The first Campionette, the student newsletter, was published 106 years ago, on November 11, 1917. The first editor of the Campionette was Tom O'Connor, class of 1920. The last official issue was the one announcing the closing of the school in May 1975. Over the years, various classes have published special editions for their class reunions, some of which have been pretty extravagant.
The Campion Forever Newsletter was first published by Aaron Huguenard, class of 1947, in 2000 as a means for alumni and faculty to keep in touch and share life experiences.
We've been trying to get memoirs from retired and not-so-retired Campion Jebbies for our newsletter for quite some time. We don't care if the memoirs are about when they went to Campion, taught at Campion, or just what they've done since leaving Campion. We just want to hear something from our mentors in the first person; perhaps words of wisdom learned while IHS; typically, we only get third-person accounts post mortem. Not to lay all the blame on the Jebbies, but why can't we get memoirs from more alumni, or what they've done since leaving Campion? Where are all those other authors and editors of the old 'ette"?
While it has been a task getting people to submit articles, there are a few dedicated alumni and Jebbies who do regularly provide ideas for articles. This is a good thing; otherwise, I would have to conjure the 'Ghost of Joe Campion' for ideas more than I care to.
Tom Olson '72
From Fr. Ed Vacek, SJ
Tom and all, Peace
Who would'a thunk that a Jesuit would still be in contact with Campion members some 50+ years later. Thanks, Tom, for keeping us connected.
I have great memories from my two years there as a Jesuit scholastic. I lived in the Freshman dorm, and I tried to keep Fr. Aspenleiter at peace. It was the time of the cultural revolution in the world, and he was not happy with the changes. Like many older Jebs, Vatican II came as a shock. After 400 years in which the Church proclaimed that it had never changed and it could never change, it did change and dramatically. All over the world, people were protesting the "old ways."
At Campion I taught Math and French. The Jesuit can-do spirit led me to the task of teaching French. Since I did not know any French at the time, I spent the summer in French Canada. I remember vividly and with great embarrassment my first class teaching French that Fall at Campion. I started teaching the students how to pronounce the various French words. One of the students raised his hand, and he said that the way I was pronouncing the French was not the way he learned French in grade school. I wanted to say, "Shut up and sit down," but I knew that the odds were highly in his favor that he had learned French far better than I. So I nodded my head, acknowledging that he might be right, although I did not know enough of French even to say that. The Jesuit practice for scholastics in those years was, sometimes, to keep one step ahead of your students. And so I did. That year taught me French, which came in handy when a few years later I did a Masters' thesis on Teilhard deChardin. He had been a revolutionary in his spiritual and theological writings. He profoundly changed my theology, which has more than once has gotten me in trouble with the Vatican. But that's a later story. ...... And, we now have a Jesuit pope.
At 81, I will retire this Spring from teaching Christian Ethics. As you may know, the Jesuit tradition is that we can never retire until we die. So I do what I can do as a priest and I am trying to write a book on how Love changes ethics. Enough! I will pray for you all.
Fr. Ed Vacek SJ
From Ghost of Joe Campion
From Richard Bergstrom '68
This past weekend [EDITOR: in March 2023] I enjoyed my sixth annual 3-day/night silent retreat at the Jesuit Retreat House in Oshkosh Wisconsin. Lo and behold, our groups retreat master was my Campion Jesuit High School Freshman English teacher. At that time, he was a Jesuit Scholastic named " Mr. Leonhardt". My recollection is that he was kind of a disciplinarian,- but also a very good English teacher. He did a wonderful job as our groups retreat master and I enjoyed catching up with him on some old Campion memories at the end of our retreat. Thought you might enjoy the attached picture of me and Father Leonhardt.
Father Leonhardt was assigned to Campion from 1963-1966. After Campion, he had many assignments in Jesuit Catholic School education programs, including serving as principal at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee for an extended period of years. While somewhat retired now, he continues to serve in alumni relations and Catholic ministry work at Marquette High School in Milwaukee. He continues to periodically lead retreats throughout the country at Jesuit facilities and does a great job of it in my opinion.
Thank you for your continuing efforts with the Campion Alumni Newsletter.
