We Need Support!

VOLUME 6 CHAPTER 3 • July 2006

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Bubba walks in during dinner last night and sez “Hey Hugie,  I bought me a new pack of jelly beans today and found out that I’m outa FIXODENT.  I sez “look in the garage, Bub - - - there’s some putty out there somewhere.”   “Well, OK I’ll try it.  But I got worse problems.”  “What’s up. Bubba?”   “My sister and I are the only living people in my family and she’s terribly upset with me.”  “What’s wrong?”   “Well she was pregnant and in a bad car accident, which caused her to fall into a deep coma.  After nearly six months, she awakens and sees that she is no longer pregnant.   She asks the doctor about her baby.  The doctor replies,  "Ma am, you had twins - a boy and a girl.  The babies are fine.  Your brother came in and named them."  The woman thinks to herself, "Oh, no! Not Bubba; he's an idiot!"  Expecting the worst, she asks the doctor,  "Well, what's the girl's name?"  "Denise," the doctor answers. The new mother thinks, "Wow! that's a beautiful name!   I guess I was wrong about my brother.  I really like the name Denise."  Then she asks the doctor, "What's the boy's name?"  The doctor replies, "Denephew."  “I don’t know why she’s so mad.”

"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an Ameri-    can and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.  But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here.  Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all.  We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
--Theodore Roosevelt, 1919

Thanks to Lou Dobbs’ website

The following is taken from the Notre Dame Alumnus Magazine from March, 1969.  Many of you are familiar with this and many are not.  It is an interesting approach to disciplinary action.  First there is an introduction by the magazine’s staff, followed by Father Ted’s letter.

It Happened At Notre Dame

      Just one month ago, Father Hesburgh leveled his sights on campus disruptions.  While it was aimed specifically at unrest on the Notre Dame Campus, his declaration rang throughout the country drawing massive support from all corners.

     Alumni were heartened by his statement.  Government officials, led by the President of the United States, hailed it as a "forthright stand."  The public as well as the nation's press had nothing but praise.   And on the Campus the University's student body, in addition to giving substantial support to his letter, proposed the institution of an academic department of the non-violent resolution of human conflict, a project which already has attracted a sizeable grant from the Gulf Oil Company.

     For Reverend Theodore Martin Hesburgh, CSC, sixteenth president of the University, February 17 marked the day he made a stand to preserve what he called "the University as we have known and loved it."

     The now-famous eight-page letter to faculty members, students and their parents states that any member of the University community who persists in protest activities which disrupt the normal operation of the University or infringe upon the rights of others faces on-the-spot suspension, expulsion and action by civil authorities.  

     Father Hesburgh spelled out the steps which the University would take against "anyone or any group that substitutes force for rational persuasion be it violent or non-violent" :

     1) Such persons, Father Hesburgh said. "will be given 15 minute of meditation to cease and desist.  They will be told that they are, by their actions, going counter to the overwhelming conviction of this community as to what is proper here.  If they do not within that time period cease and desist, they will be asked for identity cards."

     2) "Those who produce these (identity cards) will be Suspended from this community as not understanding what this community is.   Those who do not have or will not produce identity cards will be assumed not to be members of the community and will be charged with trespassing and disturbing the peace on private property and treated accordingly by the law."

     3) "After notification of suspension, or trespass in the case of non-community members, if there is not then within five minutes a movement to cease and desist, students will be notified of expulsion and the law will deal with them as non-students."

     Not everyone thinks Father Hesburgh's “15 minutes to meditate or else” policy will work.  Numerous college and university officials interviewed recently by the Wall Street Journal feel Hesburgh's solution is workable only at Notre Dame.  They go even further by saying that if adopted at their institutions it would result in even greater confrontations.

     Those questioning the Notre Dame president's stand are outnumbered significantly by supporters of the stand.  Perhaps the most celebrated endorsement came from President Richard M. Nixon.  In a February 22nd letter Nixon applauded Father Hesburgh's views and asked that the Notre Dame head direct his comments and campus unrest in general to Vice President Agnew who was convening a meeting of the 50 state governors in  Washington.  On their agenda was a proposal backed by Governor Ronald Reagan of California, to conduct a federal investigation into the causes and sources of US campus unrest.

