NOVA’s Jack Hemmer and the Wright Way – Mainline Media News

Of course, this essay will be about the legendary Jay Wright and his enduring legacy. And, one could speculate concerning the prospects for his successor, Fordham’s Kyle Neptune, god of the “wait and sea,” which I will not do.

All agree, from Sixers fans to Wildcat alumni and alumnae everywhere, that Jay Wright’s shoes are too big for anyone to fill.

Neptune’s challenges will be exacerbated by the relentless “transfer” trend which is undermining coach and team loyalty big time. This trend also opens up a phenomenon which could be called “hoops venality.”

Making money is now possible through athlete’s individual branding and endorsements via the recently approved NCAA provisions to promote marketplace products for income-generation, etc.

Here, in contrast, any interested observer can ask about the presumed raison d’être and motivation for amateur college athletics, ie to strive for sport performance excellence, show steady growth in academics, and execute career readiness.

Everyone knows that only the talented minority of collegiate athletes makes it to the professional level. Nevertheless, the transfer trend persists.

The title of this essay could be misleading since Jack Hemmer is not a “Wright stuff” player transferring to, for instance, Kansas. In fact, Jack Hemmer was never a Villanova basketball player.

Go back to the late 1960s – the era of the Vietnam War protests, Black Panthers, “Peace not War,” love-ins, Woodstock, communes, organic farming, yoga and meditation, riots in the streets, Earth Day, a mix of good and bad.

At the time, Father Jack Hemmer was an Augustinian and a professor of theology and philosophy, well-liked and creative, sincere and inventive.

As a minor philosophy, I could not get enough of the department offerings in four years.

When I first matriculated at Villanova in 1967, just in terms of appearance, I wore Villager and Lady Bug ensembles, mini-skirts, blazers, shells and sweaters, pumps or demure leather boots.

Enrolled as an astronomy major based on my high school interest, transcript and letters of recommendation, I was expecting to enter the vast world of what we now call STEM.

By the end of freshman year, and because of working in the Vasey Hall language lab, I was attracted to studying French and was recruited by Classical Languages ​​Department Chair Dr. John Mc Enerney to pursue Latin as a minor.

Yet, philosophy was continuing to draw my interest and I met and talked closely with choice philosophers who were also located in Vasey Hall.

In the summer of 1969, I worked in Lake George at a club called The Airport Inn, featuring bands from New York City. This was also the summer of Woodstock Nation and its energy and drive touched many, many young people.

The combination of music, alternative theater, vegetarian foods, yoga and meditation, and love for the natural world contrasted with the preppy look and feel of my first two years at Villanova.

There were many students going through changes in the late ’60s. I remember taking John Tich’s Eastern Philosophy class in my junior year and learning from him about yoga, meditation, and organic gardening.

We talk about cultural shifts. My boyfriend and I hitchhiked up to Martha’s Vineyard where I had picked up a summer job managing Alex Taylor’s record and stereo shop called STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN situated on the main street in Oak Bluffs.

The restaurant next store was called SHANGHAI NOODLE FACTORY, based on Steve Winwood’s song, and the owners, a couple from DC, knew Roberta Flack. I babysat Alex Taylor’s son and partied with James and Kate Taylor on the island.

I suppose that it was on my return to Villanova that I enrolled in Jack Hemmer’s epistemology class. He was fascinated by all that was happening, even inviting a small group of us to visit a friend’s place with him and eat brown rice and veggies and listen to the Moody Blues.

One day, when I arrived at Sullivan Hall lounge in the heart of campus, perhaps a little early, I settled in and started chatting with others enrolled in that section of Jack Hemmer’s course.

After several minutes, everyone who was going to come did, except for the very person whom I thought to be the most important member of the class, Jack Hemmer.

Based on school policy, we all waited for 10 minutes or so, with no show by Jack Hemmer.

I remember one guy leaned out the open window and muttered, “I’m outa ‘here,” and flipped out of the window. A few others got up and walked out in the conventional way.

The majority of us, however, perhaps six or seven, did not budge, looked at each other and started discussing our assigned readings. We expected Jack Hemmer to show up, apologizing for being late, but he never did.

We got into the meaning of knowledge and rationality, its purpose, our purpose, and we formed a union, a bond, which made the course material real.

I remember at one point asking if anyone felt, or knew, that Jack Hemmer had planned it that way. We speculated without any certainty.

Our discussion became exhilarating, sharing where we were philosophically, trading life experiences, and developing a sense of gratitude for what Jack Hemmer meant to us.

When we next saw Jack Hemmer, we asked him, since it turned out to be so engaging and unique, whether he had planned such an outcome. He smiled, and never used words to respond. Experiential learning, I realized.

I can still feel the energy of that class, and it has always helped to define Villanova and its long-lasting richness, the Augustinian “Veritas, Unitas, Caritas,” available to everyone.

This is what I think and feel about Jay Wright and his legacy.

He has given and bequeathed to us something very special which is a lasting bond of inquiry, devotion to learning, compassion for all, passion for excellence, and, in some mysterious way, a brotherhood of epistemology with NOVA’s Jack Hemmer.

Mary Brown, a Golden Wildcat, started the first Villanova Dance Team in 1967-68 with the help of Father Michael Gallagher, Jim V. Murray, and his dancer-choreographer wife Dianne Murray.

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