Dick Bergstrom, Class of 1968
From Lawrence University
Honorary degree to John F. Bergstrom, '64 CJHS
Lawrence University 2023 Commencement
Bergstrom Corporation, based in Neenah, operates more than 30 automotive dealership locations across Wisconsin. Glassdoor named Bergstrom in 2020 as one of the Top 25 Large Company CEOs in the United States based on employee loyalty and feedback. In 2019, he was recognized as one of the Top 100 Fortune 500 public company board members by the National Association of Corporate Directors.
Bergstrom’s philanthropy and civic leadership in the Fox Valley have also been impressive. He has provided leadership and contributed funding for numerous community projects, ranging from the building of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in downtown Appleton to development of the outdoor skating rink in downtown Neenah.
Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University.
From John Stapleton '72
After graduating from Campion in 1972, I spent a year at Creighton and was able to hitchhike to Campion a couple of times during 1973. I spent the 1974-75 working at Omaha's airport as security (was able to spend a year with my dad as he attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha). Since then, here are the highlights:
1974 - Moved with the family to Copperas Cove, TX and continued my education at Central Texas College. Received my CC (Computer operations) and AAS (Computer Science).
1977 - Received my BS in Computer Science from American Technological University and moved to Houston for my first computing job at a startup computer company. After the company wanted more than 80 hours a week for no financial compensation, I moved to Austin.
1977-1990 - Enjoyed Austin Texas. Finally, was able to get a job at McDonalds. Received my Black Belt (1986) in a traditional Korean Martial Art and was the Director of Education overseeing the testing and standardization of the art before moving back to Colorado.
1990-1997 - Worked multiple jobs in Colorado and enjoyed my time. Even got to do some stick time (and aerobatics) in a 1943 Stearman Naval Trainer to include a 6-week barnstorming trip with my dad through the Midwest. Ended up with over 500 hours. Spent several months in Seoul, Korea training others and learning more of martial arts.
1996-1998 - Received my MBA from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs while working at McDonalds (hard habit to break), the grade school that I graduated from before attending Campion and at a golf course. Yes, all at the same time.
1997-2000 - Moved to full time at the golf course and went up through the ranks to become a teaching professional and assistant manager.
2000 - Had an aortic (heart) aneurysm on the ascending aorta. Spent 5 weeks in the hospital, lost 60 pounds to include muscle mass. Everything that could go wrong, did, but it went wrong in the proper order. Dad came out of my room one day and said he knew I would be okay because I was giving the cardiologist and surgeon golf tips from the hospital bed. Since then, I have had multiple operations to include the insertion of a trachea tube in July 2000. Yep...Still have it. And a rebuilding of the throat.
2003 - After discussions and a reduction in force, I was asked to move to the Child and Youth Services Division to maintain my working with the military. I continued my teaching, but this time, in database, management and financial theories.
2007 - Dad passed away and I inherited my current project (see photo). I miss him every single day.
2003-2020 - Continued working for the Depart of the Army. I retired after just over 25 years of service. I've taken up competitive walking. I've done several ½ marathons, but now it's mostly 10-5K races.
2020-2023 - Joined the Model 'A' Club and working on their website. Was VP, then President and now Past President of the club. Dealing with home repairs and learning things I never even thought existed.
Still golfing and enjoying the family life. Now, time is spent with driving mom around to do her shopping (she'll turn 93 this year) and trying to keep the 1929 Model "A" in working order. My little brother (who mom was pregnant with our senior year at Campion) turns 51 in a few weeks. So, planning a trip to visit.
From Paul McCullough '70
JOYCE KILMER'S CHURCH AND OTHER HOUSES
Recently, after returning to work with The NYC Health Department (still dealing with a large amount of personnel burn-out from the COVID pandemic), I passed by The Church of The Holy Innocents at 38th St and Broadway, where poet Joyce Kilmer visited nearly every day from 1912 until his departure to France in November 1917. During this time Kilmer worked at The New York Times (B’way and 42nd St). Opened in 1868, the church was heavily frequented by workers from the garment district as well actors/stage crew from the Times Square theater district. Playwright Eugene O’Neill was baptized here in 1888. What is also interesting is that, to this day, a large number of the Masses (daily and Sunday) are in Latin using the 1962 Tridentine rite, the priest says the Mass with his back to the congregation, and there is no altar facing forward. In other words, it is like attending Mass before 1965.
