Class of 1966 Celebrates 50 Years — With an Eye to the Future

By Mary McInerney, Office of Development Communications Posted Thu, 11/17/2016 - 15:00

The Class of 1966 was at USF during turbulent years in our nation’s history. JFK’s assassination, the Vietnam War, The Beatles’ debut in America — all were events that served to have a huge impact on the students and bring them together.

Today, they remain close, as they mark the 50th anniversary of their graduation and that transformational time in San Francisco. Together, they hope to create a transformational experience for future USF students by establishing an endowed scholarship.

The scholarship evolved out of feelings of camaraderie and appreciation for the University of San Francisco.

“The university has left its mark on us, and this was a way for us to leave our mark for future students at the university,” says alumna Barbara Westover.

“Hopefully, we can help a student who loves the university as much as we do.”

Barbara and Chris Westover and Deci and Terry Dugan, all classmates together at USF, helped kick start the Class of 1966 Memorial Endowed Scholarship that will honor their classmates and help future undergraduate students at USF.  Many classmates have already contributed to the scholarship.

“We have been a class that’s stuck together and done things for the university,” says Deci Dugan. They are pleased to continue that today and into the future.

Honoring Their Classmates

Of the 450 people in the class, more than 120 have passed away, Barbara says. Russ Martin, who was student president in 1965-1966, wanted a way to remember them, which led to the creation of a memorial booklet he researched — as well as the idea of the scholarship.

“We lost classmates, and it just seemed like a good idea to remember those people who are no longer with us,” Deci says.

In addition to the societal changes they experienced together, the class saw the university transformed during their time on campus. The women in the class of 1966 said they all started in 1962, when many of them were admitted to the nursing program, which was a joint venture between the Jesuits and the Sisters of Mercy. The university became a co-ed institution in 1963.

Barbara, for her part, graduated from the nursing school and practiced for six years. When her kids were in high school, she went to graduate school and became an architect. Today, she works in residential architecture.

“I really have a passion for architecture and building,” she says, comparing it to nursing because both professions help people. “I have a maker mentality. I like doing things and working with my hands.”

Deci Dugan also became a nurse, and after graduating from USF served stateside during the Vietnam War at Air Force bases in Ohio and California.

“I was in pediatrics, working with service families. Those were certainly tough times for military families,” she says. Later, she went into school nursing and taught childbirth education.

Alumni Giving Back

The Class of 1966 is compassionate, and they are proud to support future USF students, whom they hope will also have fond memories and a lasting connection to each other and to the university.

“We want to honor our classmates, first,” says Deci. “And a lasting way to do that is to put together a scholarship for future students coming to the university where we all met.”

Interested in supporting the Class of 1966 Endowed Scholarship? Find out more