Grandfather, grandson share Crusader memories

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The Kent-Redmond Family

Tony Kent ’21 and his grandfather Tom Redmond ’61 share more than a family bond, they are also part of the Crusader family.

Tony Kent '21

Family legacy is a focal point in Riordan’s history and something that Riordan takes pride in.  For my family, my great-grandfather graduated from St. James, which later became Riordan.  My grandfather, Tom Redmond, graduated in 1961 and I will graduate in 2021.  

I also have two cousins, Nick and Kevin Redmond, who will graduate in 2022.  My grandfather is proud that his grandsons chose to go to his alma mater. 

He said, “I was very happy and proud to have my grandsons attend Riordan.  I knew they would receive a well rounded education that would prepare them for their future.”  

I spoke with my grandfather about his time at Riordan and learned that some things stayed the same, while others have changed.  

I was very happy and proud to have my grandsons attend Riordan.  I knew they would receive a well rounded education that would prepare them for their future.”

— Tom Redmond '61

School Administration

Riordan has always been run by the Marianist order.  When my grandfather was at Riordan, most of the administration and teachers were Marianist brothers.  My grandfather said Riordan “also had a number of loyal, dedicated lay teachers.” The brothers lived in what we now refer to as the dorms. Today, there are no brothers at Riordan and the faculty is made up of both men and women.

 

Student government

Unlike today, when my grandfather was at Riordan, there was a traditional student government with a President, Vice President and class representative.  They did not have houses or mentor groups.  They were identified by their class level and had homeroom every day with boys from their class.  During homeroom, they heard announcements for the day and upcoming events.  My grandfather feels that the house system and homeroom system were similar except “the classes were not intermingled.”   

Athletics

Athletics has always been a huge part of my family, so I was not surprised to learn that my grandfather was part of Riordan’s first basketball championship in 1960.  When my grandfather was a student here, Riordan was part of the CAL, which later became the WCAL, the league Riordan currently plays in.  

For my grandfather, it was fun to play sports because they got to get out of the city and travel to the other schools, like Bellarmine, Marin Catholic or Bishop O’Dowd. Students always went to the games, no matter the sport, and the cheering section was always packed.  Redmond said “Most students lived in San Francisco and it was easy for them to get to games.  It didn’t matter which sport was being played, the cheering section was full of Riordan students.”  The cheering section was led by male cheerleaders who pumped up the student section and the band played, too.  Riordan did not have a football field, so home games were played at Kezar.  

 

Other Activities

As far back as 1961, Riordan was known for its drama department, and people would come from all over to see the plays.  My grandfather remembers them doing “The King and I.”  Before the 2020-2021 school year, girls would come from other schools to take part in the drama productions. 

Like today, Riordan had other clubs students could join.  Some of the clubs Riordan had in 1961 that we do not have today are the Block Club and the Spirit Club. 

Attending school at Riordan from 1957-1961, I had some of the best times of my life.”

— Tom Redmond '61

There were no coed Catholic high schools in San Francisco when my grandfather attended Riordan.  When they had dances, the girls came from the all-girls schools in the city.  Like today, dances were held in the cafeteria. 

One of the aspects that drew me to Riordan was the fact that the food in the cafeteria was so good.  My grandfather confirmed that the food in 1961 was good, too.  Mrs. Rock ran the cafeteria and the students always looked forward to her chili.

My grandfather is a proud Crusader.  He said, “Attending school at Riordan from 1957-1961, I had some of the best times of my life.  Athletics, dances, clubs, academics – Riordan had it all.  As students we were very lucky to have loyal and dedicated teachers to show us the way.”  

My whole family has memories of driving past Riordan with him and we would all sing “I’m a rabbit, I’m a rabbit, I’m a rabbit until I die. . .”