(video shot at the absolute height of the COVID crisis in NYC…..silence. More videos at their website.)
In a letter to Campion’s Father James J Daly, Kilmer writes of his visits there; that, after converting from the Episcopalian faith in 1913, he "believed in the Catholic position, the Catholic view of ethics and aesthetics, for a long time," and he "wanted something not intellectual, some conviction not mental – in fact I wanted Faith." Kilmer would stop "every morning for months" on his way "to the office and prayed for faith," claiming that when "faith did come, it came, I think, by way of my little paralyzed daughter. Her lifeless hands led me; I think her tiny feet know beautiful paths. You understand this and it gives me a selfish pleasure to write it down." (His daughter, Rose, contracted polio soon after birth, affecting her arms and legs, and passing at age 5 in 1918).
Joyce Kilmer, in brief: b. 1886 New Brunswick NJ (house pictured below), youngest of four children born to writer/composer Annie Kilburn and physician/chemist Dr. Frederick B. Kilmer, inventor of what would become Johnson’s Baby Powder; high school Rutgers Prep, two years at Rutgers college (University) followed by two years Columbia University with a B.A. 1908. High school Latin teacher Morristown NJ High School 1908 (already submitting articles to The Nation, Literary Digest, Town & Country, and The New York Times), employee at Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary 1909 - getting paid five cents per each word defined and published in The Standard Dictionary…..it seemed he was so efficient at this that F&W’s had to negotiate a standard annual salary for him, and it was while doing this work that his correspondence with Fr Daly began; first book published 1911 (a total of four, in addition to his poems and articles, would be completed before leaving for France); writer for The New York Times Review Of Books and The New York Times Sunday Magazine 1912;
converted from the Episcopalian faith to Catholicism 1913;
“Trees” 1913; stump speaker/lecturer across America, especially with Catholic audiences 1914-1917; poetry editor, Current Literature 1915, enlisted US Army Fighting 69th Rainbow Division 1917 — declined promotion to officer, preferring to remain a sergeant.
The Campion library bearing his name would come approximately twenty years later, funded by an inheritance from the Kilmer family.
Joyce Kilmer’s birthplace and home are preserved in New Brunswick NJ, near downtown located between State Theater New Jersey (a popular music venue) and The Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center. The attached YouTube shows images of the house and a young Joyce, as well as a narrative taken from his mother’s letters which is poignant, even painful to listen to. One is left with the impression of what a sensitive person Joyce Kilmer was.
Joyce Kilmer, wife Aileen and his five children lived in Mahwah NJ (Airmount Road), near the NJ-NY border) from 1912 to 1918. Living in Ridgewood NJ, I have always wondered how he got to his office in Times Square, doing the same daily commute to midtown myself. There were no Holland or Lincoln Tunnels or George Washington Bridge back then; Penn Station opened in 1910, but the the transfer point (Secaucus) for train travelers from northern NJ wishing to enter through there was still nearly 100 years away. I suspect that after a train ride, likely on the Erie Railroad, he took a ferry from Weehawkin or Hoboken NJ (It’s still remains rather tedious commute, even with the Secaucus Transfer.)
While “Trees” and “The Rouge Bouquet” remain well known, I enjoy “The House With Nobody In It”, partly because it is set in Suffern NY (historians claim to know the house to be on the Franklin Turnpike (now restored)), another Joyce Kilmer connected town I know very well:
1. The Church Of The Holy Innocents, NYC
2. New York Times building during Joyce Kilmer’s time.
3. Joyce Kilmer in Mahwah NJ
4. Joyce Kilmer birthplace and childhood home, New Brunswick NJ
5-6. Joyce Kilmer home, Mahwah NJ
7. iPhone map showing distance Mahwah (top) to Manhattan (bottom)
Paul McCullought '70
From Dan Lipke '72
PdC Flood of 2023
Reminescent of the 1965 flood
Feel free to put these photos out to any/all Campion Classmates of the Spring of 2023 Flood in Prairie du Chien. The Dousman House on the Riverfront along with two of the Campion Golf course below Hoffman Hall. Jim Behrendt could never drive a golf ball over these water hazards.
