Annette Anton '69, MA '83
For many alumni, Annette Anton and the University of San Francisco were synonymous. She remembered names, graduation dates, even the names of their children.
USF was the backdrop for much of Anton's young life and later became the main stage. Growing up in the Haight and attending Presentation High School, the campus was always in sight. When it came time for college, USF was the natural choice.
As one of the first women to attend USF, she helped to define the campus community, and was active from the very beginning. John Lo Schiavo, S.J. (then vice president of student affairs and later USF's 25th president), recruited Anton to help with a photo project during her first week on campus. That day started a lifelong friendship; it was also the day USF learned something important: If you want something done, ask Annette.
With her degree in sociology, Anton went back to Presentation High as a teacher. She taught social studies for 22 years, and then served as assistant principal for 10 more. After receiving a master's in education at USF, she became involved with the Education Alumni Society and forged an even deeper link to the university.
That experience dovetailed with other events to bring Anton back to campus. When Presentation closed in 1991, USF Alumni Relations was looking for an assistant director. It was a match made in heaven.
Under Anton's leadership - she became director in 1996 - USF's alumni relations department led the university's annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, soliciting donations and personally distributing Thanksgiving dinners to families in need; played a key role in developing USF's 150th anniversary celebration in 2005; led USF's award-winning St. Patrick's Day Parade cable car float tradition; and produced the popular annual gala that honors alumni, including the alumnus of the year, an award she won herself in 2014. She expanded the alumniregional councils and integrated Lone Mountain alumnae under the umbrella of the USF Alumni Association.
Even her retirement in 2012 couldn't keep Anton away for long. A longtime season ticket holder to men's and women's basketball, she could also be found at other sports events. She even returned to campus as a student, taking classes at the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning.
Anton passed away in July, leaving many friends and thousands of USF alumni who came to treasure the legacy and spirit of USF through her.