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News & Info

Alumni Ed and Dianne Coghlan

The University of Providence changed our lives.

It’s where we met.

It’s where we learned.

It’s where we fell in love.

It’s where we met friends who are still that today.

We came from different geographies but similar backgrounds—Ed, a San Franciscan from St. Ignatius High School who wanted to experience a different lifestyle, and Dianne, a Butte Central grad whose sister preceded her at (then) CGF. San Francisco and Butte are contrasting backgrounds, but yet, both of us came from large (real large) Catholic families raised by fathers who were second generation and mothers who were third generation Americas.

We both graduated in 1972. Dianne was recruited to come back to the campus to run Emile Hall as it transitioned from all women to co-ed. We were married in 1973 and continued to live in Emile Hall which by then was co-ed and lived there through 1980 by which time three of our five children had joined the family.

We had lots of baby sitters.

Ed, who was News Director for the four station Montana Television Network, also served as Chairman of the school’s Athletic Board and taught broadcast journalism for several years.

We stayed active in various activities at the school until we moved to Los Angeles in 1984—it was a huge part of our lives.

Ed became News Director at KCOP where the station enjoyed its highest ratings (before or since) and then moved onto a second career in corporate communications, marketing and management consulting which continues today. Dianne stayed at home until the five children were raised and educated and then had a second career with FEMA where she traveled the country working to help people in the wake of hurricanes, fires, tornadoes and floods. She retired two years ago.

Writing this short article spurred us to talk about the University and what it has meant to us. The concept of community service and paying it forward that was encouraged during our time at the school certainly took root in both of us for our lifetimes. We have volunteered and have served on non-profit boards that include Special Olympics, education, at-risk youth, homelessness, domestic violence and other social needs.

Dianne remembers the enrichment of going to Tony Ginalias’ psychology classes and how much she learned—and was able to use in her work. She jokes that his Abnormal Psychology class prepared for marriage with Ed.

She also remembers, with great fondness, the long and joyous lifelong relationships she had with many of the Sisters of Providence who were on campus including Sr. Ann Dolores, Sr. Mary Ann Benoit, and Sr. Margaret Beaulieu.

Ed remembers the extraordinary Hank Raucci who taught history and political science in a Socratic method that caused you to think—and sometimes quickly—which Ed used in his own teaching later at the University of Providence, California State University Northridge and UCLA.

He also remembers working with (and at times relentlessly needling) Bill Gianoulias, Ray Dodds and others in the Athletic Program.

We spoke of the lifelong friends that we’ve made from our time at UP.

We have begun to return annually for Alumni weekend and are able to see folks with whom we had lost touch and refresh those relationships as well.

In addition, we have watched the University change and believe that its future—particularly with its emphasis on addressing the critical workforce shortage in the nation’s largest economic sector (health care)—is bright.

It won’t be easy, but something worthwhile never is.

It also means change—which is inevitable and, it seems, in this case necessary.

But one thing will never change—the special place that the University will always have in our hearts.