Stories of Well Known Graduates

 

 

The stories on this page are of St. Mary's alumni that have excelled in their field of endeavor, be it academic, scientific, cultural or athletic. They are presented as a tribute to the featured alumni, an inspiration to current students and an honor to St. Mary's High School.

 

Richard Montague (Class of 1948)

 

Encylopedia of Language and Linguistics, ed. Keith Brown. Oxford: Elsevier

 

Richard Montague was a logician and philosopher whose seminal works on language founded the theory known after his death as Montague grammar, one of the main starting points for the field of formal semantics.

 

Montague was born September 20, 1930 in Stockton, California and died March 7, 1971 in Los Angeles. At St. Mary’s High School (Class of 1948) in Stockton he studied Latin and Ancient Greek.

 

Richard Montague was a logician and philosopher whose seminal works on language founded the theory known after his death as Montague grammar, one of the main starting points for the field of formal semantics.

 

Montague was born September 20, 1930 in Stockton, California and died March 7, 1971 in Los Angeles, a victim of a homicide. At St. Mary’s High School (Class of 1948) in Stockton he studied Latin and Ancient Greek.

 

After a year at Stockton Junior College studying journalism, he entered the University of California, Berkeley in 1948, and studied mathematics, philosophy, and Semitic languages, graduating with an A.B. in Philosophy in 1950. He continued graduate work at Berkeley in all three areas, especially with Walter Joseph Fischel in Arabic, with Paul Marhenke and Benson Mates in philosophy, and with Alfred Tarski in mathematics and philosophy, receiving an M.A. in mathematics in 1953 and his Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1957. Alfred Tarski, one of the pioneers, with Frege and Carnap, in the model-theoretic semantics of logic, was Montague’s main influence and directed his dissertation (Montague 1957). Montague taught in the UCLA Philosophy Department from 1955 until his death.

 

Montague quickly became a major figure in mathematical logic, with contributions to proof theory, model theory, axiomatic set theory, and recursion theory. He applied logical methods to a number of problems in philosophy, including the philosophy of language, and co-authored the logic textbook Kalish and Montague (1964). He directed three UCLA Ph.D. dissertations (Cocchiarella 1966, Grewe 1965, Kamp 1968). A fourth, Gallin (1972), revised and published as Gallin(1975), was completed at Berkeley after Montague’s death. Michael Bennett would also have been Montague’s dissertation student; his dissertation on Montague grammar (Bennett 1974) was supervised by David Kaplan and Barbara Partee.

 

Of most significance for linguistics was Montague’s work on semantics. Building on his development of a higher-order typed intensional logic with a possible-worlds modeltheoretic semantics and a formal pragmatics incorporating indexical pronouns and tenses (Montague 1968, 1970c), Montague turned in the late 1960’s to the project of “universal grammar”. For him that meant developing a philosophically satisfactory and logically precise account of syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, encompassing both formal and natural languages. Montague’s idea that a natural language like English could be formally described using logicians’ techniques was a radical one at the time. Most logicians believed that natural languages were not amenable to precise formalization, while most linguists doubted the appropriateness of logicians’ approaches to the domain of natural language semantics. At the time of Montague’s work, Chomskian generative syntax was well established, and the “linguistic wars” between generative semantics (Lakoff, Ross, McCawley, Postal) and interpretive semantics (Jackendoff, with the support of Chomsky) were in full swing. In introductions of Montague's work to linguists, including (Partee 1973, 1975) and Thomason’s extended introduction to (Montague 1974), it was argued that Montague's work offered the potential to accommodate some of the best aspects of both of the warring approaches, with some added advantages. It was the short but densely packed “PTQ” (Montague 1973) that had the most impact on linguists and on the subsequent development of formal semantics. “Montague grammar”.

 

University of California Biography

 

Richard Montague was born September 20, 1930, in Stockton, and died March 7, 1971, in his home in Los Angeles, at the hands of persons still unknown at this writing. A man of uncommon brilliance and versatility, he packed into his tragically brief existence greater achievement than most can expect in a lifetime.

 

Montague entered the University of California at Berkeley as an undergraduate in 1948, and was quickly attracted to a number of disciplines, but particularly to mathematics, philosophy, and Semitic languages, all of which he pursued very rapidly to the advanced level. Receiving an A.B. in philosophy in 1950, he continued in all three areas for several years of graduate work, studying particularly with Professors W. J. Fischel in Arabic, Paul Marhenke and Benson Mates in philosophy, and Alfred Tarski in mathematics--the last-named was undoubtedly the most important single influence on the direction of Montague's career and the character of his work. Between 1950 and 1953 he held the Howison Fellowship in Philosophy, and for two succeeding years was a teaching assistant in mathematics. In the spring semester of 1955 he joined the faculty of the University at Los Angeles as Acting Instructor in Philosophy; his advancement thereafter through the academic ranks was extremely fast and perhaps uniquely so.

