Saint Martin's will honor distinguished alums, athletics standouts at Homecoming, Jan. 26-31

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Lacey, Wash. - Saint Martin’s will present its Distinguished Alumni Awardees and newest Athletic Hall of Fame inductees at its 2004 Homecoming celebration Jan. 26-31 on the college campus.

The week of activities will include an honors and awards dinner and dance on Jan. 30 and, honoring the theme of “Martinopoly,” a Monopoly tournament Jan. 28. The week also will be highlighted by basketball games, a bonfire with entertainment, a fun run/walk, scholarship/endowment celebration and many other events.

Receiving 2004 Distinguished Alumni Awards will be:

  • Seattle neurologist Dr. Robert Aigner, Seattle, for professional achievement. Aigner is a 1945 graduate of Saint Martin’s High School, closed in 1974, and a 1949 graduate of Saint Martin’s College.
  • Tacoma automobile dealer Robert P. Mallon, Tacoma, for professional achievement and service to Saint Martin’s. Mallon is a 1951 graduate of the high school.
  • Olympia resident Kathie Gallagher Perz, Olympia, for service to Saint Martin’s. Perz is a 1971 graduate of the college.
  • KGY-Radio host and General Manager Dick Pust, Olympia for professional achievement and community service. Pust is a 1975 graduate of Saint Martin’s.
  • Brother Lawrence Vogel, O.S.B., Lacey, Saint Martin’s Abbey, who will receive the award for Benedictine Service.

Being inducted into the college’s Athletic Hall of Fame inductees are:

  • Basketball player Victor “Skip” Olson, Dallas, Texas, a 1957 graduate of the college.
  • Basketball player Jack Day, Terre Haute, Ind., a 1959 graduate of the college.
  • Women’s basketball coach Ray Peters, Tumwater, who coached the team from 1988-1996.

More information on those being honored follows. Saint Martin’s students also will name their Student Leader of the Year Award and the Homecoming court at the Jan. 30 Homecoming Dinner.

Saturday’s Homecoming doubleheader will pit the Women Saints basketball team against Seattle Pacific University and the Men Saints against University of Alaska-Fairbanks. The games will be at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively, at Saint Martin’s Pavilion.

More details are available by calling 360-438-4366.

Saint Martin’s College
Distinguished Alumni Awards, 2004
Jan. 22, 2004

B. Robert "Ag" Aigner, M.D.
Professional Achievement Award
Seattle, Wash.

Born in Bavaria, Germany, and raised in Hoquiam and Bremerton, Dr. Robert Aigner graduated from Saint Martin's College in 1948, the first step toward an exceptional career as a neurologist.

Aigner, a graduate of St. Louis University School of Medicine, completed his internship and residency at Seattle's Providence Hospital. Following service with the U.S. Air Force, he received a fellowship in neurology at the Mayo Clinic in 1956. In 1960, he began a private practice in Seattle.

A member of numerous national and Northwest medical organizations, he has served as an examiner on the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and presided over the North Pacific Society of Neurology and Psychiatry.

At Providence Medical Center, he served terms as chief of medicine, president-elect of the medical staff, president of the center's hospice advisory board and chief of the department of medicine. He also is a past trustee of the King County Medical Society.

As a member of the Saint Martin’s Board of Trustees and board president, he has given a great deal back to his alma mater, as well.

Aigner said he has warm memories of Saint Martin’s, where he roomed with Tom Gaffney. He particularly remembers playing ping pong with Father Meinrad Gaul, chemistry classes with Father Bede Ernsdorff and basketball games coached by Mike Contris.

Aigner and his wife, Martha Ann, are the parents of five children.


David R. "Dick" Pust
Professional achievement; Community service
Olympia, Wash.

From the time he was a child, KGY-Radio’s Dick Pust wanted to be on the radio. He’s lived out that dream for more than 40 years - with distinction. In 2001, his outstanding professional achievements were honored when he was chosen Washington State Broadcaster of the Year.

Pust, now station manager of Olympia’s KGY-AM, began his career in 1959 as a receptionist and began hosting KGY’s “Morning Show” in 1967.

His show is the state’s longest-running radio program and has been nationally recognized by the National Association of Broadcasters as one of the best radio programs in the nation. In 1997, it was labeled a “legend in broadcasting” in a House resolution honoring KGY’s 75th anniversary.

When Pust decided to pursue a degree, he chose Saint Martin’s, fitting studies around his work schedule. It seems natural that a Saint Martin’s grad would eventually manage the station founded at the school in 1914 by Father Sebastian Ruth. Officially licensed in 1922, KGY is one of the oldest stations in the world. For years, it has been the place the community turns to for local news and information.

