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Les Richter Posthumously Inducted to NFL Hall of Fame (with photos from current website)

Les Richter (’52), an all-time Golden Bear football great and one time Bowlesman (later a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity) enjoyed a highly successful nine seasons in the National Football League, spending his entire career with the Los Angeles Rams. For eight consecutive years he was selected to the Pro Bowl. Based on his NFL “credentials,” Les seemed to be a shoo-in for the League’s Hall of Fame. But more than 30 years after his NFL career ended, he still had not been enshrined—a situation that gave many cause to wonder what one had to do to enter the Hall. Les passed away in June 2010, a few months before his 80th birthday.

At Super Bowl XLV, on February 7, 2011, it was announced that Les would be enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame that year, a long overdue honor for one of the League’s greats.

 

 

63rd Annual Big Game Dinner: October 20, 2012  [Photos available in Jan. 2013 newsletter]

More than 100 alumni and students gathered to celebrate the big game and the camaraderie among Bowlesmen. Classes of 1952 and 1962 held their reunions concurrently. The Association provided their wine. Les Laky introduced Secretary Norman Mineta, who spoke of his time at Bowles Hall and how that influenced his development and career. Lou Grivetti presented a historical perspective. Bob Sayles recapped progress on the renovation plans. Chuck Sizemore spoke on the importance of donations.

Rick Snow reported on the election of officers. Dan Melia highlighted the significance of the residential college. The meeting was closed by Henry Miller with the singing of the Bowles Hall Hymn, written by Joe Ehrman. In a very fine performance, the young men of Bowles Hall jumped to their feet and with a rousing cheer sang the Bowles Hall Drinking Song.

 

62nd Annual Big Game Dinner: November 18, 2011 (Photos in Feb 2012 newsletter)

The 62nd enactment of the Bowles Hall Alumni Association Big Game Dinner took place at the Stanford Park Hotel an elegantly designed room with a curving bank of windows that recalled the gothic architecture of Bowles Hall. The 70 people in attendance had a moment before dinner to stroll the room conversing with old and new friends and comment on the beautiful posters set around the room showing architectural reconstructions of what is soon to be the most beautiful residence hall in the state.

The table of honor was reserved for Bob Patterson and the members of his class of 1951 that he reunited for their 60th reunion. Each member of the Class of ’51 received a gull-color replica of the Bowles Hall scrapbook of the parties and dinners of their senior year.

BHAA President Bob Sayles (’52) gave a brief introduction to the most recent (and excellent) news on the renovation progress and turned over the rest of the presentation to the group of UC Berkeley faculty and Bowles alums present who are collaborating to make this a reality. The scheduled guest-of-honor, former Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta, ran into weather problems with his flight from Washington, DC, to the airport bearing his name, and unfortunately missed the dinner. Instead, the emcee for the evening, Alexei Vranich (’91), told a story of the lasting impression that Mr. Mineta made on him at his first Big Game Dinner back in 1988.

The overwhelming feeling throughout the night was the special energy brought on not only by the news of our progress on renovating our beautiful hall, but by a diverse group of alumni across a half-century, esteemed faculty leading the effort to establish a residential college, and the present residents brimming with their newfound enthusiasm and love for Bowles and Cal. Adding to this feeling of optimism was the introduction of a new and hopefully continuing tradition: the singing of several old favorites by the Men’s Octet, led by current resident and graduating senior Isaac Jackson. Jackson, along with two other seniors, picked up their engraved Bowles Hall ashtray at the event.

We hope all come back for the next Big Game Reunion; those who missed it should think seriously about doing so in 2012—the year we get the axe back!

 

61st Annual Big Game Dinner: November 20, 2010 (with photos from current website)

Although the activities undertaken in the University of California’s Memorial Stadium on November 20, 2010 was not a fitting end to an otherwise pleasant—if somewhat “weather challenged” fall weekend—the start was sensational as nearly 70 Bowlesmen, spouses/roommates, friends and current Bowles residents gathered at the Berkeley Marina Double Tree Hotel to enjoy the traditional annual Bowles Hall Alumni Association Big Game Dinner, the 61st rendition of this much-anticipated event. The crowd was even larger than last year, and the attendance of a large group of current residents (more than a dozen!) lent the evening a great feeling of youth and vigor.

Dinner chair Dan Ciruli (’91) led the effort and put together another outstanding program (but no, although he did a lot of different things, he did not perform in the kitchen) that afforded attendees an opportunity to meet classmates and Bowlesmen from different generations, including current undergrads, and to be brought up-to-date on the status of the program to reestablish the Hall to its former glory and open a residential college on the Berkeley Campus.

BHAA Historian (and second-generation Bowleman) Scott Wilson (’85) brought some fantastic Bowles memorabilia and shared some history. The featured speakers exemplified Bowles’ past and present as Bob Johnson (’41) regaled the crowd with reminiscences of his time at Bowles and his very impressive career, followed by current Bowles Hall Association President Britt Abrahamson (’14), giving the perspective of the the “kids today.” Finally, attendees received an update on the ongoing Hall project by Bob Sayles (’52), president of the Bowles Hall Alumni Association.

The opportunity to speak with Bowlesmen and family members from different eras underlined the bond common to 80 years of Golden Bears who shared and share a special experience from Bowles residence.