 

While still a graduate student, Montague had already acquired considerable national and even international reputation. Between 1954 and his formal dissertation defense in 1957, he had authored six, and co-authored another four, significant papers in mathematical logic, including researches in Boolean algebras, proof theory, model theory and axiomatic set theory; perhaps the most notable result of this research was the important answer to a previously open question of Tarski: that Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory is not a finite extension of Zermelo set theory. After moving to the Los Angeles campus he even accelerated the pace of his researches in logic and expanded his interests to include most of the remaining areas of the field, particularly abstract recursion theory, predicate logic, and the model theory of higher-order logics. All of his work was characterized by a remarkable combination of originality and precision; some of it was of a pioneering nature and most likely cannot be fully appreciated until time lends perspective.

In addition to his technical researches in logic, Montague increasingly devoted himself in the last ten years to the application of sophisticated logical methods to traditional problem areas in philosophy. Among the best-known of his works in this genre to date is a profound study, published in 1962, of “Deterministic Theories,” that for the first time precisely formulates, and then definitely settles, a number of difficult questions regarding determinism. Previously, these questions (in a phrase of Russell's that well evokes Montague) “had been given over to philosophical vagueness.” Other important work, some of it in collaboration with Rolf Eberle, Donald Kalish, and David Kaplan, was concerned with the concept of scientific explanation, with problems of epistemology raised via the so-called Hangman or Surprise Examination paradox, with notions of conditional or derived obligation in ethics, and with problems of indirect discourse in philosophy of language. In each instance, Montague charted his subject matter with an exactness and a clarity that set new standards for his philosophical colleagues everywhere.

 

From the mid-1960s he was centrally preoccupied with a program that was ambitious even for a Montague: he aimed both to recast current work and to determine the shape of work to come in philosophy of language and mathematical linguistics, in terms of the total approach to language that he called “pragmatics” (for an early account of the overall framework, see his essay of that title in Klibansky, ed., “Contemporary Philosophy: A Survey” , Firenze: Nuova Italia Editrice, 1968); the objective was no less than an accurate, adequate, and philosophically satisfactory scientific account of natural language. His work in this direction, most of which is not yet published, had already attracted wide attention among philosophers and linguists at the time of his death and will furnish a foundation for further development by his students and others for many years to come.

Montague's work as a teacher was equally outstanding; his advanced classes and seminars were models of the same rare combination of originality and exactness that characterized his research, and his elementary courses were beautifully organized and carried out. His courses were widely appreciated by the students who regarded him with awe. He was totally accessible to all of his students, and went to great lengths to help them in their work. In 1966 he was the nominee of the Los Angeles graduate students in philosophy for the GSA Distinguished Teaching Award. Another pedagogical achievement was the notable introductory text, Logic: Techniques of Formal Reasoning, written in collaboration with Donald Kalish and published in 1964.

 

He served as a member of the United States National Committee for the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science and, for the years 1966 and 1967, as Chairman of the national Subcommittee for Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science. He also served as Secretary of the Association for Symbolic Logic from 1966 until his death. He had been a consulting editor for the Journal of Symbolic Logic since 1958.

 

Montague was a man of powerful will as well as intellect, and when his views on educational or philosophical questions were in conflict with those of his colleagues, personal clashes could sometimes ensue. But those who knew him recognized also his qualities of humor, of sympathy, and of unshakable personal loyalty; the many friendships he formed with his colleagues were strong, uninterrupted, and deeply valued.

 

Dennis Troute (Class of 1964)

 

Dennis Arriola Troute was born on July 12, 1946 and died on April 21, 2012, in Stockton at the age of 65.

 

He attended St. Mary’s High School, and graduated from the University of San Francisco in 1968. After a year of law school he joined the U.S. Army to serve with distinction in Vietnam and earn a Bronze Star.Upon his discharge from the Army, he embarked  upon  a  lifelong  career in print and photo journalism that spanned twenty-five years and five continents.

 

Dennis began that career as a stringer for the BBC in Saigon until he was hired by NBC - first as a reporter, then as bureau chief until Saigon fell. Upon his return to the United States he went to work for WFAATV in Dallas, TX. It was during his time in Dallas that he wrote and produced a play called "War Stories" which was an overwhelming success when it debuted in 1979. Following Dallas, Dennis moved to Rome, Italy, where he established CNN’s Rome news bureau, and functioned as its chief. His work was critically acclaimed and soon caught the eye of ABC. He returned to the U.S. to cover the State Department and the Pentagon for ABC. After a dedicated and successful relationship with ABC, Dennis left to establish Image TV in 1992 to produce news magazine stories in the U.S. and overseas. Simultaneously, he created the Issues and Images Television Trust to provide stories about good government, the environment, and endangered species.