Nor is it surprising Saint Martin’s should be one of the many recipients of Pust’s dedicated community service. After taking more than 9 years to graduate, he was attached to the place and the people he found here. The 1975 graduate has performed many volunteer services for the College, including serving as Southwest Washington coordinator on the New Library Campaign’s steering committee.

He also has invested countless hours volunteering for local schools and nonprofit groups.

His many honors include two nominations for Thurston County Citizen of the Year; an award for outstanding service from Community Youth Services; and a Real Hero "Spirit of the Red Cross" Award from the South Sound chapter of the American Red Cross for "his unflinching updates and 12-hour broadcasts for South Sound residents caught up in the Nisqually Earthquake."

Pust and his wife Pam have two grown sons. Son Jeff is a 1986 Saint Martin's graduate.


Robert P. "Bob" Mallon
Professional Achievement; Service to Saint Martin's
Tacoma

As a Saint Martin’s High School student, Bob Mallon took the Benedictine motto - “Ora et Labora” (prayer and work) - to heart. Armed with the motto and a strong belief that each person can make a difference, he has lived a life of unrelenting leadership and service since his graduation in 1951.

A University of Notre Dame graduate, Mallon sandwiched a hitch in the army between stints of working at his father’s Tacoma automobile dealership, Mallon Motors.

By 1961, he was president of the Tacoma Auto Dealers Association; by 1966, president of the Washington State Automobile Dealers Association, the latter, an office he has filled more than once.

As first vice president of the National Automobile Dealers Association, he chaired its industry-relations committee. In 1972, he was elected to the association’s board and is a past chairman. He was instrumental in establishing the National Automobile Dealers Charitable Foundation that has funneled millions of dollars in contributions for private higher education, emergency medical training and economic education. The foundation he chaired for years donated more than $1 million in relief to families directly affected by the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

His community leadership includes a term as director of the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce and chair of the St. Joseph Hospital and Health Care Center board.

Mallon has long been a friend to his alma mater, where his many good works earned him the first Saint Martin’s President’s Medal, conferred in 1971 for outstanding service to the College and community. His years on the Saint Martin’s board and on the New Library Campaign’s steering committee are emblematic of the devotion to the college, as are the Mallons’ generous donations.

Among his many honors are those for Washington Dealer of the Year and the Time magazine Quality Dealer Award.

Mallon and his wife, Roney, are the parents of two children.


Kathie Gallgher Perz
Service to Saint Martin's Award
Olympia, Wash.

For more than two decades, Kathie Perz has been a stalwart supporter of the Saint Martin’s College athletics department.

Although she doesn’t golf, she has long served on the organizing committee of the popular Saint Martin’s College Golf Tournament, which raises money for athletic scholarships. Among her jobs is registering the 200-plus golfers who annually take part in the event. When the annual Saint Martin’s Athletic Auction, a more recent athletic scholarship fundraiser, was initiated, she donated her time to the auction, as well. As a member of the Saint Martin’s Athletic Foundation board, she was instrumental in dissolving the foundation and placing the money at the college’s disposal to initially hire a development officer for athletic fundraising.

Perz, a 1971 graduate and a former alumni relations director at Saint Martin’s, says her volunteerism is a way to show her gratitude for the grant and scholarship aid she received as a student. Her work on behalf of Saints athletics is just as gratefully received.

“Kathie is one of those volunteers who has boundless energy and enthusiasm when it comes to supporting her alma mater,” said Kurt Kageler, director of alumni relations. “She gets involved in something she believes in and gives it 110 percent. She’s like having a paid staff member, but doesn’t charge for her services.”

Perz and her husband Paul are the parents of three children.


Brother Lawrence Vogel, O.S.B.
Benedictine Service Award
Saint Martin’s Abbey, Wash.

Down-to-earth, warm-hearted, friendly, straight-forward. Brother Lawrence Vogel, O.S.B., has been described by all these adjectives.

But perhaps the best word for Brother Lawrence is generous, for he is legendary for his generosity of spirit, time and deed.

“Something I admire about Lawrence more than anything else is all he does for people,” says Father Kilian Malvey, O.S.B. “You can ask him to do anything and he’ll help.”

Those who are elderly, especially retired Saint Martin’s employees, and those in need can count on Brother Lawrence to take them shopping, do errands, shop for them, look after their pets - whatever needs done.

“He’s very faithful to people. He never loses contact with them, especially if they’re needy or need help. He looks after them.”

That caring spirit extends to animals. For many years, Brother Lawrence had a dog on campus and helped with the farm animals that once were part of Saint Martin’s. He was known for his gentleness with four-legged creatures and for his ability to calm those who were frightened or agitated.

