4 • CHAPTER 3 July 2004
t’s been some time now since we have released several folks from JUG. Our response, in the face of continued requests for donations, has been disappointing. We do know that there are those with no interest in our old school, as a few have asked us to take them off the mailing list. Thus, after giving it a trial period of several months, we will reinstate the group to the friendly confines of our Florida JUG. Please remember that if you are now in dire straits, we will waive contributions until you are back in the groove. WIDOWS NOTE: If you have lost your mate, we, upon your request, will continue to send the newsletter to you. Just let us know (a small donation every year or so will be appreciated, but not required, in memory of our fallen Knights). One lovely widow wrote, some time ago, that she had withheld telling us of the death of her husband for fear of losing the quarterly newsletter. We assured her that that would not happen, and we assume that she is still enjoying our efforts. She helps by sending us a few bucks now and then. Others have joined her. But with no other sign of interest in our project, we shall stop all communication with these juggy guys after this newsletter, unless financial help is received. We apologize to those who have been on our list only a short time, but I think you get the picture. We ask for a minimum of 10 bucks once in a while (every couple of years). I’m Aaron Huguenard and I approve this message.
Our solicitation in regards to continuing the Campion Alumni Association’s charitable effort has proven, thus far, to be less than popular. One gentleman sent us 50 dollars for the cause. If no better response is realized in the next few months, we shall abandon the program and forward the balance to the retired Jebbie fund, closing the CAA forever.
From Father Tom Waickman ’45:
THE NN Ball & Roller Co., Inc., in Erwin, a dot on the map in the hills of southeastern Tennessee, isn't much to look at, but as a manufacturing success story, the company is second to none. Its chief financial officer, Roderick (Rock) Baty, says NN Ball & Roller is the world's lowest-cost producer of the steel balls that are used in ball bearings, with a 40% to 50% production advantage over its Japanese competitors.
The company's profits back up Baty's claim. NN Ball has averaged a 51% return on equity over the past five years. Despite heavy capital spending for expansion during the past 12 months, the company earned 34% on its equity. Net was $7.7 million on sales of $60 million last year.
This year the company expects sales of around $75 million and earnings of $11 million ($1.15 a share). It went public last year at $14.00. Today the 9.6 million shares, after a 3-for-2 split, trade at around $20. Another 3-for-2 split became effective Nov. 27.
Splendidly profitable NN Ball & Roller was started in 1980 by Richard Ennen, Campion 1945, - hence its name. Now 67, Ennen used to run the ball making operations for Hoover Universal, which was also situated in Erwin. But in1980 his bosses wanted him to move to Hoover headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ennen didn't like Hoover's new president and refused the transfer. "I figured I'd get fired once I moved up North," he says.
He was 52, but he could stay where he was and go into the business on his own. Making the steel balls for ball bearings isn't terribly complicated: You chop off little chunks of coiled rod, a sort of thick steel wire, and then crush them into rough steel balls, then heat, grind and polish them into truly round balls.
The problem was finding capital. Ennen had $60,000 in the bank but needed $3 million to get his own steel ball factory going. "At about the third bank I went to, I realized you don't borrow $3 million with $60,000 in savings," he recalls. "What I needed was an order."
But who would place an order with someone who had neither factory nor employees? Answer: General Motors, which had an interest in creating competition for Ennen's old employer, Hoover Universal.
GM gave Ennen a $500,000 order. With GM'S vote of confidence, another $300,000 order from Hughes Tool and his $60,000 in savings, Ennen was able to borrow the $3 million, and had the credibility to lure some executives from Hoover. He took over an empty factory building in Erwin and scrounged up machinery. Within three months Ennen was turning out his first balls.
As with all successful businesses, there is no single factor to explain NN Ball & Roller's consistently high levels of profitability. But one very important factor is its work force: 400 hard working hill people with mechanical aptitude. "Our people can keep an old tractor going a long time," says NN Ball's president, James Mitchell. "They're skilled, loyal and they're not ashamed to work." Absenteeism is less than 1%.
NN Ball is nonunion — by intent and out of necessity. It couldn't afford it. Ennen: "When we started this plant, everybody knew the union was a no - no. We said, 'Everyone is going to work hard, and if we ever have any money, we'll share it with you.' We set objectives every day, and everyone manages themselves."