 

Carol Corrigan (Class of 1966)

 

Carol Corrigan is an  Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. Previously seh was an Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Three, 1994 - 2006; Judge, Alameda County Superior Court 1991-1994; Judge, Oakland, Emeryville Piedmont Judicial District 1987-1991; Deputy District Attorney, Alameda County 1975-1987.

 

She attended St. Mary's High School, the then  Holy Names College in Oakland.

 

After a brief stint in a graduate program in psychology at St. Louis University, Justice Corrigan attended the University of California Hastings College of the Law, receiving her Juris Doctor in 1975, She was admitted to the California bar in December of the same year. At UC Hastings, she also served as Notes and Comments Editor of the Hastings Law Journal.

 

Justice Corrigan was with the California Judicial Council, 1997-2001, (Named Jurist of the Year 2003). Judicial Council Task Force on Jury Instructions, 1997-2005 (Chair). Commission on Future of California’s Courts 1991-1994. Center for Judicial Education & Research, Governing Board, 1994-1997. President’s Commission on Organized Crime, 1983-1986. Special Consultant, President’s Task Force on Victims of Violent Crime, 1982. Adjunct Professor of Law: U.C. Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, 1984-1987, 1990-1994; U.C. Hastings College of Law, 1981-1987, 1989; University of San Francisco School of Law, 1988-1990; University of Puget Sound School of Law, 1981. Faculty: California Judicial College, 1988-present; Continuing Judicial Studies Programs, 1989-present; National Institute of Trial Advocacy, 1981-present (Distinguished Faculty Award, 1997).

Justice Corigan is on the Board of Directors: Holy Names College 1988-present (Chair, 1990-2005); Saint Vincent’s Day Home, 1982-present (Chair, 1991-present); and served on the Board of Goodwill Industries of the Greater East Bay, 1985-1989

 

Von Hayes (Class of 1976)

 

Von Hayes began his professional baseball career when he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1979, playing first for their farm team, Waterloo in the Midwest League. He played for Cleveland until he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1983, the same year in which he played in the National League Championship Series and the World Series.  Von was on the National League All Star Team in 1989. He was also on the MVP list in 1986 with a .305 batting average. He retired after the 1992 season, as a member of the California Angels. In 2003 he managed the Southbend Silverhawks, an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

 

The Midland Texas Rockhounds, managed by former St. Mary's High and major-league player Von Hayes, earned their first outright Texas League championship in September. Midland, the Class-AA affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, defeated the Arkansas Travelers in four games in their best-of-five series. It was Hayes' second consecutive league championship as a manager. He led the then-Modesto A's to the California League title in 2004. He has been awarded manager of the year in each of the past two seasons.

 

Ed Sprague (Class of 1985)

 

Ed Sprague enjoyed an 11-year career at the major league level, playing on World Series Champion teams with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993. His most productive season was in 1996 with the Blue Jays when he amassed 36 home runs and 101 RBIs.

 

In 1999, Sprague earned a selection to the All-Star Game as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also had stints with the Boston Red Sox, Oakland A's, Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres. Sprague finished his career with 152 home runs and 558 RBIs.

He also had a distinguished collegiate career at Stanford as the starting third baseman on the 1987 and 1988 NCAA Championship teams. In 1988, he was named an All-American after hitting .339 with 22 homers and 81 RBIs. Sprague was selected in the first round of the 1988 major league draft by Toronto.

Sprague also won a gold medal as a member of the 1988 U.S. Baseball Olympic Team and is married to Kristen Babb Sprague, an Olympic gold medalist in synchronized swimming in 1992.

Sprague returned to his roots in 2003, serving as the assistant coach at St. Mary's High School in Stockton. He served as head coach of the University of the Pacific Baseball Team. for 11 years.

 

Hector "Lucky" Diaz

 

Diaz, a 40-year-old St. Mary’s High School graduate, brought his family music home for the first time, performing a free show on April 8, 2017   Diaz — who started singing-songwriting at Stockton’s original Blackwater Café as a teenager with a guitar his mom bought at a flea market — has,been really busy accomplishing what once was unimaginable.

 

Along with music-industry acknowledgment, the Family’s reputation has been elevated by best-children’s-album or song-of-the-year credits from People magazine (“A Pot Luck” in 2012), USA Today and Sirius-XM radio.

 

Writers at the New York Times and Washington Post also have been impressed by the Diaz’s five albums, the Post critic labeling their folk-rocky style as “kindie” music.

 

Gaddis won a 2013 Emmy for “Lisha Lou and Lucky Too!!!” a version of their debut album on PBS. They became the first Americans to win a children’s Latin Grammy for “¡Fantastico!,” sung in Spanish.

 

They perform on PBS’ “All Things Considered” and their recordings have been honored by parents and education organizations. Coca-Cola’s “summer song” for 2013 was “Falling.”

 

“They’ve performed on PBS’ “Austin City Limits” — “a fantastic dream come true for me,” Diaz said — and has played solo at the Texas capital’s South-by-Southwest Festival.

 

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