Brother Lawrence has held many jobs at Saint Martin’s. For many years, he supervised the mailroom as campus postmaster. He also worked on the maintenance crew. A talented carpenter, he uses his skills to create beautiful items from wood, crafting prayer kneelers, reading stands and shelving for Abbey members or the church.

The extraordinary sense of caring that is so particularly Brother Lawrence’s trademark is the same quality he values most about Saint Martin’s itself.

His able and friendly service earned him Saint Martin’s Father Philip Bagan Award for service in 1990.

Saint Martin’s College
Athletic Hall of Fame honorees, 2004
Jan. 22, 2004

John W. "Jack" Day
Basketball
Terre Haute, Ind.

During the 1950s, before the building of Saint Martin’s Pavilion, basketball was played at the old Armory near downtown Olympia, and shin splints were part of every game, recalls Jack Day (CG59).

“We had a pretty good team at the time,” he says, and despite the shin splints, “We had a good time playing.” He says that the priest were among their biggest fans. “Father Bertrand was really a basketball fan.”

Day led the team in scoring and rebounding in the 1956-57 and 1957-58 seasons, scoring 18.4 points per game and 17.9 points per game, respectively. In 1957-58, he rebounded an average 13.1 times per game and completed 82.6 percent of his free throws, the fifth highest in the nation.

Day graduated in 1959 with a degree in sociology. Eventually hired as a correctional officer at McNeil Island Penitentiary by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons, his career with the federal prison system moved him around the country. He retired as an associate warden in 1985, returning to Olympia as a bailiff and chief security officer for the Washington State Supreme Court until another retirement in 1997.

What he remembers most about Saint Martin’s is the dedication of the College staff and the efforts of the monks: “I felt they were always interested in the students and tried to be helpful as they could.”

He and his wife Judy raised two children and now make their home in Terre Haute, Ind., where Day enjoys watching several of his six grandchildren play basketball.


Ray Peters

Coach, Women Saints Basketball, 1988-96
Tumwater, Wash.

In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, the Lady Saints basketball team became a hot ticket, packing the stands with enthusiastic fans. Led by Head Coach Ray Peters from 1988 to 1996, the teams stacked an impressive record of wins with seven consecutive 20-win seasons and playoff appearances.

Peters was the first Saints coach to lead a team to a national tournament, the 1995 NAIA Tournament, winning the first round of the tournament, one of his best memories. During his eight seasons at Saint Martins, Peters’ teams compiled a 150-win-73-loss record, 68 percent.

In 1996, Peters left Saint Martins for Montana State University - Northern and continued to compile wins: 93, with 34 losses over a three-year period, three national tournaments trips, and, in 1998-99, a team ranking of seventh in the nation in NAI Division 1 women’s basketball. He was recognized as “Conference Coach of the Year” three consecutive times and as “Regional Coach” for the 1998-99 season.

Peters judges his trademark as a coach to be not in terms of wins, losses and athletic prowess, but rather in his players’ social and academic development.

“Wins and losses come and go, but the real gratification comes from seeing people grow,” Peters says.

To be closer to his family, Peters left coaching in 1999 to become deputy executive director for the Squaxin Island Tribe, of which he is a member. He now is executive director, overseeing all aspects of governance for the tribe, now the largest employer in Mason County.


Victor "Skip" Olson

Basketball
Dallas, Texas

“For my size, I was a pretty good player. I had a little bit of jump,” says Victor “Skip” Olson, who lead the Saint Martin’s basketball team in scoring, stolen balls and free throw completion percentage from 1954 to 1956. He was nominated to the Parade Magazine All-Catholic All-American Team and was twice named to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.
The Olympia High School graduate and devoted basketball player recalls playing with much older teammates. “I played varsity ball as a freshman, played ball with a lot of young men from Fort Lewis - men five or six years older in ability and maturity. It was an eye-opening experience.”
Graduating from the college in 1957 with a degree in industrial relations and personnel management, Olson joined the J.C. Penney Corp. as a management trainee. His career with the company took him from Washington to California, New York and Texas. He retired in 1995.

He says of his years at Saint Martin’s: “The love and concern expressed by the monks and teachers strengthened my Christian faith. Father Dunstan’s philosophy studies introduced me to a world that continues to fascinate me.”

He and his wife, Barbara, have three children and two grandchildren.

For more information:
Kurt Kageler, director
Alumni relations
360-438-4583 or kkageler@stmartin.edu

Deanna Partlow, media relations coordinator
Saint Martin’s Office of Communication
360-438-4541 or dpartlow@stmartin.edu