Santa Clara University

Theo Gonzalves

That was the Fall of my senior year at Santa Clara University. I was the director of a student-run center on campus, which had its offices in the basement of a dorm. The ‘quake’s epicenter was less than 30 miles south of us. I was probably working at the front desk around that that time. It was normally dark down there; the only lighting came from pendants hanging at the end of 3 foot cables, all of which swung violently from the ceiling. When the ‘quake shook for more than a few seconds, a handful of us down there knew something was up. There’s only one entrance to the center. As soon as the shaking stopped, I ran up the stairs. Four, two-story dorms surrounded a swimming pool where I saw a small wave about five feet high gush onto the walkway. You could tell which students weren’t from California: they were the ones screaming the loudest.