SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Santa Clara University community is saddened by the death Wednesday evening of its longest-serving professor, Victor B. Vari, 94, who taught Italian and other languages and literatures to SCU students for 66 years before retiring in 2012. Dr. Vari passed away at home in San Francisco with Julia, his loving wife of almost 62 years, at his side.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Sept. 2 at 10 a.m. in Santa Clara University’s Mission Church. Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Victor Vari, c/o Dean's Office, College of Arts and Sciences, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053 .
A beloved professor, Dr. Vari and his wife, Julia Botto Vari, for decades were among the most passionate and integral figures in humanities and cultural education at Santa Clara. As a young married couple in the midst of a mostly Jesuit faculty, they soon took their place and relished the role of extended family.
The couple nurtured hundreds of students Dr. Vari taught over the decades, many of whom became lifelong friends. Over a lifetime Dr. Vari and his wife have made significant donations to the University out of a deep love for Santa Clara and its students. Their most recent gift was an estimated $8 million bequest from their estate, to fund an endowment for the arts and humanities, to name the arts and sciences building, and to support other projects.
“Victor Vari devoted himself wholeheartedly to Santa Clara University for nearly 70 years,” said President Michael Engh, S.J. “We are deeply saddened by his loss, and we are grateful for the ways in which he has enriched this campus. As heaven’s newest arrival from the Santa Clara family, may he rest in peace.”
Dr. Vari graduated from San Francisco State University, received his master’s degree from Stanford University in 1952 and completed his Ph.D. (summa cum laude) at the University of Madrid in Spain in 1961.
Dr. Vari is survived by his wife Julia, cousins Don and GeorgeAnn Proia of Oakland, as well as the Proia family in Italy, and hundreds of former students--the children the Varis never had--who now live around the globe.