Class of 1972
Fr. McAuliff's Huge Catch Fish
Tom, Dan was given the attached photo by Mike Valley, a commercial fisherman, who owns and operates Valley Fish and Cheese here in PdC. I don’t have the history of the photo other than what is printed on the back which states that it is Father McAuliff, Campion 1955. I can only assume that he may have gone out fishing with Mike’s father, who was also a commercial fisherman and brought this large catfish in from a fishing expedition on the Mississippi River near here. Thought you might be interested in having either for your own collection of memorabilia or for use in your next newsletter or for posting on Facebook. If not, no problem.
From Tom Olson '72
Hmm! Exorcism movies again! Really?
Apparently, the latest movie about a Catholic exorcist is "The Pope's Exorcist", starring Russell Crowe. If you are interested, you can read the review at
This movie implies that the Catholic Church had a priest who performed tens of thousands of exorcisms around 1987. Hmm! Well, I suppose that could be. But what we remember is that it was extremely rare that the Pope would authorize anybody to do any exorcism. So, personally, I think this guy was a roque.
In fact, our own Fr. Bowdern, S.J., and our beloved Fr. Halloran, S.J., were thought to have performed the "Only Roman Catholic Sanctioned Exorcism" back in 1949.
[Recap from previous days] While it is interesting that Fr. Walt Halloran and Fr. Bowdern were involved in an exorcism in St. Louis; alumni of Campion JHS more fondly remember him for his and Fr. Bowdern's relationship with our alma mater.
Fr. Bowdern was rector of the school from 1937–1942, and Fr. Halloran graduated in 1939. That is their real connection!
Fr. Halloran attended Campion, played sports there, taught there, coached there, loved the place and the people, and left his mark on so many of us. He'd come to our reunions, and we would visit him when in the area.
Campion was a great place in its day. And those of us who went there are bonded in a way hard to imagine by others. It is sad for us when one of ours passes on because we are all that is left of that place, rich in history, with spectacular graduates and awesome teachers and coaches. Fr. Walt Halloran is considered one of the good guys, a great alumni, teacher, and best friend to all.
Tom Olson '72
Campion Lives Forever
From Pat Mower '64
Fr. Halloran was the last remaining person to be at the exorcism. It was he who William Blatty interviewed and worked with to bring the movie to fruition. In 2000 [EDITOR: 2002], I talked with Walt about the exorcism. In his words, "I don't care what anyone thinks; it is up to the individual to determine what they believe to be true. I think it was an exorcism".
One thing that no one remembers is that from 1937 to 1943, William Bowdern, rector of Campion, was at our school. He befriended Walt while Walt was a student at Campion, and later became his mentor. He and Walt have a very close relationship, and he chose Walt, then a scholastic, to drive him to the exorcism, and thus Fr. Halloran became involved in it. Part of his duties were to get the boy to exercise, and he told me that at one point, they were near a bluff. The boy, probably under the influence of whatever you believe, ran to the bluff to more than likely throw himself over. Walt saved him.
You do know that in 1963, Halloran left Campion and got permission to join the US Army. He became a paratrooper at the age of 45. He received two bronze stars for his duty and action in Vietnam and is only one of four chaplains to have ever jumped into combat with the troops.
He is someone to be justifiably proud of.
Pat Mower '64
From Lou Chiara '65
Fr. Walt Halloran and the Exorcism
Fr. Halloran was present at the events until two weeks before the entity "left" the 13 year old boy. A reason I found the book so creepy is because Fr Halloran proof read the book. To me this corroborates what is written in that book which is creepy beyond what an imagination could create. I encourage you to read the book which you could buy on Amazon for perhaps ten bucks.
That kid broke Fr Walt's nose during a session. With a bed spring he seriously slashed an arm of the lay priest who originally attempted to treat the kid back on the East Coast, before he went to St Louis for "treatment."
Fr Halloran was my Campion religion teacher during my first semester of Soph year. Fr Aspenliter was my Campion religion teacher during my frosh year at Campion. He warned us to avoid Ouija boards. The kid was playing with one with his aunt when he became "possessed." I have had credible friends who have described creepy experiences with these boards.
