The Chaminade Players have a long and storied history at Chaminade College Preparatory, and when the School built a new home for the performing arts, alumni wanted to ensure that five names—Juliet Rohde, Dorothy McDonnel, Fran Wilson, Paula LaBrot, and Brother LeRoy Viera, S.M.—would be known by future generations of students, teachers, and families. To do this, two groups of alumni raised funds for Lighting the Way, the Campaign for Chaminade and named spaces in honor of the five. In a matter of months, the Chaminade Players alumni groups met success, and with their goals accomplished, it was time to gather and share the exciting news with the honorees.
On Saturday, February 25, more than 100 alumni (from the classes of 1973 to 2007) and alumni parents returned to Chaminade’s West Hills campus for a special reception thanking them for their efforts, and honoring the contributions of Rohde, McDonnel, Wilson, LaBrot, and Viera. The evening included a program during which Chaminade President, Jim Adams, spoke about each honoree, and presented them with a gift of appreciation. A surprise presentation was made at the end of the program to thank longtime Chaminade friend, Dennis Haas, who has been at the School since the 1960s, and has always stayed connected, even when he pursued a career at IBM.
At the end of the evening, everyone was invited to go into the theater for the first time and see what their gifts helped to build. It was a thrill for the Chaminade Players to step into the 365-seat theater, see the professional-style stage, and tour the entire building. Yet, even while alumni are amazed by the state-of-the-art facilities today’s students work in, they have fond memories of the Bob Hope Student Center and will always affectionately recall Mrs. Rohde’s “Hello, dear,” or Mrs. McDonnel’s “Get off your rusty dusties,” and Paula’s “All for one and all for love.”