Basic pay is about $11.50 an hour, but with overtime and a $4,000 bonus, the workers averaged $28,000 last year, darned good money in a small Tennessee hill town.
Hoover's precision ball operations were eventually sold to the Japanese. By Contrast, NN Ball & Roller became an unqualified American success as an independent producer. But how vulnerable are its wide profit margins to competition?
Ennen and Jim Mitchell lay out their advantages. First and foremost are NN Ball & Roller's employees. "They work their butts off," says Ennen proudly.
Ennen adds that he and Mitchell have developed their own manufacturing process. He claims it cuts costs and raises quality, and has helped NN Ball & Roller shift its production to higher quality Grade 5 balls, which are round to within 1/5,000,000th of an inch. The Grade 5 segment is growing rapidly because customers are demanding bearings that produce less vibration and less noise, and have a longer life. Those characteristics require the smoother, rounder Grade 5 balls.
"We're making 30% [on equity], but our competitors are making 5%," says Ennen. "I think it's time to take advantage of this position. We will be able to raise prices. Who can challenge it? The bearing companies aren't going into the ball business. The Japanese are the only ones to challenge us, and their prices are in many cases 30% higher than ours."
At 67, Dick Ennen owns $45 million or so in NN Ball stock, about 25% of the outstanding shares, but he lives like a man on a pension. He spends most of his time these days in Bluffton, SC, outside of Hilton Head, where he owns a small house and a 25 foot outboard motorboat — nothing fancy. He fishes, plays golf, eats lunch at the Squat & Gobble. He hasn't forgotten what the Jesuits taught him at boarding school and college, and he spends a lot of time on charities, especially food-for-the-poor projects and a high school in Tanzania.
While in Bluffton, Ennen keeps in close touch with colleagues Mitchell and Baty in Erwin via computer and the fax machine. He sees copies of internal reports every day, and visits the plants from time to time. NN Ball has a second plant — in Walterboro, S.C. — and is getting a third going an hour's drive up the road from Erwin.
Mitchell figures NN Ball & Roller will be doing $150 million a year in a few years. "We're investing our money for a 15% - plus [annual] growth rate," he says.
But doesn't every business think it can grow? "If this company doesn't grow," Mitchell replies, "I'll eat dog food. "
I just wanted to let you know that we moved last March and to update information.
My "new" email address is below and so is most of the address for regular mail. The Grass Lake Labradors is not a necessary part, but PO Box 54, Braham, MN 55006-0054 is.
You probably don't know me, but I graduated Campion in '57.
Looking at the photo on the website it appears that Kostka Hall is/was no longer present and other buildings have been added since I was last there. I wanted to send my oldest son there, so took a drive to Prairie du Chien about 25 years ago to show him the place and take care of enrollment etc. only to find that the School no longer existed. To this day I have not seen one person that was a student there when I was and would love to get to a reunion or some other alum activity one of these days.
After leaving the Military I went to work for the VFW, got an MS in Public and Human services, but stayed with VFW until I retired in April of 1999 to spend more time with my kids, grandkids and hobby (raising and showing dogs). My hobby expanded greatly after retirement and is now a full time occupation that costs me a lot of money every year...<SMILE>. I have been showing dogs for many years and am now doing more of it than I ever did, but without the pressure of having to return to work on Monday morning.
We bought some acreage North of Minneapolis and built 2 homes (my youngest son, his wife and 2 babies live in the other). The kids are heavy into the Dog "Fancy" as well, although my son (age 32) commutes into Minneapolis for work each day. He is VP of a company that does something totally NOT understandable to the old man for a living, does well, as do my other three sons. Number two son is career Navy and likes nothing better than flying an F-18E off the deck of his Carrier and dropping bombs, breaking things and killing the enemy J. I taught him to fly at age 12 and he has never wanted to do anything else. Graduated Annapolis 3rd in his class and is a few months short of twenty years now, but has no intention of retiring for a long time. . .he's only 38.
My apologies, the older I get, the more I live vicariously through my boys and also have developed a tendency to go off topic.
Art McDonald '57
Boston College High School (BC High) is the Jesuit high school in Boston MA. This article, from the Boston globe, describes the 'jugs' that are meted out to BC High students that stray, similar to what we had at Campion. Submitted by George Dorsey, Campion '55.