I recently returned from the Mayan Riviera where my son was on his senior high school trip with hundreds of other students and parents. My wife and I attended Sunday Mass at the resort. The priest informed us that his papal assignment was to perform exorcisms in Mexico where the drug cartels have had free reign, wreaking extreme violence. Some have returned to the pagan worship of the Aztecs and Mayans. He warned us repeatedly not to accept invitations to attend these events.
As you know, even Cortez, who was himself a violent man, was abhorred when he witnessed the mass murders at Aztec religious events. Hundreds might be "sacrificed" in a day. Montezuma sacrificed a small boy every morning because he believed that the sun could not rise otherwise. Read the book, "Cortez" for a full account of his conquest of the Aztecs.
I read the book, Possessed, in order to present a synopsis for my classmates. I read much of the book before I put it away.. I did write a brief synopsis which has remained on my computer draft file for over two years now because it is just too gruesome to pass along, for obvious reasons. If Fr Halloran confirmed the facts that were contained in the diary of the Jesuit who attended the events, I can not doubt that these facts are true.
Addendum: The exorcism in St Louis was performed in a room in the Alexian Brother's hospital. When it was over the room was closed for decades. Eventually it was determined the hospital would be demolished and rebuilt. The room was opened in order to remove the furniture. A construction worker found the diary in a drawer. He gave it to his boss who turned it over to the hospital administrator. He recognized Fr Halloran's name because his daughter had taken a class from him at St Louis U. He turned it over to Father Halloran. The author of the diary,, a Jesuit who had taught at Campion, wrote it and one copy. The original was turned over to the local bishop to be used as a reference for future exorcisms, should one occur.
You read the book and let me know what you think. Lou
From Ghost of Joe Campion
Rev. Bowdern, S.J.
Fr. Halloran, S.J.
Tom Olson and Pat Mower visit with Fr. Halloran, August 2002
All-Class Reunions 2023
PdC Reunion Report by John Dudek '65
On the left: Sandlebacks - On the right: Dudeks
At the River District Hotel in Prairie du Chien after the golf outing.
Homes in the area near the river still have sandbags in place from the recent flood.
Eerie memories from the 1965 flood.
Interesting that there were no golfers from the classes of 1964, 1966, 1974 or 1975.
And we had a new fleet of golf carts!
All-class Chicago Reunion by John Kowalczyk '65
My wife and I were the only '65 people among the 85 folks who partook of the All-Class Reunion Dinner Cruise on the Chicago River last evening. We experienced a lovely two-hour ride with live music, good food, and free beer and wine. Met grads from '55, '71 and '75, but there were several other classes also represented. At the end we all got "goodie" bags with Campion tees, hats and coffee mugs. We live about 20 blocks North of the boat dock, and rode city busses to and from the event. Most of the people arrived in two large chartered busses from their hotels. We talked with folks who took trains to and from, and others who parked South of the river and walked across the Michigan Ave bridge. At no time did we see, hear or even feel anything unsafe, let alone violent.
They expected 135 people for Mass and dinner, and for Sunday brunch 85 people. The Jesuits Midwest guys organized a nice weekend.
Glenview mini-reunion by John Kowalczyk '65
Photo of Lunch June 9, 2023. We met at Hackley’s on Harms Road, Glennview. left to to right: Cowhey, Batorski, Clancy, Corbett, Chris Wagner ‘66, Kowalczyk, Dudek. We solved the world’ political problems, and came close to curing all of our ailments.
From the Desk Of John Duskey '63
There was a very successful all-class reunion in Chicago on June 9-10, attended by a large group of alumni and friends, mostly from the 1970s. About 150 people attended the Saturday evening Mass at Holy Family Church and a similar number at the banquet afterwards. Most of the former Campion students were from the 1970s, with only a few from the 1950s and 1960s. A surprising number were from the classes of 76-77-78, i.e., those who were students when the school closed, but did not graduate from Campion. But it was good that all alumni were invited. In my case, I can honestly say that I was made to feel welcome. It was good to break down any perceived ‘dividing wall’ between classes.
