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The Loyola Guild

The Loyola Guild began in October 1925 for mothers of sons who attended either St. Ignatius High School or College (though wives of graduates and lay professors could join as well). According to the 1925 Ignatian, the group existed to "foster a deeper acquaintance with all in touch with St. Ignatius College, and to cooperate with its officers to the effect that faculty and parents may work in harmony for the best interests of the school and students." They held a monthly meeting followed by a concert or a lecture and raised money in all sorts of ways to help the Jesuits. During the Depression they held a bake sale to help the school pay its electrical bill. One year, the mothers raised enough money to buy uniforms for the college band. "Back in the 1920s, these mothers had a great love for the Jesuits and their mission, just as we still have today," said Guild President Connie Mack.

At its peak, the Guild boasted 1,200 members and was one of the elite women's clubs in San Francisco. "It was a white-glove organization," added Mrs. Mack. "The Guild's annual tea at the Palace Hotel drew a thousand women and sold out every year at $5 a ticket. For many women, it was the club to join."

Currently the group has 750 members across the country and raises money to endow scholarships at SI and USF. The group held a gala celebration at SI in 2000 to mark their 75th anniversary, drawing 15 past presidents including Katherine Walsh, who would soon celebrate her 100th birthday.

The Guild still organizes rummage sales, Christmas house tours and fashion shows to raise funds, each year collecting approximately $15,000 to split between SI and USF. Since its inception, the group has raised nearly $500,000 for SI alone, providing 375 full scholarships to SI students in addition to 750 partial scholarships to students at USF.

The Ignatian Guild

In 1959, when SI formally split from USF, Fr. Patrick Carroll created a subcommittee of the Loyola Guild made up of SI mothers who would raise funds only for SI, and he asked Mrs. Dorothy Leonardini to serve as the group's first president. In 1961, this subcommittee became a separate group, the Mothers' Advisory Council, and the following year its name changed to the St. Ignatius Mothers' Club. Three years later, in 1965, Theresa Caldarola - who had a passion for helping educational causes - pioneered the Ignatian Guild and oversaw the creation of the group's constitution and by-laws. That year the group held a celebrity auction and, at the Fairmont Hotel, its first fashion show, sponsored by Lili of Shanghai. The raffle for the event earned $20,000 to support the school.

The Ignatian Guild continues to hold two successful fashion shows each year - a Saturday dinner and a Sunday luncheon - during the first weekend of November. It also sponsors many other events, including the International Food Faire, which celebrates the diverse cultures that make up the SI community.

The Ignatian Guild also ran Stagecoach West, which started in 1972. The fund-raising dinner featured the Wells Fargo stagecoach, a Western barbeque, gaming tables and dancing. It also sold a cookbook for $5 entitled Food for Thought, assembled by its members and featuring recipes such as Mulligatawny Soup by Mrs. Jerry Cole and Potage Vichyssoise Josephine, by Mrs. Josephine Araldo (a Cordon Bleu graduate and French cooking instructor). The book received favorable reviews in the press, including one from James Beard of the Examiner. In 1977, the Ignatian Guild put out a second edition of the book with additional recipes.

Other Ignatian Guild fund raisers over the years have included the Dorothy Leonardini Scholarship Fund, the Salesmen's Samples Sale, the annual Christmas Celebration in the Carlin Commons and the Rummage Sale at the Hall of Flowers - run jointly by the Ignatian and Loyola Guilds. The Ignatian Guild also sponsors a Day of Recollection each year for its members and celebrates new officers at an installation Mass and luncheon in May. Other Guild events include the mother-student communion breakfast, the mother-daughter night and the mother-son night.