Penance starts early as an easterly wind gusts off Morrissey Boulevard, dusting the Boston College High School lawn with candy wrappers, newspaper pages, shopping lists, and Dunkin' Donuts bags. A few minutes after 8 a.m. on a March Saturday, Joe Leeman bends over, pries loose a wad of paper pulp, and drops it into a trash bag.
An 18-year-old from South Boston with a bad case of senioritis, Leeman skipped school one day. To make amends, he and 22 other transgressors reported to school for three hours of manual labor on a Saturday.
When you mess up at BC High, you pay. The Jesuits call it "jug." "Saturday jugs are vicious," Leeman said with a grin. And he knows. "I missed kind of a lot of school this year," he said.
As educators hotly debate the best way to manage students and enforce rules, Jesuit schools like BC High cling to a centuries-old tradition with an odd name. Students will tell you the term stands for Justice Under God, but it probably derives from the Latin word iugum, which means yoke or collar, said Brian Donaher, the boys' school's Latin and Greek teacher for 44 years. There is no "j" in classical Latin. Jug was mentioned in BC High literature as far back as 1863.
Among the 47 Jesuit secondary schools in the nation, there are probably 47 ways of administering detention, said the Rev. Joseph O'Connell, president of the Jesuit Secondary Education Association in Washington, D.C. Some schools require 90 minutes of silence, followed by 90 minutes of school assignments. Most deans eschew physical labor for fear that schools would be liable if students were hurt.
Educators have long debated how to handle difficult students. Long ago, public schools also required wayward students to perform manual labor, but parents grew uncomfortable with that form of punishment, said Michael Carr, spokesman for the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Most public school detentions turn into study halls. Some schools in the Bible Belt still engage in corporal punishment, but that is disappearing.
Like any school's detention, the point of jug is to give students the opportunity to make amends while teaching personal responsibility.
"In some ways, it's counter cultural," said Stephen P. Hughes, BC High's principal. "So much emphasis is on the individual, individual gratification. It's the notion of teaching what it means to be responsible."
But it doesn't mean everyone goes willingly. "Everybody tries to talk themselves out of it," said Patrick Ruff, vice principal for student affairs. Boys tell him: " 'There's some kind of mistake.' "
BC High maintains that physical labor is the best form of detention because it compels students to give back to the community that was harmed. Boys are assigned to a Saturday stint for skipping school, forgetting an appointment, swearing, or pulling pranks. Five boys were jugged for not having a note when they attended the Patriots lunch-time victory parade in February.
At BC High, you can get a 45-minute after-school jug for forgetting to wear your belt or being late for class. Two boys caught drinking on a school trip were compelled to report for a Saturday jug, as well as work in the cafeteria during school hours, so other boys would see how serious the school considered the infraction, said Jerry Morelli, dean of students. It is a far superior method than the public school practice of keeping youths after school to sit and stew, said Morelli, who taught in public schools for 34 years. (Public school educators say the time spent in detention provides a chance for reflection.)
To many BC High graduates, the mere mention of the word jug reels them back in time. Richard Port commuted from Chelsea and was habitually late to BC High in the 1950s. "I remember I had to copy: `In keeping with the traditions and customs of Boston College High School I will conduct myself in the classroom in a manner befitting a Catholic high school gentleman,' " said Port, a 1954 BC High graduate who lives in Hawaii.
Some students graduate without ever having been jugged, but they are few. The school bestows a senior year award on the student with the most and the fewest jugs.
After mopping and vacuuming and washing desks and sweeping the gym floor on a recent Saturday, Morelli assigned the students to write letters about how they spent their morning. Scrawled in crabbed cursive on BC High stationery, the letters trickled in. "B.C.H. should be called Mr. Morelli's School of Reform for Young Men," said one. "We should refer to you as St. Morelli from now on," said another. "I would love to come back on any other Saturday but I doubt I will do something stupid enough to get another Saturday," Leeman wrote. Morelli accepted each boy's thanks and offered them slices of pizza left over from a dance the night before.
He squinted at the letters and smirked. "Some that are funny," he said, "I take home to show my wife."