It was interesting to hear them talk about student life during their times, as it was so different from our experiences in the late 1950s and early 1960s. We had common experiences with only a few teachers. The Jesuit scholastics and even the priests we knew were mostly gone by the 1970s. At times, I felt that I was attending the reunion of a different school.
In many ways, after the “Big Change’ of 1966, Campion did become a very different school. Campion, as it existed in the early sixties, had some weaknesses in the classroom curriculum, which were more than made up for by the rigid curriculum outside the classroom. Many of those classroom curriculum weaknesses were corrected after 1966, and those that remained were not easily corrected, as they were common problems to many schools in that era.
The later version of Campion, with some upgrades to the classroom curriculum, had fewer restrictions on student life outside the classroom. The Knight yearbooks give an interesting view about all this. The earlier yearbooks make it clear who was teaching what, and who participated in the many activities that enhanced the learning experience, e.g., Sodality, Debate team, Knight yearbook, Campionette, Masquers, Athletics and Band. Later yearbooks had many photographs, but fewer words to describe student life.
I want to make it clear that criticism of the curriculum does not imply criticism of the teachers. I think I could honestly say that our teachers, Jesuit and lay, did the best they could, given their experience, knowledge and ability. In nearly all cases they enabled successful learning experiences. This pertains to both their work in the classroom and their work in educational activities outside the classroom. All the faculty deserve our thanks and appreciation.
The person primarily responsible for the curriculum is the principal, in our case, Fr. William Doran. For several years, he operated under some financial constraints, but eventually was able to make substantial improvements.
As regards Mathematics, the field is well-defined and I have heard few complaints. The one notable deficiency was in senior year, when we studied Trigonometry and Solid Geometry. There was no Calculus, even the honors section. Fr. Edward Hipschen had been on the Campion faculty since 1939, and had taught history and math, and served one year as assistant principal. He was the best teacher available at the time, and he taught senior math. In later years, with additions to the faculty, Calculus was offered.
The Science curriculum was a weak area. There was no biology and the physics class, taught to juniors, was really an introductory science class. It was very popular among the students as the demonstrations caught their interest and the explanations given by Fr. John Scott were easy to understand. Eventually this course became a freshman general science class, and the school hired Mr. Vern Gunderson to teach Physics. For several years, Chemistry was taught to seniors by different lay teachers and Jesuits, but, fortunately, in fall 1962, Mr. Maurice Oehler was hired and provided an excellent program of instruction. He stayed at Campion until 1971.
There is a general problem about the study of science that is by no means unique to Campion. People tend to believe that science is a collection of knowledge that has been determined by scientists of various types, and, once determined, is correct and can never change. This seems to be the case, as far as most subjects go during high school. However, in college level and graduate work it becomes clear that science is a continuously evolving field, as research continues and doubts can be clarified. The Master’s thesis I wrote on strain-aging in rutile (titanium dioxide) in 1971 represented what we knew at that time. Further work on that same subject may show my thesis to be obsolete. There are continual changes in the fields of biology and medicine, as further research is going on all the time. What appears to be true today might be disproven soon afterward. Also, beware of research that is funded for the purpose of proving a pre-determined outcome. Funding agencies can make things seem true.
Social Studies occupied limited time/space in the curriculum. There was a course called Western Civilization, taught to freshman by Fr. Francis Aspenleiter, who was on the Campion faculty 1949-1970. He was the author of the textbook, first published in 1951, which centered on European history. In his later years at Campion, Fr. Aspenleiter shifted his attention to the teaching of religion, and other faculty took over the teaching of History. The other course which was taken by all sophomores was United States History, which was usually taught by one of the Jesuit scholastics. Students who had been placed in a track that only required two years of math, took additional courses in history and economics. In fall 1962, Fr. Doran initiated a change so that all seniors would take one semester of Sociology, which was taught by Fr. Thomas Hoffman. This was good. With increased social consciousness on the horizon, we knew that more changes would be coming.