     In his message to the Vice-President, Father Hesburgh appealed for the understanding of both peaceable and rebellious students and urged that universities be allowed to settle their own problems whenever possible.  Father Hesburgh further noted that a disrupted school should not hesitate to summon any “outside assistance necessary to preserve the university and its values.”  But he explained that only the university could make the decision.  The proposal before the governors was rejected.

     Father Hesburgh's letter to faculty, students and their parents was precipitated by a series of student protests on Campus over the past two years.  But the event that immediately triggered his hand was an aborted student-sponsored conference on pornography and censorship out of which came the confiscation  of a "pornographic" film by law enforcement officials.  From that debacle developed cries of "infringement of academic freedom," and "police brutality."  Days later the Hesburgh letter was issued.  The beginning, in recent times, of student protest at Notre Dame is not quite two years old.  The first demonstration came outside the Morris Inn in 1966 where a group of students and faculty protested the awarding of the Senior Class Patriot of the Year Award to General William Westmoreland, then commander of allied forces in Vietnam.  Small, ten to fifteen men demonstrations also were directed toward the Dow Chemical Company in 1967-68, an academic year which ended with a peace demonstration by nearly 200 participants at the annual ROTC presidential review.  Student protest also raised its head this fall.  In November two to three hundred students staged a three day sit-in outside the Placement Office where Dow Chemical and the Central Intelligence Agency representatives were conducting interviews.  The first two days of the protest went according to the demonstrators' plans approved by the University's administration - - -  peaceful and non-obstructive.  However, a maverick group of about 20 students, seeking to intensify the protest, blocked the CIA interviewer's doorway.  Administration officials and student government leaders urged the dissidents to desist.  They didn't and tensions heightened.  The possibility of a confrontation dissipated, however, when the CIA representative was told by his superiors to leave the Campus.

     The incident drew sharp criticism from Father Hesburgh who labeled the action of the belligerent group "clearly tyranny."   He then enjoined all representative bodies within the Notre Dame community to declare themselves and to give him a "clear mandate" as to the type of society they wished to see at the University.

     By December, Father Hesburgh received the statements he needed. The Student Life Council, the Faculty Senate and the Academic Council sent resolutions to the president to: 1) uphold the rights of all, 2) to maintain civility and rationality and 3) insure that lines of communication were always open to all segments of the community.

     Father Hesburgh evaluated the resolutions of each of the representative groups and formulated procedures the University would follow if confronted with future disruptive demonstrations.  But before he finalized them, the crisis over the pornography and censorship conference broke and the University found itself in the midst of a confrontation.

     The conference, planned by the same students who last year directed the nationally tauted Sophomore Literary Festival, was intended to be a sequel to a similar pornography censorship meeting successfully programmed in the Center for Continuing Education last year.

     This year's conference, however, developed troubles long before it ever got off the ground due primarily to faulty communication and little, if any, coordination within the planning committee.  As a result the University had on its hands on the eve of the conference a film outlawed in several states, an art exhibit reviewed by University officials as worse than "hard core pornography" and, to heighten tensions further, on-looking representatives from the Citizens for Decent Literature, invited by students to participate in the conference.

      The film in question was "Flaming Creatures," a movie judged by the supreme courts of New York and Michigan as "hard core pornography."

      The case was also presented to the U.S. Supreme Court which refused to review the New York decision.  As a result University officials felt the film would probably be in violation of the applicable laws of the state of Indiana.  Once so appraised of the film and the art exhibit, student leaders banned both features from the conference.

      A continuing lack of coordination resulted in the partial showing of “Flaming Creatures” as well as a second unauthorized film, “Kodak Ghost Poems”, before an audience in the Center for Continuing Education.  Members of the Citizens for Decent Literature were among the viewers and the next day filed a complaint with the county prosecutor.  In addition, the CDL group indicated their belief that the movies in question were going to be shown again.

     The county prosecutor stated that it was his duty to obtain a warrant and impound the films.   He notified the University of the impending action but agreed to allow University officials to take every possible action within their power to prevent the screening of the films.  When it became apparent Notre Dame couldn't prevent the showing of the films which were no longer in the possession of the conference planners but in the hands of the movie maker and a group of dissident students, the prosecutor and some two dozen plainclothes deputies appeared on campus.

     Against the orders of the University and student officials, the splinter groups of students and faculty moved to show "Kodak Ghost Poems."  They maintained they had such a right based on academic freedom and the fact that showing the movie on private University property protected them from "outside" police force.