This article from today's Higher Education Chronicle has a very familiar ring to it. Much of the debate is similar to the ultimate closing of Campion...From Mike Kelly '58:
Loyola of Chicago Prepares to Scrap a Jesuit Mainstay — the
Loyola University Chicago, racked by operating deficits and declining enrollment, is on the verge of eliminating its department of classical studies, one of the underpinnings of the Jesuit education that the institution has been emphasizing in its marketing. Professors in the department were told on Tuesday by the deans of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School that the department has too few student majors, and does not bring in enough money through tuition and grants. There are nine undergraduates, two master's degree candidates, and nine doctoral candidates enrolled now in the classics department.
Loyola released a statement on Thursday emphasizing that those students will be able to finish their degree programs, and that in the future, entering undergraduates still would be able to major or minor in classical studies. A survey course in classical studies will remain a part of the core curriculum. None of the eight full-time faculty members in classics, six of whom have tenure, will be dismissed, the statement said. They will instead be scattered to other departments within the arts-and-sciences college, like history and English.
Still, faculty members took the news as another blow to a university that once had aspirations of joining the nation's elite research institutions, but is now in its fifth consecutive year of budget deficits of at least $20 million.
"I think it is an abandonment of a very significant factor of the Jesuit tradition," said James G. Keenan, a classics professor who has taught at Loyola for 27 years. "They keep talking about how we are emphasizing the Jesuit and Catholic traditions, but they do this. The two don't mesh."
On Thursday, the Rev. John Murphy, a Jesuit priest who is chairman of the classics department, handed out copies of a page from a former student handbook that explained that what set Jesuit education apart from the rest of Roman Catholic education is that "Jesuit education retains its links with the classics and the Renaissance, the time in which Jesuit education began and played an important role." Other orders of Catholicism placed more emphasis on theology.
Larry A. Braskamp, Loyola's senior vice president for academic affairs, said, "We are not changing the identity and character of Loyola. We are becoming more Jesuit in our orientation, because we are emphasizing the importance of our liberal arts curriculum, and engagement in society." He said the elimination of the department was primarily an administrative change. "Some of us think that a recombination of our departments would be good, because it will lead to our curriculum becoming more interdisciplinary," he said.
Loyola is rigorously reassessing its course offerings. Mr. Braskamp said that the review, which will be completed in May, is expected to recommend that more than 100 programs be eliminated, combined, or created. A faculty elected committee had recommended in October that the graduate programs in classics be eliminated, but it said the department itself should be retained.
The deans went further, arguing that the department should be eliminated, and Mr. Braskamp said he concurred. He declined to discuss his rationale, saying that those involved in the process had agreed that it would remain confidential until it was complete. "I'm open to new arguments," he said. "I'm open to what's best for the university. These recommendations are not cast in concrete."
The university, in its statement, said Loyola has retained its classics department "longer than a number of other universities have," including Marquette University and Saint Louis University, both Jesuit institutions.
But John F. Makowski, a professor in classics for 25 years at Loyola, called that a "silly argument". "We should be comparing ourselves to places maintaining the Jesuit tradition," he said, "not to places that have sold out to secularism and trendiness.
As we slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.
From Rev. Tom McNally ’44:
I graduated from Campion in '44 along with John Bernbrock and Emil Denemark (who appeared in the latest issue) and a number of other fine men and friends. Bernbrock and a number of others headed for the Jesuits but I went on to the Navy and Notre Dame. After graduation at ND I worked as a journalist for several years, most of them with United Press (later UPI). When I finally decided to become a priest I was 28 and figured that if I joined the Jesuits I would not be ordained until I was in my dotage.
So I joined the Holy Cross Fathers who had taught me at Notre Dame and was ordained 43 years ago this coming June. It's been a good run — at various times I've been on the faculty and staff of Notre Dame and associate director of campus ministry, editor and publisher of two youth magazines, pastor and associate pastor in California, Indiana and Santiago, Chile and done some writing. Now I'm semi - retired and spend some time in prison ministry and with youngsters at two juvenile facilities in South Bend.
I love Holy Cross but have a deep appreciation for the Jesuits as well. I think of priests and scholastics like Kramper, Walsh, Zummach, Loehr, Tainter, Schutte, Moriarty, O'Connor, Conroy, Guida, Blum, McEvoy, Diebold, and Peitz. And who could forget Bro. Daly? In large part I owe my priestly vocation to Jesuits like these! They taught me many lessons, and not just in the classroom.
