Why We Give: Laurie & Charles McClain ’60

Posted December 30, 2014 / Last updated January 6, 2015

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Laurie and Charles McClain '60

Laurie and Charles McClain ’60

During a recent trip to New Orleans, my wife Laurie and I visited my alma mater, Jesuit High School, where I graduated some 55 years ago. I had not been back all those years and, frankly, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Our visit turned out to be a rewarding experience.

Some things have not changed — many old desks (the ones I sat in), high ceilings, tiles on the stairwells, the mammoth wooden doors facing Carrollton Avenue, and the Chapel of the North American Martyrs, where we gathered as a community for Mass.

But my how much has changed! The asphalt-covered basement where morning assembly was held daily has been replaced with modern classrooms and a spacious and air-conditioned Student Commons. There are new science labs and computer labs, and the old library is now a well-utilized Resource Center. Jesuit is constantly maintaining, renovating, and improving its infrastructure and facilities. The entire city block behind Jesuit is wide-open green space, Will Clark Field. We toured John Ryan Stadium, a superb athletic facility located minutes from campus. I was happy to see that Jesuit is keeping up with the times.

Laurie and I were most impressed by Jesuit’s steadfast commitment to the school’s mission of offering a first-rate education to students from all walks of life. The school’s endowment, combined with the annual giving drives for alumni and parents, allows Jesuit’s tuition to remain among the most affordable compared to the majority of Catholic and private high schools in the metro area. The school’s endowment is the source of financial aid, thus guaranteeing that no young man who qualifies for admission will ever be turned away because his family cannot afford the tuition.

With this in mind, it was our honor to establish the Charles J. & Laurene Wu McClain Scholarship. Our gift will ensure that Jesuit High School — which helped me develop the competence, conscience, and compassion that I use every day — will continue to provide the same for Blue Jays, now and in the years to come.

—Laurie & Charles McClain ’60

Charles McClain ’60 is a retired faculty member and administrator at UC Berkeley School of Law in California. He continues to write and publish in the field of legal history. His wife Laurie, herself a history educator, is also an attorney and maintains a part-time law practice. The couple have one son and live in Berkeley.