In 2000, Dean Mack Player created the Albert J. Ruffo Golden Gavel Society to recognize Law School alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago. Each year, members of the society are invited to attend the Law Commencement Ceremony, and are recognized by the dean of the law school.
Born on July 1, 1908, Albert J. Ruffo, B.A. ’31, J.D. ’36 attended Santa Clara University on a football scholarship and earned a place in the School’s Athletic Hall of Fame. After graduation, he coached boxing, wrestling, and football at SCU until Law School Dean Edwin J. Owens convinced him to go to law school.
In 1944, along with former Santa Clara classmate Tony Morabito, Ruffo co-founded the San Francisco Forty-Niners team. Ruffo served two years as mayor of San Jose before embarking on a successful law practice. He passed away on February 10, 2003 at the age of 95.
“You have to like what you are doing. If you like what you are doing, you can do it until you die.” – Albert J. Ruffo