Bellarmine College Preparatory will recognize three distinguished alumni at its Hall of Fame ceremony the evening of August 27, 2022. These individuals embody Bellarmine’s motto of being men for and with others through their extraordinary personal achievements, remarkable professional accomplishments, and significant contributions to the community.
The individuals to be honored, and their respective categories, are Vic Giacalone, Class of 1964 (Business); Rev. Gerald T. Wade, Class of 1955 (Public Service); and Rusty Zimmerman, Class of 1998 (Humanities & Fine Arts).
Vic Giacalone ‘64, president and CEO of The Best Electrical Company, Inc., has managed his family business for the past 54 years after graduating from Santa Clara University. He has established a reputation in the San Jose area for building and maintaining longstanding client relationships and a tremendous depth of knowledge in his field. Vic has been involved in numerous professional organizations and committees in his career, including as president of the National Electrical Contractors’ Association from 1981-83. He has also been committed to civic involvement as a member of the Rotary Club of San Jose, Civic Center Kiwanis Club, and Committee to Improve the Economic Climate of San Jose, as well as a board member at the San Jose Historical Museum and San Jose Repertory Theatre. A man of deep faith, Vic has heeded the call to service throughout his life by giving back to his community in countless ways. He is currently a member of the Loaves and Fishes Advisory Board, the San Jose Chamber of Commerce Housing and Homelessness Working Group, the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy Homeless Advocacy Committee, and the Western Association Board of Directors for the Order of Malta, a Catholic service organization. In 2012, Vic was named Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Boy Scouts of America, and in 2010 he was honored by Bellarmine as the President’s Award recipient. He is the longest-tenured member of Bellarmine’s Alumni Council, serving as president for eight years and chair of the Christian Service Committee since 2004.
Throughout the school’s long history, it is likely that no individual has given more of himself to Bellarmine, and the people of Bellarmine, than Rev. Gerald T. Wade, S.J. ’55. As a student, he rarely missed an event or activity, embracing the sense of brotherhood the school provided. And more than 70 years later, he continues to embody that spirit of community through his constant warmth and kindness. Inspired by the enthusiasm and camaraderie of the Jesuit Scholastics who taught him, he entered the Society of Jesus upon graduating from Bellarmine in 1955. He completed undergraduate studies and earned a master’s degree in Philosophy from Gonzaga University before returning to Bellarmine in 1962 to teach Latin, run the senior dorm, and moderate the Cardinal newspaper. Fr. Wade was ordained to the Priesthood on June 1, 1968. He went on to complete a master’s degree in Theology at Santa Clara University and a Master’s in Latin at the University of Southern California, then became vice principal of Loyola High School in Los Angeles. After serving there for five years, he was missioned to be president of Jesuit High School in Sacramento. After four years there, Fr. Wade came back to Bellarmine once again in 1979, this time for good. He served as the school’s 14th and longest-tenured president, overseeing a period of tremendous development that included the modernization and expansion of the campus, advancement of the school’s endowment and Tuition Assistance Fund, and expansion of academic and co-curricular programs. His leadership helped the school continually adapt to the shifting landscape of contemporary Silicon Valley, while adhering to the core Jesuit values that have distinguished Bellarmine since the days when the campus was surrounded by tree orchards. Fr. Wade received honorary Doctorate degrees from the University of San Francisco in 2015 and Santa Clara University in 2019, and he now serves as Bellarmine’s chancellor. Aided by his legendary ability to remember every person he meets and make them feel welcome, he continues to maintain relationships with countless members of the Bellarmine community over multiple generations.
The artistic talent of Rusty Zimmerman ‘98 blossomed at California College of the Arts and led him to Brooklyn, New York to pursue a career as a professional painter. Rusty has served as a portrait artist for former New York City Mayor Andrew Cuomo, and his work has been featured in publications such as the New York Times, Bloomberg Citylab, and Saatchi Gallery Magazine in London. He has also lectured at Wellesley College and Long Island University. In 2015, uncomfortable with the fact that the art of portraiture was inaccessible to many due to financial constraints, Rusty founded The Free Portrait Project. Over the next two years, he completed 200 free portraits of his neighbors – painting everyone from schoolteachers to street performers, software engineers to unhoused individuals, Haitian immigrants to Hassidic Jews, college students to retirees – attempting to capture the tremendous diversity of his neighborhood of Crown Heights and use his art to break down religious, ethnic, and socioeconomic barriers in his community. Accompanying each portrait was a recorded interview with the subject, which the Brooklyn Historical Society preserved as an oral history of Crown Heights and the people who live there. The portraits have been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Children's Museum, and Brooklyn Borough Hall, and there is a permanent collection at Poster House NYC.
The Hall of Fame inductions will occur on the Bellarmine campus in San Jose, with the awards ceremony taking place at 5 p.m. in the Main Stage Theatre of the Sobrato Center for Humanities and the Arts, followed by a dinner on the Leo J. and Mary G. Lucas Quad. Event registration is available online at: https://www.bcp.org/bhof