     As the movie was being readied for screening in Nieuwland Science Hall, the prosecutor seized the film.  A tussle ensued.  The plainclothesmen withdrew the film and were subjected to continued physical assault as they attempted to make their way off campus.  The deputies were forced to defend themselves with a chemical disabling agent commonly known as Mace.  They finally succeeded in leaving the University grounds.  No arrests were made.

     Following the incident Father Hesburgh summoned a meeting of the Student Life Council at which a special subcommittee was established to review and ascertain the facts of the entire incident.  The subcommittee is still in the process of hearing testimony but is expected to submit a thorough report of events surrounding the pornography and censorship conference before the end of March.

     In his letter which followed the pornography incident by one week, Father Hesburgh indicated that his statement "does not relate directly to what happened here last weekend, although those events made it seem even more necessary to get this letter written."

Father Hesburgh’s letter:
Dear Notre Dame Faculty and Students:

     This letter has been on my mind for weeks.  It is both time and overtime that it be written.  I have outlined the core of it to the Student Life Council, have discussed the text with the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the Vice Presidents Council, all the Deans of the University, and the Chairmen of the Faculty Senate and the Student Life Council.  This letter does not relate directly to what happened here last weekend, although those events made it seem even more necessary to get this letter written.  I have tried to write calmly, in the wee hours of the morning when at last there is quiet and pause for reflection.            

     My hope is that these ideas will have deep personal resonances in our own community, although the central problem they address exists everywhere in the university world today and, by instant communication, feeds upon itself.  It is not enough to label it the alienation of youth from our society.  God knows there is enough and more than enough in our often non-glorious civilization to be alienated from, be you young, middle-aged, or old.

     The central problem to me is what we do about it and in what manner, if we are interested in healing rather than destroying our world.  Youth especially has much to offer — idealism, generosity, dedication, and service.  The last thing a shaken society needs is more shaking.  The last thing a noisy, turbulent, and disintegrating community needs is more noise, turbulence, and disintegration.  Understanding and analysis of social ills cannot be conducted in a boiler factory.  Compassion has a quiet way of service.  Complicated social mechanisms, out-of-joint, are not adjusted with sledge hammers.

     The university cannot cure all our ills today, but it can make a valiant beginning by bringing all its intellectual and moral powers to bear upon them: all the idealism and generosity of its young people, all the wisdom and intelligence of its oldsters, all the expertise and competence of those who are in their middle years.  But it must do all this as a university does, within its proper style and capability, no longer an ivory tower, but not the Red Cross either.

     Now to the heart of my message.  You recall my letter of November 25, 1968.  It was written after an incident, or happening, if you will.  It seemed best to me at the time not to waste time in personal recriminations or heavy-handed discipline, but to profit from the occasion to invite this whole University community, especially its central Councils of faculty, administration, and students, to declare themselves and to state their convictions regarding protests that were peaceful and those that threatened the life of the community by disrupting the normal operations of the University and infringing upon the rights of others 

      I now have statements from the Academic Council, the Faculty Senate, the Student Life Council, some College Councils, the Alumni Board, and a whole spate of letters from individual faculty members and a few students.  Some of these are enclosed in this letter.  In general, the reaction was practically unanimous that this community recognizes the validity of protest in our day — sometimes even the necessity — regarding the current burning issues of our society: war and peace, especially Vietnam; civil rights, especially of minority groups; the stance of the University vis-a-vis moral issues of great public concern; the operation of the University as university.  There was also practical unanimity that the University could not continue to exist as an open society, dedicated to the discussion of all issues of importance, if protests were of such a nature that the normal operations of the University were in any way impeded, or if the rights of any member of this community were abrogated, peacefully or non-peacefully.  I believe that I now have a clear mandate from this University community to see that:

1) our lines of communication between all segments of the community are kept as open as possible, with all legitimate means of communicating dissent assured, expanded, and protected;
2) civility and rationality are maintained as the most reasonable means of dissent within the academic community; and
3) violation of others' rights or obstruction of the life of the University are outlawed as illegitimate means of dissent in this kind of open society.  Violence was especially deplored as a violation of everything that the University community stands for.

