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Kevin Starr, state historian


Kevin Starr, the former California state librarian and a University Professor at USC, died Jan. 14 at the age of 76.

He attended SI for only one year before entering the seminary, but he always considered himself close to his former SI classmates. In his later years, he proved instrumental to gatherings of grandparents of SI students who wanted to learn more about ways of helping the school.

In the spring 2010 edition of Genesis magazine, he noted that “we all need to be students of history — not to forecast our future or to worship it, but to live in the contingencies of our time. We are on a pilgrimage in history, and to be fully human, we must have in some dimension of ourselves an historical awareness. The lesson of history is that you can't live without it. We're all part of an historical process, in a world that is suffused and structured by time. Without studying history, we are not fully human, and society will be unable to flourish.”

Social science courses at SI, he noted, help students today “realize that they are in a long line of graduates and that the global and local are fused. By studying SI's history, they really are studying Jesuit history, which is the story of the Reformation. You can't separate the global and local.”

Posted by Mr. Paul J. Totah on Thursday April 13
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