2012 Homecoming at Saint John's University: The Class of 1972 Celebrates our 40th Anniversary Reunion
Alumni Achievement Award Winners are Tom Hokr and Mike Urbanos
Class of 72 30th Reunion 2002
Tom Muchlinski, Tom Hokr, Bernie Tuhoy, Dick Howard and Mike Urbanos
Pat Haws and Dick Howard
Bob Foster, Vic Moore, Bernie Tuohy, Tom Muchlinski and Mike Urbanos
"At Saint John's University we are dedicated to preparing our students for leadership and service in their lives, workplace and community. Post graduation, as they make their way through life, they are guided by the Benedictine values that are instilled in them. Our graduates learn how to listen carefully, think creatively, engage others in thoughtful conversation, and make considerable decisions."
Saint John's University and College of St. Benedict Website
Mr. Stephen Humphrey was my faculty advisor, favorite professor, mentor, and friend. So when he suggested at dinner with my family in 1976 that I give something to my alma mater, Saint John’s University, I took him seriously. But I pointed out that I was broke, in debt, had a new baby, and had only recently landed a job.
He persisted. “Just give what you feel you can afford. It’s not the amount, but that you do it.” He looked down at the floor, his head moved from left to right then back to left. Then he raised his head back up at me and his blue eyes pierced me to the core.
“Why? What good will the little I have do for St. John’s?” I tried to demonstrate the questioning tone of a truth seeker: an attitude Mr. Humphrey had taught me years earlier. Mr. Humphrey wasn’t impressed.
“Chuck, giving to St. John’s will keep you connected with all that you learned there.”
The discussion was over. Mr. Humphrey wasted no words. He knew he got his point across so he changed the subject to my newborn daughter. He never talked about himself, always about others.
Soon, I did begin to give to St. John’s. I think it was $25 which is all I felt comfortable doing. I prayed to God that if he would prosper me in my career and finances, I would not only keep giving to St. John’s but even increase my gift. God did so I did.
The financial support to my college kept me connected to the values I learned there, the institution itself, and to my fellow Johnnies. Mr. Humphrey was right…as usual.
Mr. Stephen Humphrey
Stephen Humphrey was an English professor, my advisor and my faculty resident during my time at St. John's from 1968-1972. This picture was taken in his room on the first floor of St. Bernard hall where I lived at the time. His door was always open for students to drop in and visit and he had a regular parade of guests who took advantage of his open door policy. No one more than me! I named my youngest son, Stephen after Mr. Humphrey. I could never call him Steve, he was and will always be Mr. Humphrey. I wanted to be an English professor just like him because he was my role model. He talked me out of that and said my abilities would be better utilized in sales and marketing. He was a stand up guy. He was a dedicated Catholic who lived by the Stoic philosophy. I wouldn't be who I am today without his influence and mentoring. He visited us in 1976 after Rebekah was born and encouraged us at a time when we were really struggling financially and in the career. The last time I heard from him was in 1981 when he shared with me an article about his pending retirement. He signed it, "Your friend, Steve Humphrey."
He meant the world to me.
Father Eric Hollas, OSB visited us in Lake Havasu in 2009 and we had lunch at Shugrues near the London Bridge.
Mike Murphy '72 is one of my classmates for whom I have the greatest respect. Murph, as I call him and I had a lot of illuminating discussions about spiritual matters in our dorm bull sessions. Looking back, I know we were both searching for truth. I also remember Murph as a terrific basketball player and I knew I was better off watching from the stands than to ever play against him!
Much to my joy, Murph has become a pastor for a church in Illinois. He has a wonderful blog called "Murph's Place" which you can view by clicking on the link below. Note in particular his last two blog posts on town meetings and work. America needs to listen to these timely themes.
It was the Spring of 1971, when were both Head Residents at St. John’s University who were in charge of dormitory floors in Benet Hall.
Several of the students from my floor said, “You should meet Tom Agar, he’s really great.”