     Now comes my duty of stating, clearly and unequivocally, what happens if.  I'll try to make it as simple as to avoid misunderstanding by anyone.  May I begin by saying that all of this is hypothetical and I personally hope it never happens here at Notre Dame.  But, if it does, anyone or any group that substitutes force for rational persuasion, be it violent or non-violent, will be given fifteen minutes of meditation to cease and desist. They will be told that they are, by their actions going counter to the overwhelming conviction as to what is proper here. If they do not, within that time period cease and desist, they will be asked for their identity cards.  Those who produce these will be suspended from this community as not understanding what this community is.  Those who do not have or will not produce identity cards will be assumed not to be members of the community and will be charged with trespassing and disturbing the peace on private property and treated accordingly by the law.   The judgment regarding the impeding of normal University operations or the violation of the rights of other members of the community will be made by the Dean of Students.  Recourse for certification of this fact for students so accused is to the tripartite Disciplinary Board established by the Student Life Council.  Faculty members have recourse to the procedures outlined in the Faculty Manual.  Judgment of the matter will be delivered within five days following the fact, for justice deferred is justice denied to all concerned.

     After notification of suspension, or trespass in the case of non-community members, if there is not then within five minutes a movement to cease and desist, students will be notified of expulsion from this community and the law will deal with them as non-students.

     Lest there be any possible misunderstanding, it should be noted that law enforcement in this procedure is not directed at students.  They receive academic sanctions in the second instance of recalcitrance and, only after three clear opportunities to remain in student status, if they still insist on resisting the will of the community, are they then expelled and become non-students to be treated as other non-students, or outsiders.

     There seems to be a current myth that university members are not responsible to the law, and that somehow the law is the enemy, particularly those whom society has constituted to uphold and enforce the law.  I would like to insist here that all of us are responsible to the duly constituted laws of this University community and to all of the laws of the land.  There is no other guarantee of civilization versus the jungle or mob rule, here or elsewhere.

     If someone invades your home, do you dialogue with him or call the law?  Without the law, the university is a sitting duck for any small group from outside or inside that wishes to destroy it, to incapacitate it, to terrorize it at whim.  The argument goes — or has gone — invoke the law and you lose the university community.  My only response is that without the law you may well lose the university — and beyond that the larger society that supports it and that is most deeply wounded when law is no longer respected, bringing an end of everyone's most cherished rights.

     I have studied at some length the new politics of confrontation.  The rhythm is simple:

1) find a cause, any cause, silly or not;
2) in the name of the cause, get a few determined people to abuse the rights and privileges of the community so as to force a confrontation at any cost of boorishness or incivility;
3) once this has occurred, justified or not, orderly or not, yell police brutality —  if it does not happen, provoke it by foul language, physical abuse, whatever and then count on a larger measure of sympathy from the up-to-now apathetic or passive members of the community.  Then call for amnesty, the head of the president on a platter, the complete submission to any and all demands.  One beleaguered president has said that these people want to be martyrs thrown to toothless lions.  He added, "Who wants to dialogue when they are going for the jugular vein?"

     So it has gone, and it is generally well orchestrated.  Again, my only question: must it be so?  Must universities be subjected, willy-nilly, to such intimidation and victimization whatever their good will in the matter.  Somewhere a stand must be made.

     I only ask that when the stand is made necessary by those who would destroy the community and basic yearning for great and calm educational opportunity, let them carry the blame and the penalty.  No one wants the forces of law on this or any other campus, but if some necessitate it, as a last and dismal alternative to anarchy and mob tyranny, let them shoulder the blame instead of receiving the sympathy of a community they would hold at bay.   The only alternative I can imagine is turning the majority community loose on them, and then you have two mobs.  I know of no one who would opt for this alternative always lurking in the wings. We can have a thousand resolutions as to what kind of a society we want,
but when lawlessness is afoot, and all authority is flouted, faculty, administration and student, then we invoke the normal societal forces of law or we allow the university to die beneath our hapless and hopeless gaze.

     I have no intention of  presiding over such a spectacle: too many people have given too much of themselves and their lives to this university to let this happen here.  Without being melodramatic, if this conviction makes this my last will and testament to Notre Dame, so be it.

