Wakelee-Lynch.

Del Rey Players’ Productions

80 Years of Drama and Counting | For eight decades, the Del Rey Players, LMU’s entirely student-run theatre group has been producing and performing shows. Take a look at some of the classic images of productions over the years that...

LMU Rugby

Since 1958, the LMU Rugby has been playing hard and playing fair. Take a look at the Lions who who shouldered the tradition this past year, finishing at No. 13, and relive the season.

Billy Traber ’01

Billy Traber was West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2000, and he followed that with a nine-year professional career, with five in the majors.

A Conversation With Chick Russell ’75, ’78

Chick Russell '75, '78 is a show producer for Universal Studios. He was interviewed by Aaron Smith.

A Conversation With Chris Ayzoukian ’99, EMBA ’07

Chris Ayzoukian’s head and heart are in perfect harmony. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music theory and composition in 1999 and later returned to LMU and the Del Rey bluffs to a get a degree in the Executive M.B.A. program in 2007. Ayzoukian now is director of recorded media with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He was interviewed by Janis Rizzuto.

A Conversation with Alexandra Natapoff

Alexandra Natapoff is a professor of law at Loyola Law School. She is a nationally recognized expert on snitching in the criminal justice system and has written articles and given testimony before the U.S. Congress on confidential informant practices. Natapoff is the author of “Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice” (NYU Press, 2009). She was interviewed by Editor Joseph Wakelee-Lynch.

A Towering Achievement

For two years, California historian Kevin Starr researched LMU’s history to write the definitive chronicle of the university’s first 100 years. The result is a story that begins with the arrival of Catholic higher education in Los Angeles, and proceeds through a period of world wars, economic depression, massive societal change and a merger of two Catholic institutions, culminating with growth in the 21st century. The following is an excerpt drawn from the preface of Starr’s “Loyola Marymount University, 1911–2011: A Centennial History.” The book is available through the LMU bookstore See more about the centennial year here.

When Two Become One

Today’s LMU, one might say, was born in 1965 in explorations of affiliation, not unity.

Curtain Call

The Del Rey Players for eight decades have mounted plays on and around the bluff, from a prison to Hollywood film palaces, and they’ve crossed paths with everyone from Bing Crosby to Bob Denver. View a photo slideshow of scenes from the Del Rey Players' past here.

Dear LMU — Letters From Our Readers, Summer 2011

Have something to say about what you’ve read in LMU Magazine? Tell us at here.

Dispatches Summer 2011

Higher Calling

For more than 30 years from 1921–55, Simon Rodia, an Italian immigrant, accumulated, assembled and constructed the Watts Towers — 17 sculptures, including three massive towers reaching to the sky, that evoke both playful randomness and meticulous order. English Professor Paul Harris has visited, studied, and written and taught about the towers for more than 20 years. To him, the Watts Towers, a National Historic Landmark, are a testament to one man’s workmanship, engineering talent, artistic vision and near-mystical sense of spirituality. Harris was interviewed by Editor Joseph Wakelee-Lynch.

Knowing What’s Write

For the past four years, the byline of José Martinez appeared in almost every issue of the Los Angeles Loyolan. Martinez’s range was broad: a critique of a campus policy, a defense of the university’s mission, and even humor, which is a very serious assignment. Martinez, who graduated in May, grew as a writer before our eyes. We asked him to tell us what he learned. —The Editor

The Beach View

At LMU, geography is gift: beach, ocean and mountains are all nearby. From the Del Rey bluffs, the views of them are spectacular. But the greatest view may be the view of the possibilities, some of which extend our geography.

Las Vegas

After graduation in 2006, I moved back to Las Vegas, my hometown, and earned my law degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. What I find amazing since graduation is that my LMU experiences continue to impact my life.

Tradition Rules

Aleksandar Trifunovic ’02 and Jelena Stankovic ’05, ’07, were married Aug. 2, 2009, in Belgrade, the capital of their native Serbia.

Remembering the San Bruno Fire

An alumna discovers how much can be found amid loss.

The St. John’s Bible

Before the printing press was perfected, copies of the Bible were produced in a long, laborious process by monks.

Beth Katz, M.A. ’08

For her students and others around her, Beth Katz purposely sets simple examples of how to live a more sustainable lifestyle. “The best way to spread a message is through your daily actions, making the little changes you can make in your own life,” she says.

Chad Zdenek ’97

A Porta-Potty jacked up on sugar rockets flies 100 feet into the desert air. A hydro-jet pack fashioned from fire hoses lifts a man out of a lake. That’s the stuff of “It’s Effin’ Science,” a G4 cable network TV series co-hosted by Chad Zdenek.

Tara Erdmann ’11: Why I Run

I was never a runner. With a closet full of shin guards, cleats and soccer socks, running shoes were what I threw in my bag for soccer conditioning.

The Fruit of Old Vines

Talk to Christopher Silva for a few minutes and you may start thinking that age is your friend. He’s convinced.

The Native Spirit

Daniel Smith-Christopher’s “Christianity and Native America” course may be the only U.S. college offering that includes six days of classes on a train. But riding the rails is more than a novelty.

Mary Milligan, R.S.H.M.

The résumé of Mary Milligan, R.S.H.M., was long; her impact is equally long-lasting.

Big Day

Big Day, the third of the three days of LMU’s Special Games, is one when the present moment is all that matters. Months of preparation — by service orgs, Greek groups, the Student Veterans Group and others — morph into...

John Lasseter

John Lasseter came to SFTV’s Mayer Theater in April with a 25-year pedigree of accomplishments.