Half of the students took four years of Latin and half took only two years, with the addition of two years of Spanish. In addition, students in “A” class were offered the opportunity to take Greek (and most of them did). Some students met outside of the regular classroom time to study French. There were some great Jesuit teachers who taught Latin and Greek: Fr. Zachman, Fr. Poeckes, Mr. Wambach and Mr. Teske. But scholastics were limited to a three year term of service, and not every newly assigned scholastic would be able to teach the subject well. As far as the Latin content goes, Sophomores studied Julius Caesar, Juniors studied Cicero, and Seniors studied Virgil’s Aeneid. Greek students studied the works of Homer. The school had either a Jesuit scholastic or a layman to teach Spanish.
English was taught in all four years, with a series of books on grammar/writing and the Fr. Maline/St. Thomas More series on Prose and Poetry. There was considerable emphasis on grammar/writing in the first two years, and a greater emphasis on Prose and Poetry in the last two years. This is reasonable, given the context of the school and the schedules of both teachers and students. Scholastics had prefecting assignments for chapel, meal time, athletics, and study halls, which filled their workdays. There wasn’t a whole lot of time to read and grade lengthy essays, if such writing assignments had been given to the students. So, the study of Rhetoric and composition tended to take a back seat. When I arrived at Marquette University in fall 1963, I took a course in Rhetoric and Composition; it was a great learning experience.
To be sure, Campion offered opportunities for the aspiring writer, particularly in campus publications. The art of argumentation could be studied by joining the debate team. But it was impossible to offer those opportunities to every student. And not every student would be able to take on additional work in his spare time. It seemed that every possible moment, inside and outside the classroom, was filled with good learning opportunities.
The purpose of an education is not to memorize a whole lot of information; it is to learn how to think. Whatever we study, we should have that goal in mind. Students should enhance their ability to think about several topics that will be useful to them in later life. This includes social issues, the use of technology and math and science, and even about sentence structure when we put our thoughts in writing. We did not study philosophy at Campion, though I’m sure if we had the time, we could have. Students usually encounter Plato, Aristotle, and the others after they arrive at college. Plato raises some important questions about curriculum. After my undergraduate work at Marquette, I questioned the value of studying poetry, and my statement eventually found its way to a poet. (And he seemed to share it with just about everybody.) The poet’s answer: Imagination. I have previously quoted Leonard Nimoy’s statement that creativity can be learned if the mind is free. The project for all students is to learn more, because in greater experience and greater knowledge, we gain freedom.
I recently read and watched three film versions of the Thornton Wilder (1938) classic “Our Town,” It was set in the early 20th century and exposed racial and religious prejudice in the town. I found it interesting that the narrator cited two elements of the senior year curriculum, Cicero and Solid Geometry. You may recall that the final act of that play featured nothing but the dead and dying back in “Our Town.” Eventually, we will all die, but it is particularly tragic for those who die young. The narrator points out, when young people die, there is a lot of education gone to waste. If we are fortunate enough to live a long life, we should be able to spend many years making good use of the education we receive.
Clem J. Steele, 2023-06-09, Teacher of Math, Asst. Coach Basketball, JV Football Coach 1968-1973.
Rev. Joseph F. Eagan, S.J., 2022-12-20, Teacher of English, Religion 1955-1962.
Lawrence R. Reuter, 2022-10-23, Scholastic, Teacher of Latin, Speech, 1952-1955
Coach Clem Massey 2022-08-07. Teacher of History and Social Studies. Basketball and Wrestling Coach. 1966-69
Fr. Patrick L. Murphy, S.J., 2022-05-24, Scholastic: Teacher of English and Social Studies 1966 and 1972-74.
Fr. Gregory F. Lucey, S.J., 2021-09-30, Scholastic: Teacher of Latin, Sodality 1959-61; Priest: Principal 1969-70, President 1970-75, Rector 1973-75.
Lieselotte "Lu" Patnode, 2021-09-09. She married Donald Kenneth Patnode in Manheim, Germany on April 11, 1947. She followed Don to Prairie du Chien for his position at Campion Jesuit High School as the head of the ROTC program. Together they raised their family in the Prairie du Chien...
Fr. Philip Dreckman, S.J., 2021-03-25, Teacher of History 1966-1975
Doris M. Buening, 2021-02-10, Secretary 19??-19??
Fr. Eugene Dutkiewicz, S.J., 2021-01-24, Scholastic: Teacher of Chemistry 1957-58; Priest: Teacher of Math 1963-69, Asst. Principal 1965-69