     May I now say in all sincerity that I never want to see any student expelled from this community because, in many ways, this is always an educative failure.  Even so, I must likewise be committed to the survival of the University  community as one of man’s best hopes in these troubled times.   I know of no other way of insuring both ends than to say of every member of this community, faculty and students, that we are ready and prepared and anxious to respond to every intellectual and moral concern in the world today, in every way proper to the University.  At the same time, we cannot allow a small minority to impose their will on the majority who have spoken regarding the University’s style of life; we cannot allow a few to substitute force of any kind for persuasion to accept their personal idea of what is right or proper.  We only insist on the rights of all, minority and majority, the climate of civility and rationality, and a preponderant moral abhorrence of violence or inhuman forms of persuasion that violate our style of life and the nature of the University.  It is, unfortunately, possible to cut oneself off from this community, even though the vast majority of our members would regret seeing it happen.  However, should this occur, the community as a whole has indicated that it will vote and stand for the maintenance of this community's deepest values, since this is the price we all pay for the survival of the University community in the face of anyone and everyone who would destroy or denature it today, for whatever purposes.

     May I now confess that since last November I have been bombarded mightily by the hawks and the doves, almost equally.  I have resisted both and continue to recognize the right to protest —  through every legitimate channel — and to resist as well those who would unthinkingly trifle with the survival of the University as one of the few open societies left to mankind today.  There is no divine assurance that the University will survive as we have known and cherished it — but we do commit ourselves to make the effort and count on this community, in this place, to uphold the efforts that you have inspired by your clear expression of community concern.  Thanks to all who have declared themselves, even to those who have slightly disagreed, but are substantially concerned as well.

     As long as the great majority of this community is concerned and involved in maintaining what it believes deeply to be its identity and commitment, no force within it, however determined or organized, can really destroy it. If any community as a whole does not believe this, or is not committed to it, it does not deserve to survive and it probably will not.  I hope we will.  To this, I commit myself with the presumption that the great majority of you are with me in this concern and commitment.

     I truly believe that we are about to witness a revolution on the part of legislatures, state and national, benefactors, parents, alumni, and the general public for much that is happening in higher education today.  If I read the signs of the times correctly, this may well lead to a suppression of the liberty and autonomy that are the lifeblood of a university community.   It may well lead to a rebirth of fascism, unless we ourselves are ready to take a stand for what is right for us.  History is not consoling in this regard.  We rule ourselves or others rule us, in a way that destroys the university as we have known and loved it.
Devotedly yours in Notre Dame,

(Rev.) Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. President

The following provided by Dave Loes, ’44    Thanks, Dave


PAYMENTS annual or semi-annual          August -- January
Each semester in attendance $975
At time of registration, a deposit of $50 must be made, which is credited toward the above tuition charge.


Education, board, lodging in double room, laundry, haircuts, use of school and athletic facilities; in general the fee covers all routine services.
Textbooks and writing materials are not covered by the general fee. They are sold in the Campion Bookstore on a strictly cash basis and at current prices.
However, at the opening of school, students will be permitted to charge textbooks and immediate necessary supplies.
When all students have been supplied with books, the exact amount of the individual charges will be added to their tuition statements.
After the charges are reported to the Treasurer’s Office, no further charges will be honored at the Bookstore.      
Thereafter students pay cash.
There are small fees for laboratory courses and for certain options.   There may be small variations in these. 

Per Semester
Typing  $12.00 ROTC  $15.00
Reading 90.00 Science 7.50
Driver’s Ed 30.00 Language Lab 3.00
Make all checks, money orders or drafts to


(addressed to Treasurer)


The following are charges for private music lessons:
One thirty-minute lesson per week per semester (all instruments except organ) $40.00
One thirty-minute lesson per week on organ per semester  50.00
Use of organ per semester 10.00
Use of school-owned musical instrument per semester 5.00
NB: - There is no charge for membership in the band.  

If the family does not wish to make the tuition payments in full at the start of each semester, they may make use of theTuition Plan, or the special written agreement.
        Monthly payment of cost at 4%
          A written agreement entered  into by the President of Campion and the parent.


