1950s: The Trailblazers: Reno Taini


1960 Yearbook

Aidan Murtagh '20 and Zachary Phillips '20, The Crusader Staff

One notable graduate from the 1950s is Reno Taini ’59. During his time at Riordan, Taini was greatly involved and truly made the most out of his high school experience.

During his time at Riordan, Taini recalls, “I played football and track for all four years, and both were tremendous experiences. Also, I worked on the yearbook, which was a project that was challenging and rewarding.”

Taini also recalls how the Marianist Brothers lived on campus during his time at the school. They taught classes and went on field trips with the students, some of which were Taini’s fondest memories

He explains, “I remember a great field trip to U.C. Berkeley where we met Robert Frost, America’s chosen poet at the time. We got to shake hands, and I was too numb to ask for an autograph on the book of poems I was carrying.”

He continues, “Then the greatest memory of all is when Brother Robert Nunes piled five of us juniors into an old Plymouth sedan and took us to tour SF State College. We were all kids from the Excelsior District and never knew what a college was about. Little did I ever realize what a great experience in science, biological exploration, and alternative education I would have there. Thank you, Brother Nunes. You made all the difference in my life.”

For Taini, Riordan was a way to see the world. Thanks to Riordan, Taini was able to meet a legendary poet and get a glimpse of his higher education. Riordan offered him opportunities like no other, and they still are fresh in his memory all these years later.

Not only was Taini a student at Riordan, but he was also a member of the Board of Trustees for many years.

He recalls, “There was a cutting edge that Riordan seemed to maintain. I was on the board for many years and got to feel the momentum. Always, it seemed that there was deep care for the students. I am not around the school as much these years, but when I visit I feel the ‘family’ power and the ‘village’ vibe.”

Looking back, Taini still holds fond memories of the school and its tight-knit community close to his heart. Riordan played a huge role in his life, and it shaped who he was as a person.

Lastly, he says, “I love that school because of the people involved in it. All of the students and staff past and present seem to keep the essence of what I certainly have felt from the first day I ever entered that school.”