President’s Dinner 2018 – Rob Jensen ’80 Speech


I I think this is quite customary, but Mike asked if I could spend 45 minutes describing how I got here. But since we’re supposed to be having a glass of wine in about three minutes, I’ll keep it at two and a half. This is a very special year for myself and my family Where’s Ed and Michelle? Ah, they’re back there So about 25 years ago in a small Sunnyvale garage across the street from Ed and Michelle We started a little a little fun thing called home winemaking and here we are 25 years later Standing on this stage and I think it was because Ed would come over. No actually he was at work Michelle we come over and help us with grapes in the garage But 30 years ago I had the great great privilege to marry my best friend, my business partner, the mother of my children Diana. I love you Thank you for for being here sticking with me But 50 years ago, I became a member of the Holy Cross family you may want Quite that old. Well, actually my sister Sue sue Kruger I think a lot of you know her She was in the class last graduating class of Holy Cross and she started at Holy Cross in 1968 And I remember as a 6 year old so excited that my big sister came home and her high school uniform, and Holy Cross, and Miramonte and Mountain View, this is so exciting And that was 50 years ago when I was a 6 year old and and and that’s led to here. I want to share two very short stories a Version of which each and every one of you even either heard or will have as being part of the Saint Francis community. The first one was, as a freshman at Santa Clara, yes, go Broncos Who’s a Bronco out there? Like a half of you? I’ll buy you a drink later But as a freshman there I was on the cycling team I grew up in Palo Alto as a bicycle racer while I was in high school and I was on the cycling team and as a introductory type of a thing we all went to a sporting event that the first couple of weeks of school and I was chatting with a gentleman who a public high school and Another student went to a public high school in San Jose and he stopped after talking for four or five minutes He said so where did you transfer from? And I thought that’s a very odd term to use with a freshman and I said, oh no I didn’t transfer I just graduate from Saint Francis High School and I’m a freshman. This is my second week in college He goes, oh that makes total sense. What what does that mean? He said oh well most kids from other schools take a year two sometimes three years to get comfortable in college, but every kid I’ve ever met from Saint Francis It’s as if they’ve already been in college for two or three years and I still get a chill when I tell that story because it was such a sense of pride of the preparation that that the staff and the teachers and everybody at Saint Francis gave, but actually college wasn’t that hard I mean because of that preparation So, but for those of you who have have students and worried about college if they’re here you’re in great shape The second story, and Mike already shared quite a bit of it in the video But what he didn’t share was that that evening was at the Saint Francis Christmas At Our House, when our son was in 2nd grade at St. Simon’s and My sister Sue who’s 8 years older than me, her kids were already at Saint Francis. She says, you know Saint Francis is not the easiest school to get into. Yeah, we all went here and so forth But it’s a tough tough school to get into so the best way to get in is you start showing up at events You start making your face known You need to find this guy Mike Speckman and get on his good side He’s the director admissions So we started going to events. I learned Mike Speckman likes wine. I’m a shoo-in, this is great So Mike Speckman, you know, he’s got wine on the side This is good. And then he ended up being in institutional advancement. But that at that event and subsequent events Diana who who went to public school in Oregon, She just couldn’t really wrap her brain around why is this guy so thrilled with his high school? It’s like when the kids are born like why is he buying them a brown blanket and gold booties? It’s just it’s and then and then he started meeting they were patty and Kevin and Len and Bill and Chris and Margaret and Barry and on and on No, I mean, you know I could spend you forever telling you all the names and Finally after a couple of long conversations with Bill Delaney and then Christensen who were both coaches of mine She’s just said on the drive home. She says, you know, I get it now. I said, what do you mean? Oh I get why Saint Francis is so special. It’s not about the cool campus and the football stadium It’s just as what has been said here you earlier by Katie, you know, it’s it’s the people, you know It’s educating the hearts and minds, it’s the staff. It’s the community It’s every one of you for being here and supporting this great school So even when I was fighting with Myron, you know and the finance committee meetings, you know It’s all for the good of the students. It’s all you know all to make things things special so I want to thank you for the privilege of being here, of being part of this great community and I’ll just end on when When Mike actually gave a call and said hey Holly and Father Tony and I we actually want to tell you something all right Can we get together for lunch? I said that’s funny. I want to tell you something, too So a couple months ago we met for lunch on Castro Street downtown Mountain View and Mike said well, what do you want to you tell us. I said well, why don’t let you guys go first they said So well, you know we have this Heritage Award thing and We think we’d like you to be honored with us And I said we guys drinking when you were doing the vote because if you were, it was probably my wine so so I was actually You know Speechless, which doesn’t happen too often And we were so thankful and honored, and then Mike said, so what you want to tell us? I said, well, I was actually going to tell you that we were gonna stop donating wine, but I guess this isn’t a good time So we changed our mind. Wine’s on us tonight. Thank you very much.

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