An example comes to mind. Every year we used to have a novena or mission to St. Francis Xavier. A different scholastic would preach each evening. One evening it was the turn of Mr. Blum, I believe. He started bravely but almost immediately blanked out (as I have done since in similar circumstances). He paused for what seemed like an hour and then blurted out "So let's all pray to St. Ignatius of Loyola," and hurried away from the podium. Several of us were in hysterics. It would have been easy for Blum to have gone back to his room and hidden out for awhile. Instead he was outside the chapel to greet us afterwards, laughing at himself and at his goof. The lesson he taught me, and which I have had occasion to employ more than once in my 43 years as a priest, was simply this: When you've blundered, face the music and laugh it off with everyone else!
Keep up the good work, Aaron.
Fred Schrader ’41 writes:
Thanks, Aaron. I surely enjoy the quarterly "Campion Forever". One bit of news - did any of the students ever have to go to a dentist while at Campion? Dr. William Nugent, whose office was on Beaumont Rd. near the center of town, must have had some of the students as patients. He passed away last Sept, at the age of 97. His sister, Kathleen, was head nurse at the infirmary for many years. She died many years ago.
Ernie Hillenmeyer '38, a frequent correspondent writes:
Dear Aaron, Just want you to know that thru Campion Forever, I have been able to locate my best friend from Campion days. He was in the class of 1938. His name is James Patrick Ryan, originally from Springfield, III. He now resides at 1105 8th St. N.E. / Bandon, Oregon 97411. Jim is in a nursing home, confined to a wheel chair, but seems from his letters to be in good spirits. He has had two strokes and reports that he has difficult speaking and walking. I'm sure he would like to receive the information which you are kind enough to mail to all of us. Please remember me to Father Walt Halloran. I would love to see him and visit, but don't think we can make the reunion this year.
From Bob Maxwell '47:
Gents, since 1947 I have had a grand trip. I spent a year at the University of Kentucky, then joined Maryknoll. I was 8 years in the seminary, and was ordained a priest in 1956. Maryknoll assigned me to do vocation work and fund raising in this country. After nine difficult years on the road here I was assigned to Guatemala. I had five wonderful years as pastor working with Maya Indians in the mountains of Huehuetenango (a Department of Guatemala). In 1970 I realized that for me celibacy was toxic. Not just difficult, but toxic. In what was a dark night of the soul, I left priesthood and Maryknoll, which had been my identity for 22 years. I moved to Washington DC where I got a good job with the government.
I was seeing some lovely ladies in DC when I got a call from Liz who had been a Maryknoll sister in Guatemala and a good friend. She had also left religious life and was coming to DC to visit a cousin. We went to lunch and were married six months later. Liz is a totally delightful woman who remains my wife after these 33 years. Her love has meant everything to me.
In 1973 Liz and I resigned our jobs and went to California to work for Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers at the union headquarters. Liz directed the medical program and I managed union publications. Back to DC in '74 I went to grad school and got a degree in clinical social work. After 15 years of 50 minute hours I took up professionally my long time passion for woodwork. I was a cabinetmaker, specializing in church furnishings. Had a constant waiting list of customers. In '02 Liz and I retired and moved to Cincinnati, her hometown. We live in a grand retirement community. I'm in good health, 15 pounds over Campion weight. Liz and I have long shared a deep contemplative spirituality and our chief "work" now is teaching Centering Prayer.
Subject: Exercise Program.
For those of us getting along in years, here is a little secret for building your arm and shoulder muscles. You might want to adopt this regimen.
Three days a week works well.
Begin by standing outside behind the house, with a 5-LB. potato sack in each hand.
Extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can — try to reach a full minute.
After a few weeks, move up to 10-LB. potato sacks, and then 50-LB. potato sacks, and eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-LB. potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight out for more than a full minute.
After you feel confident at that level, start putting a couple of potatoes in each of the sacks, but be careful not to overdo it.
A little teaser follows:
Hey, guys, we did not create the stories and biographical articles you are reading. Everything has been submitted by y'all. Surely you all have a little anecdote or interesting tale from your high school days or beyond. As we have mentioned before…we are too old to be bashful. Some of you have promised us some publishable material. Please do not hesitate to send us your stuff. If we run out I’ll have to bore you with my life story. Let us hear from you.
We have learned that the following Knights have been lost to us recently. After several of you have requested this, we have decided to publish these obits from now on in each newsletter. Please let us know of others as time passes.
Hugies • Campion • Forever !!!