Graped Crusader: Bob Almeida '72 (Management)
Loyola was the place where I met my lifelong partner and true love, my wife, Debb. It also provided the foundation upon which the rest of my life was built. Indeed the privilege of spending four formative years at Loyola has forged my beliefs and shaped the arc of my life.
Loyola instilled in me the importance of the pursuit of excellence in all things, both great and small.
The fact that Loyola provided me with the opportunity to pair my business curriculum with numerous classes in literature, creative writing, religion, philosophy, and political science satisfied a thirst for knowledge while on campus.
Loyola also instilled in me the respect for the world and its mystery. This yearning led to seeking a posting in Australia, where we spent two wonderful years. While Australia is resplendent with natural beauty and almost limitless resources, it was also isolated, particularly in the context of a pre-Internet world. Those years taught us a truly global perspective, which we appreciate to this day and which would lead to further adventure.
With the opportunity to retire from corporate life at 56 years old, I wanted to continue to pursue service and giving back to the community as cornerstones in the next chapter of our adventure. I also wanted to pursue an interest in wine that was sparked during our two years in Australia. In the past nine years, I have served on the boards of several nonprofits that focus on using performing arts (another lifelong passion) as a vehicle for integrating and uplifting. In that context, I am particularly passionate about reaching our large local Hispanic population as my parents both immigrated to the United States from Latin America. This focus on the less fortunate in our community was also, no doubt, influenced by the Jesuit ideals of concern for the poor and social justice.
As far as my other pursuit, winemaking, I am privileged to observe the infinite beauty of God’s creation in the vineyards that provide the grapes for our wines. Knowing that I have fewer tomorrows than yesterdays, I truly appreciate each season of love in our vineyard.
We are honored to be able to pay back a small portion of the enormous debt owed to Loyola. Having the opportunity to attend Loyola on an academic scholarship enabled me to relieve my parents from the burden of providing precious financial resources for my college education.
Moreover, the Jesuit education I received has influenced every aspect of my life after graduation.