For the number of weeks in attendance refunds are made for students who withdraw from the school before the end o£ a semester as follows:

Two weeks or less 80%
Three weeks or less 70%
Six weeks or less 60%
Eight weeks or less 40%
Ten weeks or less 20%


1 suit for Sunday wear or sport coat and slacks

1 sweater or jacket for daily use

2 pairs of trousers for daily use

2 pairs of trousers for play

1 coat for winter

12 Changes of underwear (heavy if desired)

3 dress shirts (to be worn with a tie)

10 dress shirts  (sports shirts if desired)

4 shirts for play

3 pairs of pajamas

14 pairs of socks

2 caps or hats (must be worn in winter)

2 pairs dress shoes (1 black military style)

1 pair play shoes

1 pair of gym shoes

1 pair of gloves

1 pair galoshes or rubbers

14 handkerchiefs

4 face towels - 4 bath towels

2 laundry bags, plainly marked

1 pair swim trunks-not wool

3 pillow slips (42 x 36 inches)

6 twin-size bed sheets (contour if desired)

1 bathrobe

1 pair of house slippers

1 pair shower clogs

All necessary toilet articles

N.B. There is opportunity for a boy to wear out any old clothes, shoes, or athletic equipment he may have at the time school opens. Hence, all
such articles in good repair should be brought along.
All articles of clothing must be marked with the owner's name on name tapes.
Purchase of clothes is not an adequate excuse for a trip to town.

No charge accounts of any kind.

Vacations during school year:


This from a distraught graduate from the class of 1963.  He identifies himself only as B.B..  However he slips up somewhere within and calls himself ‘Bill’.  There is no one in ’63 with the initials B.B., however, knowing he is Bill sent us searching for ‘W.B.’  We did find one of those, but the detective work ended there.  See if you can figure this out - - -

I want to remain anonymous so I am just B.B. of the class of 1963.  I have a few bones to pick or a beef to square away with your legacy of bad awful memories at that new world order school Campion High School which was undermined and infiltrated by the followers of Eric Weisskoff  and his evil luminoti.  Or as my consultant Jim says they are involved with the 666, mark of the beast and its ensuing eternal damnation should a person die with that on its body.  You Catholics play a good game in cover-up and  lying but by now I have all the proof sufficient to sue in court the Jesuits and the Roman Catholic Church for $50,000,000 to $100,000,000 for getting in the way of progress by having the principal Father Doran come to the gym in October of 1961 and “stare” with his evil eye and cancer spreading dark mole on his face and neck 30 feet away and scare the daylights out of coach Mr. J. P. Peterson, an economics lay teacher into saying “I don't know it's it’s just desire” after me (B.B.) and Steve Green went up to him and demandingly asked him “how do you dunk a basketball”??!!
My mother the other day (mind you I’m in my late fifties now so it's too late) said you would have come a long way in professional basketball or baseball but you had personality problems. (B.S)
What I will sue for won’t be a small hunk of change!  The newspaper said the Roman Catholic Church brings in donations of $8,000,000,000.00 annually.  I have a lowly job collecting aluminum cans and every other salient important pieces of litter in a 50 to 100 foot radius of a site.  This is responsible for the Cubs coming five outs away from  their first pennant in 58 years.  Even at Cub's Park in October of 2003 there was sabotage by Steve B. and another luminati evil eye in the crowd.

That represents 2½ pages of near unreadable scrawling.  There are 9½ more to go but I will not punish myself  further.  There is another 11 page letter.  I am too old to tackle this stuff, but if any one out there from the class of 1963 or other would like a chance to decipher them please let me know and I will gladly forward them to you.

The following is a part of a talk Father Greg Lucey gave at the 30th reunion of the class of 1975 on June 11, 2005.   He used the ’75 speech in part to address the all-class reunion in St. Augustine, FL this spring. This part also appeared in the final CAMPIONETTE

A flood of feelings rise within me as I look through the blooming magnolia tree, across the fresh green of spring and hear the sounds of the young life of Campion in its last days.

To me, Campion has been the goal of my childhood, the cornerstone of my sense of self-worth, the occasion for my friendships, the font of my faith, the source of my ideals, the home of my vocation, the challenge of my manhood, the focus of my ministry, the tap root of my life.  There is in me a fear of the sense of loss I am to know, the rootlessness that may be mine for a time.

Yet I know the institutions of man are finite.  We who are Campion have served well.  But the priorities of our culture, our economy as well as the apostolic concerns of our ministry have changed.   We have faced these realities with honesty, we have evaluated with courage, we have concluded with justice.

We must realize, as one alumnus wrote, "that in the decision to conclude lies the responsibility to begin anew.  From one accomplished task can come the knowledge to begin another, a different role and perhaps with greater purpose."

