The California Aggie Online
Dr. Scari's retirement in 2001 marked the celebration of an unmatched professional career.Today, as most of his last students are rapidly approaching graduation, evidence of Scari's legacy may seem to be waning.But 35-plus years of a colorful dedication to his department have truly proved otherwise.
a refreshingly simple, friendly, humble man who offers his
golden character well before the worth of any of his
numerous academic achievements.
And since his
arrival in Davis, such a character has translated into a colorful, landmark contribution to the Spanish department.
In 1965, Scari
was one of the first assistant professors hired in the newly born department of Spanish and classics.He
never left, and in doing so helped promote an academic excellence that would "take steps towards putting the department on national and international terms," Spanish department co-chair Sam Armistead said.Scari
is truly "one of the founding fathers of the department," Armistead said.
"[Dr. Scari] was totally dedicated to his
It's obvious that although Scari
has balanced a hat trick of professorial duties, he
has never given his
students the short end of the stick.
devotion was utterly apparent.When he
held office hours, a line would flow down the hallway," said Miller.Nevertheless, Scari
would amazingly meet with each student, regardless of time constraints."At a research university, you just don't have this type of full-time dedication," Miller continued.
Breivik, who worked with Scari
on an administrative level for about 14 years, noted that this enthusiasm was not just projected toward current students on campus, but to perspective students and their families as well.
"During Preview Day in October, Dr. Scari
was always ready to go," Breivik said.
...The legend of Robert Scari and the ‘freaks at home'
Like a camp counselor reading a story around a campfire, Dr. Scari
personal history with wide eyes and enthusiasm.One can't help but want to listen and be entertained by his
life's adventures, undoubtedly sprinkled with his
trademark sense of humor.
Truly an international child, Scari
was the son of an Argentine consul, which explains why he
was born in Genoa, Italy and grew up in Wales, Dallas and San Francisco before landing as a philosophy major at Stanford University
grew up speaking English and Spanish and comically explained his
selective use of the latter.
"Spanish was a strange dialect that I used to communicate with those two freaks at home," Scari
remarked with a smile.
Little did he
know that this freakish tongue would turn into means for a career.After making several trips to Buenos Aires in college, his family's native home, he decided to complete a master's degree in Spanish at Stanford, which eventually led to obtaining a Ph.D. at nearby University of California, Berkeley.
in the late 1950s, Scari
ever-famous booming voice while doubling as a radio announcer in neighboring New York City.A member of the Screen Actor's Guild, he
performed in "industrial narrations" for WCBS.He
contributed to station identifications, public service announcements, and even played the part of a chocolate-coated M&M's candy.
After a polite request, Scari
is still known to make the M&M's character re-emerge even today.When Scari assumed his position at UCD, he was newly married with a five-year-old son, Bob.Like his proud father, Bob too completed a master's at Stanford, and then continued his education with the United States Air Force.Bob completed several tours of duty in Operation Desert Storm in the early 1990s, and today is a captain for American Airlines.
In 1980, Scari
second wife, Donna, a student and secretary in the Spanish department office.They married in 1981 and today are parents of a four-year-old daughter, Delia.With all of these achievements and milestones behind him, however, Scari is his own biggest critic.
Giacalone has taken two courses from Scari
, including Spanish 110, a class designed to improve undergraduate writing in Spanish.
With a natural love for his
undergraduate students, Scari
eagerly taught this course for years.
As assuring as it is to know that Davis has been a good fit for Dr. Scari
, it's equally important to affirm that Davis was lucky to get Dr. Scari
in the first place.
E-mail this article Send a letter to the editor