I don’t remember how it happened but I do remember our first time together and how much I respected his kindness, compassion and love for the students in our dorm. Tom was a good listener who was not judgmental who always had a smile to give you. It was clear to me and everyone who knew him that his love for others came out of his love for the Lord.
In November 2008, Tom sent me a message through LinkedIn, the professional internet networking website and we got back in touch after 38 years. It should say something about Tom that he remembered me after all that time had passed. I told him about myself and he replied with the following message, never once mentioning that he was having any physical challenges:
“My ordination was an incredible experience on Saturday. Thanks for offering your prayerful support for the ministry that I have been called to fulfill. The people of God in Monterey are so loving and generous in their hospitality; I feel so at home here…God bless you and your family, Buck. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving (just a couple weeks away) and that your year finishes with great blessings during Advent and the Christmas Season.
I will keep you in my prayers.” (Tom Agar 11/10/2008)
I was so saddened to hear of Tom’s passing but when I read about his life, I could see that he made it count for something special and gave his all for others.
My deepest sympathy goes to Tom’s brothers, his family and the people of God in Monterey.
Charles “Buck” Dopp—SJU ‘72
Brother Dietrich, President of St. John's University
Fr. Eric and Bro. Dietrich and the bus to Bastardo (Italy)
Bro. Dietrich and Steph in front of St. Peter's Basilica
When we visited Italy in 2008, the highlight had to be the personal tour we got of the Vatican and the Basilica of St. Peter's in Rome by Brother Dietrich Reinhart, OSB. Brother Dietrich was the president of St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota at the time. We were both students there at SJU from 1968-72. Brother Dietrich passed away as a result of melanoma. Before he died he said his situation was "impossible but not hopeless. " He was a gentle, kind, humorous and loving man. His leadership of St. John's made him the best president of SJU I have seen in my lifetime. His fund raising accomplishments and efforts with the St. John's Bible are two of his greatest legacies in my view. I miss him and am deeply saddened by his passing.
Brother Dietrich Reinhart and Buck Dopp at the Library of Congress where the St. John's Bible was on display.
Brother Dietrich Reinhart, OSB, the President of St. John's University and Buck Dopp. December 2006, Stephanie, Anna Guseva and I were the invited guests of Brother Dietrich to view the St. John's Bible which was on display at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Brother Dietrich, a Benedictine monk has been a key supporter of this project which was commissioned by St. John's Abbey and University. The St. John's Bible is a true work of art, an illuminated, handwritten Bible created under the direction of Donald Jackson, one of the world's foremost calligraphers. The St. John's Bible is in keeping with the monastic tradition of copying Bibles to keep God's Word alive which was done in the Dark Ages. I have the Gospels, the Book of Acts and the Book of Psalms. The text is hand done and so are the illustrations. The version being copied is the New Revised Standard Version.St. John's and its sister school, the College of St. Benedict have combined to become the largest liberal arts college in the U.S. I lived on the Central Minnesota campus for four years and found the quiet Minnesota countryside next to Lake Sagatagan a perfect place to concentrate on my studies and seek the truth. The priests and brothers who taught us were brilliant scholars who were striving to live Godly lives. They influenced me greatly and I wouldn't trade my undergraduate experience for anything. I wouldn't be who I am today without the spiritual examples and training they gave me. At the time, I considered myself a Protestant and never did convert to Catholicism but I was always treated as one of the faithful. You can click on the picture to learn more about the St. John's Bible.
Brother Dietrich and I were undergraduates at St. John's about the same time. I met him the first time at the Caedmon Prayer community that met weekly to pray for the needs of the faculty and students. I wasn't a regular participant but I did attend a number of times and remember thinking that Dietrich he was really a great guy. ( I knew him as Tom then and he knew me as Chuck Dopp.) Did I think I was praying with the future college president? No, I didn't. Not because he wasn't exhibiting the qualities of leadership and spirituality it would require...he was. It's just that I was still developing my own instincts and skills at perceiving the greatness in others. That took me time. Now, I'm a pretty good judge of people. I get fooled once in awhile but not very often.