It is not by default that we close; it is after having made a concerted effort at every level.  It is with deep gratitude for those who have shouldered that effort with us.  It is with a knotting pain for those who feel the hurt and need more time to understand; it is with peace that we live with this decision, knowing it was right and necessary, made with dignity and integrity.  Anything less would be out of step with the tradition we have ended and the tradition we continue to live as we scatter to begin anew.

The Jesuit poet, James Daley wrote:

God guard her in her hilly fold!
God bless her sons, both young and old!
And, Campion, when, our courses run,
We have our last reunion
May all be there to hail thee then,
Mother of men! Mother of men!

Thank you!

Advertisements for Campion

From a 1933 issue of Popular Science

Click here to read the announcement of our 6th annual Florida all-class reunion!
Hope to see a lot of you there.

On the wall of Fred Zenz' science classroom is a mock bumper sticker that reads: "My child is an HONOR STUDENT at the State Correctional Facility."

      "The kids love it," said Zenz, a science teacher at Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution. "They ask if they can send it home."

     Of course, parents are not likely to display such a bumper sticker on their cars, but it does reflect an underlying truth: Students who succeed in prison school sometimes feel as much - or more - pride in their academic accomplishments as students in traditional schools.  And teachers at correctional facilities will tell you they do too.  "A lot of these guys reached the frustration level in education years ago. They've been defeated in school, and we have to build up their self-esteem until they can achieve some successes," said Zenz, who is president of the 12-member teachers' union at the facility.  "Any time someone passes a test or says they learned something today, it's a big reward."

     While the Prairie du Chien Correctional Institution doesn't really have "honor students," it has many students who succeed academically, which usually means they earn their High School Equivalency Degree.  That is the primary goal at Prairie du Chien, which houses just over 300 inmates ages 16 to 22.
Teaching in such a facility presents many unique challenges:

* Nearly all students come in behind academically.  On average, they arrive with a 4th- or 5th-grade reading level. In order to get them in a position to attain their HSED, they first have to raise their reading level. "I'm a science and health teacher, but I really teach reading," Zenz said.  Parental support is typically not a factor.  Because of the nature of the inmate population, every teacher is required to receive special education certification (at his or her own expense). "Everyone needs individualized attention," Zenz said.
* Students come and go quickly, meaning the teachers have to work fast to bring them up to speed. the average stay at PDCCI is 1 to 1-1/2 years.  Every week, eight to ten new inmates leave the institution and are replaced by eight to ten new inmates.  About two-thirds of the inmates attend classes.  New students must pick up wherever the rest of the class is.  If the class is on page 200 of the textbook, that is where the new student begins.  When the textbook is completed, Zenz starts over at the beginning of the book.  Hopefully, a student stays long enough to cover the entire curriculum, which prepares him or her for the HSED test.
* Security issues often interfere with the learning process.  There is little opportunity for hands-on learning or field trips.  Pencils and rulers are carefully guarded and locked up when not in use.  Science projects are virtually non-existent - no weather stations, physics demonstrations or grow lights for plants. "We really rely on videos to get concepts across," Zenz said.  To avoid "fraternization," teachers are not allowed to give individual students anything of value, including a newspaper or book that is not made available to all students.  Despite the nature of the student body, Zenz said there are very few discipline problems, largely because of the severe consequences disruptive students face in a prison setting.
* The pay is low.  Salaries are 11% behind the average K-12 teacher compensation level, and 33% behind state technical college teacher pay.  WEAC council #1, which represents teachers at state institutions, has been working to correct those pay disparities.

     Mike Moore, executive director of the State Professional Education and Information Council (also known as Council #1), said the state would receive a big payback by improving teacher pay and working conditions in its institutions, because that would ultimately make the educational program more successful.

     "Study after study show that the more education inmates complete during their incarceration, the more likely they are to find jobs and become valued and productive members of society," Moore said.  "This leads to tremendous cost savings for Wisconsin taxpayers."  A 1993 study by the Federal Bureau of Prisons found that inmates who successfully completed one or more educational programs for each six months confined had only a 35.5% recidivism rate vs. a 44.1% recidivism rate for those who had not completed any courses.

    Figures like that motivate prison teachers such as Zenz, who put up with low pay and a challenging work environment in hopes of turning young lives around.  "We all take a lot of pride in what we do," he said.


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