Brother Godfrey Vassallo, C.S.C., died unexpectedly on September 12, 1974, at the age of 80, in his room in Shipstad Hall. In his forty-five years at the University, Brother Godfrey, or “B.G.” as he was affectionately known, was a professor of physics and counselor and friend to innumerable students and faculty members. His connections with one student, Howard Vollum, led to a bequest of more than eleven million dollars to the institution. Never a man to mince words, he often grumbled about UP having “too many chiefs and not enough Indians” but was wholeheartedly dedicated to the mission of the University and the Congregation of Holy Cross. His mastery of excruciating puns was unequaled until the coming of Spanish professor Manuel Macias in 1958. In his later years, B.G. became a fixture at commencement exercises as the grand marshal of the procession of graduates and faculty. The University mace, carried as a symbol of the institution’s authority at the head of formal academic processions, is named in his honor.
For more UP history, see the University Almanac at up.edu/almanac.