Torero Tidbits: Senior Salute; Renaming Ceremonies; Administrators Serve Students; Big Games This Weekend

Torero Tidbits: Senior Salute; Renaming Ceremonies; Administrators Serve Students; Big Games This Weekend

One day before their senior year officially kicked off, hundreds of students came to the campus’ Degheri Alumni Center courtyard Tuesday evening to mingle, renew friendships and revel in the fact that they are all heading toward the May commencement ceremonies and walking across the Jenny Craig Pavilion stage in only nine months.

Senior Salute 2019

The annual Senior Salute event, cohosted by Alumni Relations, University Ministry and the Torero Program Board, welcomed members of the Class of 2020 to campus and wished them well in their final year. Refreshments were provided, a small gift for each attendee was given, a fun photo booth was present, and there was a map for students to place a small sticker on the state or country where they were from.

Mostly, though, the event served as a great way for the seniors to reconnect and head into the new year with a fun event.

Administrators Serve Food to Students in Pavilion Dining

In what is becoming a Torero Tradition for USD administrators, President James T. Harris, Vice President and Provost Gail F. Baker and Vice President of Mission and Ministry Monsignor Daniel J. Dillabough and others spent dinner time on the first day of USD classes helping students with their food orders at the Student Life Pavilion’s Pavilion Dining.

Harris and other top USD administrators have done this each year since Harris became president in August 2015. This chance to connect with students on a different level matters. Harris is always introducing himself to students who are not only hungry for food, but seem to enjoy the up-close interaction.

Harris, for instance, worked at Maiz, the Mexican cuisine station, on Wednesday. In addition to learning to wrap burritos properly and add toppings to students’ taco and burrito orders, he would begin by sharing a fist bump with the student. 

Administrators Serve Students

Other administrators on Wednesday were: Ky Snyder, Vice President of University Operations, working on the pizzas in Heirloom Cucina; Rick Virgin, Vice President of University Advancement, keeping busy flipping burgers at the Sea Salt Grille; Andrew Allen, vice president of institutional effectiveness and strategic initiatives, dishing up great Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese food at Lemongrass; Vice President of Student Affairs Carmen Vazquez assisted with students’ orders at Clean Earth Kitchen; Katy Roig, CPA, Interim Chief Financial Officer and Associate Vice President for Reporting and Compliance, helped out at Tapenade and an adjacent pasta bar; and both Baker and Dillabough made a great team at Embers, a vendor located just outside of the SLP, to serve hot dogs and hamburgers with all the fixings as well as baked beans.

Renaming Ceremonies Ongoing

Two ceremonies for renaming buildings and other spaces on campus were scheduled for the fall semester and on Wednesday, the first one took place to celebrate the renaming of the SLP’s Plazas Mayor and Menor in honor of St. Teresa of Calcutta and the Venerable Francis Xavier Nguyễn Văn Thuận, a Vietnamese Cardinal and social justice advocate, respectively.

A brief falling of rain moved the ceremony from outside the SLP to Hahn University Forum C, but remarks were given by both President James T. Harris and Monsignor Daniel J. Dillabough ’70.

As Harris stated as part of his welcome email address to students on the first day of school, he said, “Recognizing these holy people takes important steps toward strengthening our ties to Tijuana and the work of the Missionaries of Charity founded by St. Teresa and acknowledges the significant Vietnamese Catholic community located in Linda Vista and throughout San Diego.”

Both the late Saint Teresa of Calcutta and late Cardinal Văn Thuận, actually were visitors to the USD campus and Dillabough reflected briefly on meeting them both.

A second renaming ceremony will take place this fall semester at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 14 at Mata’yuum Crossroads.

Mata’yuum Crossroads, formerly Mission Crossroads, is among the many name changes happening on campus. This renaming honors USD's location in the traditional territory of the Kumeyaay Nation. It further supports our ongoing tribal initiatives to create a more inclusive campus while building relationships with local tribal nations. The renaming also encourages continued dialogue on the important topics of colonialization, the spread of the Catholic faith and the impact both had on Native American populations.

Other re-naming instances include removing the word “mission” from residence halls formerly known as Mission A and Mission B to Valley A and Valley B, the Mission Parking Structure to Main Parking Structure, and Serra Hall is now Saints Tekakwitha and Serra Hall, to honor St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American Catholic saint, and St. Junipero Serra. The latter renaming had a ceremony back in April.

Big Early-Season Matchups for Football, Volleyball; Soccer Doubleheader Sunday

It will be a busy first weekend at home for multiple fall Torero sports teams, including top-ranked opposition for both football and volleyball.

The women’s volleyball team, ranked 25th in the AVCA National Poll, hosts the USD Invitational on Sept. 6-7 with matches against Arkansas (7 p.m. Friday) and No. 2 Nebraska (7 p.m. Saturday) in the Jenny Craig Pavilion. Other matches happening in the JCP have Nebraska playing Arizona at 4 p.m. Friday and Arizona playing West Virginia at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Football’s home opener is at 2 p.m. Saturday against Big Sky Conference foe UC Davis, ranked among the top five in multiple FCS Top 25 polls, at Torero Stadium. While the Toreros have been overwhelmingly successful at home through the years, this figures to be USD’s toughest home game opponent of the season.

Since 2005, USD’s overall home record is 72-10 and the Toreros have been absolutely dominating in home games against Pioneer Football League opposition. USD currently has a 35-game home win streak against PFL teams dating back to Oct. 9, 2010.

However, both teams enter Saturday’s game with an 0-1 record. USD lost at Cal Poly 52-34 on Aug. 31 while UC Davis fell to Cal, 27-13.

Both USD soccer teams will be in action this weekend, too. Men’s soccer (2-0) hosts Detroit Mercy Friday at 7 p.m. and then hosts Belmont at noon on Sunday. The women’s soccer team (2-1) hosts Cal Poly at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, giving USD’s soccer teams a rare doubleheader gameday.

— Compiled by Ryan T. Blystone

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